Marc Johnson was the last bassist in the Bill Evans trio before Evans passed away in 1980. (Evans reportedly said this trio with Johnson and drummer Joe LaBarbera had all the keenness and dynamism of his classic trio with Scott LaFaro and Paul Motian.) Johnson's new ECM release, Shades of Jade is hip, emotive and bluesy. John Scofield and Eliane Elias fit in perfectly. Sample “Raise” and “Blue Nefertiti” and buy Shades of Jade here.
Jazz guitar fans, check out Bill Frisell's latest, East West (live sets from the Vanguard and Yoshi's). Frisell fans know his thing isn't "blow-you-out-of-the-water" chops but rather haunting sonic statements to open our ears. I have yet to unglue mine from the speaker. Eerie, beautiful stuff. Hear some full-length songs here, and buy the album here. (Long-time Frisell fans may remember his work with the aforementioned Scofield and Johnson in Bass Desires...)
A couple months ago, Blue Note reissued Bobby Hutcherson's Oblique (at last!). Anyone who enjoys Bobby’s work from the mid-‘60s will love this album, his second quartet effort with Herbie Hancock. (Now, I await the reissue of Total Eclipse.) His solo work throughout the album is incredibly fresh, modern even by today’s standards. Sample "Subtle Neptune" and "My Joy" from Oblique and buy it here!