Wildcard - Rob Garcia

I feel that different types of music serve different purposes and require different qualities of listening, and there are many examples of music that will serve multiple purposes. Rob can be heard leading his new project called Soapbox featuring Jean Rohe on Saturday, March 22 at the Brooklyn Conservatory (in Park Slope, Bklyn) as part of the Brooklyn Jazz Wide Open series. www.connectionworks.orgwww.robgarcia.com

This is an album I've listened to in spurts over the past 20 years or so, so kind of an all-time favorite. I was listening to a radio program on a local jazz station talking about George Duke shortly after he passed away. I got kind of bugged because they were talking about his time in Frank Zappa's band as if it were just any old rock gig that didn't challenge him how the jazz gigs he did like with Cannonball Adderly. One would only write off Zappa as some rock star guy if they had never heard any of his music. This album is a masterpiece of music that challenges, amuses, grooves and rocks the listener. It's all in there perfect for multiple listenings and the multiple levels of listening. George Duke also really shines through in his playing and singing on it. Zappa was a true genius, visionary and innovator and certainly transcends musical categories.

I've been listening to this album recently and thinking that I still need to get Ben's new album "Hydra". Ben Monder is a master and innovator of the guitar and music. His playing and composing are uniquely his. This music commands a more focused listening experience that is well worth the attention. A beautifully produced album with no wasted moments. Soundscapes, overtones!, innovative harmonic progressions and voicings, math metal!, mature and patient compositions that deliver… A beautiful album featuring Theo Bleckmann, Kermit Driscoll, Skuli Sverrison and Ted Poor.

I've never heard anything quite like this album. Steve is a composer and trumpeter. He played in Gerry Mulligan's group among many others. I first met him on some gigs we did together at Detour back in the late 1990's, but got to know him more recently through playing with his friend Noah Preminger. I always enjoy the opportunity to hang and chat with him. He is a wealth of knowledge of western music…jazz, classical, contemporary classical, rock, etc! And his music on this album draws from all these cannons that he is so familiar with and has created something unique. It's a blend of recorded acoustic instruments and electronically generated sounds so more post-production work than a regular jazz album (which this is not). My 9 year old son really digs this album and often requests to hear it on car rides. Fantastic work!

I recently got into some folk artists such as Judy Collins, Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan. This is Dylan's 3rd album released in January 1964 when he was 22 years old…just him singing and playing acoustic guitar. I find it mind boggling that someone so young can articulate these messages and stories with such depth and feeling. Some songs on the album are commenting on the breakdown of small farming and mining communities and exposes the experience on a personal human level. There are also songs dealing with civil rights, and of course the title track putting the word out that shit is changing and you better be ready for it. I find this album very moving.

Scott Robinson Doctette - Bronze Nemesis

This album covers a lot of ground and is a very bold artistic statement. Scott is some I've played with many times in traditional jazz settings as well as some in more modern and experimental. He is a musician who can play and be fully himself in the various musical situations he's in. Bronze Nemesis gives you the unbridled genius of Scott Robinson. Many overtones of retro futuristic electronics. Fantastic horn arranging that pushes the envelope but masterfully constructed. It swings, it's out, it's fun. Much time and care went into this album, as anything that Scott would put out on his own label. Again, no wasted moments….Get it if you don't have it.