Crème de la Crème: More Great New Summer Releases

The new albums that I'm always grateful to receive piled up again and I need to share the best of them. Here is this week's crème de la crème of fantastic new releases.

Los Hacheros: This group of New York City musicians play some of the best Cuban-style salsa of any band I've heard. They recorded it all live. Remember that many albums are produced, or rather assembled over time with samples and computers. This band plays live, all of it going into a Tascam 388 reel-to-reel deck. Kudos!

Melissa Aldana: She won the Thelonious Monk Competition and was awarded an album deal with Concord. This album is the result. Her playing suggests Sonny Rollins and Ornette Coleman. Her Chilean bassist is superb, as is her great Cuban drummer, Francisco Mela.

Wynton Marsalis & Marcus Roberts: These guys played together in the 1980s, then did their own thing. It's nice to have them back together for some great musical alchemy, recorded live.

Somi: An American singer whose parents came from Rwanda and Uganda. Her new album is on the revived Columbia/Sony imprint, Okeh Records. The new album is both singing and spoken word. Her voice is sublime.

Gustavo Santaollala : The creative force behind Bajofondo gives us another album of ronroco music--the small armadillo-backed folkloric stringed instrument from Argentina. It is dreamy, atmospheric, and beautiful.

Harmonie Ensemble of New York: One of the coolest and best produced album of classic Mancini I've heard in a while. The charts are superb, the orchestra perfect, and the soloists come from the upper echelons of jazz.

Ilhan Ersahin: A cutting edge artist from Istanbul's latest, with some stellar guests such as Jane Birkin, Gilberto Gil, and others.

Ibrahim Maalouf: I love this Arabic trumpet player from Beirut who is now Paris-based. His father Nassim is the dean of classical Arabic trumpeters, praised by no less than Maurice Andre, French god of classical trumpet. Ibrahim has pursued his own path, creating jazz and compelling crossover music. I hope you enjoy these new musical gifts!

Rhythm Planet Playlist: 7/11/14

  1. Los Hacheros / Chano / Pilon / Chulo
  2. Melissa Aldana / M&M / Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio / Concord
  3. Wynton Marsalis & Marcus Roberts / Giant Steps / Together Again: Live In Concert / J-Master
  4. Somi / Last Song / The Lagos Music Session / Okeh
  5. Gustavo Santaaolalla / Vamos / Camino / Sony
  6. Harmonie Ensemble/New York / Dreamsville / Music For Peter Gunn (Henry Mancini) / Harmonia Mundi
  7. Ilhan Ersahin / Karsi Yaka (advance) / Harikalar Diyari: Wonderland / Nublu
  8. Ibrahim Maalouf / Nomade Stang / Rough Guide To Arabic Jazz / Rough Guides

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Tom Schnabel