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New Music Friday: Joel Ross, Jun Iida, Rahsaan Roland Kirk

Graphic art by Nick Dahlen
Blue Note Records
Vibraphonist Joel Ross announces release of his new Blue Note album, nublues with February 9th, 2024 release date

New and reissued albums to know from classic bop, straight ahead and cool jazz, to neo-soul, hip-hop and chill, musical excellence continues and here are some highlights.

Joel Ross, nublues

Joel Ross is taking a different approach on his latest release nublues. Instead of focusing on the talents of his chosen band mates and creating challenging time signatures and creative tempo manipulations to allow them to shine, this new album has a more subtle reading of the music. While his playing is still intricate and technical, it’s more accessible and brings a personal emphasis on melody through the mostly original and one chosen John Coltrane tune. These ballads and blues are played by many of his long-time collaborators and that synergy shines through.

Jun Iida, Evergreen

Trumpeter Jun Iida’s debut album Evergreen is a perfect example of a jazz artist who has his ear to the past while integrating new ideas to his musical vocabulary. Iida spent five years in Los Angeles and then three in Seattle. The jazz siren has now called him to New York, but not before taking the opportunity to memorialize his experience and incorporate the musical focus and development of his time on the west coast at this early stage of his career.

Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Live in Paris (1970)

Gifted multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk, known for playing multiple reeds at the same time was captured here at the height of his powers, both technically and in popularity. From a newly issued Live recording he is backed by his band Vibration Society that featured his long-term cohorts Ron Burton on piano, Joe Habao Texidor on percussion, Dick Griffin on trombone, drummer Jerome Cooper and Vernon Martin on double bass.

Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Terae Stefon looks to make his mark on an ever changing city. A Graduate of Franklin High School, he then attended Saint Martin’s University, majoring in English and Journalism. Terae found his way into radio by volunteering at local community radio stations HollowEarth and RainierAvenue Radio in Seattle and then at Total Traffic, keeping the region moving as a traffic reporter and producer.
Carol Handley joined KNKX in 2018 as Director of Music Programming for KNKX and Jazz24. Previously, she has held positions including General Manager, Program Director, Music Director and On-Air host at several stations in the Northwest presenting traditional, progressive and contemporary styles of Jazz and roots music. In the early part of her broadcasting career she was a host at the station formerly known as KPLU.