Throwing Punches at the Hurricane: Jazz at Bandcamp

edited January 2011 in Jazz
Well, with my emu days over and the vagaries of unemployment really being felt, I've retreated to Bandcamp to try to mitigate my new jazz withdrawal sickness. Unfortunately, Bandcamp appears to be something of a wasteland of artists touting that they're selling jazz but when you unwrap the package, it just ain't.


Bolstered by a Bad Thoughts rec, my optimism has been renewed and I am beginning a thread to hi-lite jazz releases that I think should be recognized.

Note: There are probably some jazz picks on the stickied Bandcamp Goodies thread, too.

Here's a list of the musicians/bands you will find on this thread. I will update this list as additions are made. The list is done in order of where the posts fall on this thread.

(Page One)
-James Hamilton Jazz Orchestra
-Chris Conway
-Kurt Rosenwinkel
-John Scofield & Pat Metheny
-Gabriel Marr
-Sam Coffman
-Bobby Previte
-Rova & Nels Cline Singers
-Brooklyn Guitar Festival
-Sunnyside Records (label page)
-Undead Jazz Fest
-Tim Kuhl's King
-Tom Baker Quartet
-Pollen Trio
-Nickel & Brass Septet

(Page Two)
-Zubatto Syndicate
-Anzic (label page)
-Anat Cohen
-3 Cohens
-Avishai Cohen
-Third World Love
-Le Bocal
-Kneebody & Shane Endsley
-Bill Frisell @ Telluride Jazz Festival
-John Goldsby
-Jason Parker Quartet
-Andrea Taeggi's Music Works
-Josh Rawlings Trio
-David Marriott
-The Teaching
-Nate Omdal Quintet
-Craig Pedersen


  • edited March 2011
    I'll start with the Bad Thoughts rec of the James Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, an arrangement of lush tunes that should appeal to old school big band enthusiasts as well as the more modern big band follower. The album is called "The Causeway Suite".


    It's NYOP on the download and only a couple bucks for the physical album. Found here...

    There's another album on his page which I haven't yet checked out.

    Next up...

    Chris Conway - "4 am"


    With the sound of something on ECM, perhaps as composed by Kenny Werner, it's quite pretty. Conway plays piano, but also several other instruments according to the bandcamp page. Lots of piano and strings, some electronics, very peaceful album. I did a lot of searching before finding this album, but it was worth it now that I'm listening to it. Very nice. It's NYOP for an email address.
  • Thanks, I'm streaming the Hamilton. Sort of Count Basie the next generation.
  • edited January 2011
    I'm gonna stick with albums rather than singles, but I found these two tracks and both linked together. One is a free track from the Kurt Rosenwinkel album "The Next Step" and the other is a free track from the John Scofield/Pat Metheney album "I Can See Your House from Here". I figure there might be some interest to grab the tracks as part of an overall album purchase strategy.
    Here they are...

    EDIT: As Bad Thoughts points out correctly below, these are the entire album...



    For those unfamiliar, Metheny and Scofield are considered two of the old guard of jazz guitarists (well, not that old... like the seventies and beyond) and Rosenwinkel is one of the new guard of jazz guitar players.
  • Thanks for starting this thread, jonah. I'll have to let the credit card cool a little getting the Conway, which sounds great.

    BTW, it seems the entirety of Next Step is free ... or at least 142 M of information are writing onto my HD as we speak.
  • Hey, here's one that sat in my emusic SFL bucket for a while. Actually, it might be a different version, but it's the same musician for sure...


    Gabriel Marr - "a.f.e.0" (and various other albums/tracks)

    A nice piano trio with nice bursts of dramatic emotion to them. I remember liking Marr's sound the first time I heard samples. A bunch of tracks for free (with an email). There's a couple that aren't for download, and I'm probably just gonna hop over to Amazon eventually and fill in the gaps. He's pretty good. A happy find for me on Bandcamp.
  • BTW, it seems the entirety of Next Step is free ... or at least 142 M of information are writing onto my HD as we speak.

    You appear to be correct. I'm still getting used to viewing the Bandcamp pages and I sometimes only notice the first track the way it appears at the top of the screen.

    I'm excited to hear the entire Rosenwinkel album. I find him kinda frustrating. I keep giving listens to music under his own name and it just doesn't connect with me, but then I hear him play on other musicians' albums and I can't get enough of him. Brian Blade's "Season of Changes" is a perfect example. Kurt's playing on that album is the most I hum aloud any jazz guitarist's music who isn't named Bill Frisell. Kurt's sound on that album (and a few others) is just sublime. I just can't get into stuff under his own name.
    This isn't unusual. I also prefer Joe Henderson on albums that don't have him as the band leader. Some musicians are just like that, IMO. Kurt may be one of those for me. But whatever the case, I welcome each and every opportunity to get hooked on his music, y'know?
  • Wow, they have the Anzic label on Bandcamp. You'll pay eight bucks per album downloaded, but there's some excellent stuff there. Musicians like Anat Cohen, Jason Lindner, 3 Cohens, Avishai Cohen, etc etc etc. Very nice.
  • edited January 2011
    Okay, this next one I rec'd on a dedicated thread on this site...


    Disinterested - "Behind Us"

    -It's more of an ambient shoe-gaze Eno/Cluster type album. It has Bill Frisell on a couple tracks. It's sells for seven bucks on Bandcamp, so not cheap, but if I had to buy it again, I would gladly pay seven bucks. It's only five and a half bucks on emu, but if you'd rather spend that money on something else now you can buy it here if you want and have a better choice of download file options.

    EDIT: Here's the emusers thread...
  • That Disinterested album has been a late night favorite of mine for a year or two. I second the rec.
  • Sam Coffman - "Memories of Orion"


    Personnel: Sam Coffman - Piano, Artie Moore - Bass, Rudy Royston - Drums, Glenn Nitta - Alto Sax (2 tracks), Mark Harris - Tenor Sax (2 Tracks), Brad Evilsizer - Percussion (3 Tracks), Leyna Bencomo - Voice/Reading (1 Track).

    Released back 1995.

    For all intents and purposes, this is pretty straight ahead jazz, though definitely adventurous both rhythmically and harmonically. Even as it flirts with what might be considered avant-guard territory, it still sounds like it evolved from bop rather than ran from it.

    There's some names on that list I recognize. Royston the most obvious one, but Artie Moore was huge on the scene back in Denver in the nineties when I lived out there and was pretty well in demand across the entire U.S. jazz scene. Coffman's name even sounds familiar. For all I know, I saw these guys live at Vartan's or El Chepultepec or the Bug Theater.

    It's free. Don't know if they'll ask you for an email. I'm not sure if I'm gonna download it myself. It's good for sure, but it's just not what my ears are listening to these days and I'm tired of searching through all the files and cd cases of stuff that I rarely if ever listen to. Anyways, a nice find on Bandcamp, regardless of current jazz preferences. These guys can play. Here's the link to their bandcamp site...
  • edited January 2011
    The well-known and excellent composer and drummer Bobby Previte has quite a few offerings on bandcamp, including a number of live records only available there. Unfortunately, none are cheap, but there are some decent prices on some fine now oop Enja releases (e.g. $5 for Weather Clear, Track Fast). Additionally, a number of the albums have free tracks within, worth browsing for. He's done a lot of great work, afaic, and hey, we were born in the same town (Niagara Falls, NY).
  • Yeah, I've found lots of established musicians on there selling at a reasonable price ($7-$10), but I figured I'd get to them later. Right now, being out of work, money is damn tight, so I'm searching for stuff that is cheap cheap cheap. Plus, now that I'm off emusic, I've turned my attention to Bandcamp to find those musicians I've never heard of before... the adventure of the search kind of thing.

    It is, however, becoming a more relevant site for me to stream jazz before purchasing (which I intend to do again one day).
  • I like the Coffman, nice pointer (and the Hamilton, thanks BT). Digging the busy, very enthusiastic drumming (e.g. the outro of track 3). They sound like they're having fun. Coffman's got an interesting c.v., if you click through on his name.
  • edited April 2014

    - Only for streaming but available on Emusic. (New World Records)
    New World link
  • OK, how about this. I DL'd a couple of these albums from Bandcamp, including the James Hamilton and a couple of things recc'd by Germanprof; and found that they did not scrobble in lastfm. Spooky! Or is there some rational explanation??

    I also enjoyed the Hamilton orch, btw.
  • Everything I've downloaded from Bandcamp has scrobbled properly, so I'm not sure wha the issue is. Is your connection to working properly?

  • Yes, everything else scrobbled. It's a plot, I tells ya!
  • Chris Conway's footprint at Bandcamp is quite extensive, covering two different constellations of groups: one for ECM inspired Jazz and World, the other for a variety of improvised electronic music. Releases under his own name are by far the best, though some of the Rain Garden releases can be quite satisfying when the focus is more on Asian instruments. The latter grouping seems a bit too New Age, although there are some interesting moments in the monthly improvisation sessions that Conway hosts.
  • bn, great find for the streaming Celestial Septet. People should give it a listen. That grouping is touring some east coast (US) spots in February - if you're local, look it up, quite an event.
  • I've added a link to this thread from the starter of the sticky Bandcamp thread.
  • Free album from the Brooklyn Guitar Festival, including performances from Brad Shepik, among others.

  • edited January 2011
    The Sunnyside Records label has begun a bandcamp page. They don't sell anything at any crazy prices, but it's yet another place to stream before buying...
  • Compilation album from the Undead Jazz Festival...


    It's five bucks. It includes performances by Ben Allison, Steve Bernstein, Steve Coleman, Ralph Alessi, Roswell Rudd and more. Seventeen tracks, about an hour and a half of music. Very worth it. Really good. I'll be picking it up for sure.
  • edited February 2011

    Not a major discover, but nonetheless some solid work: Tim Kuhl's King. $5 (slightly more expensive than eMu, but without sound quality and emotional issues)

    An excellent example of post-modern musicianship, drummer Tim Kuhl has led a diverse career since relocating to New York City in 2003. A classically trained percussionist, he has held a steady residency in the East Village with his jazz ensemble and played with a slew of rock bands, including The Izzys, The Junkman Band, Less Than Treason, and Magnets for Teeth.

    King, his second album as a leader, features the powerhouse front line of tenor saxophonist Jon Irabagon, trombonist Rick Parker , and the dual electric guitars of Nir Felder and Ryan Mackstaller. Bassist Aidan Carroll joins Kuhl as a stalwart rhythm section partner, providing the front line with a firm but pliant foundation that ranges from lilting swing to throttling backbeats. Playing a magnanimous leadership role, Kuhl solos infrequently, supporting the expressive flights of his stellar soloists rather than stealing the limelight.

    An adept songwriter, Kuhl's memorable melodies are bolstered by rich harmonies and unfussy arrangements. Weaving the emotionally direct tunefulness of rock music with lush jazz harmonies and the spaciousness of chamber music, his writing ignores genre boundary lines while maintaining a singular thematic focus.

    Gracefully transitioning between moods, his sextet interprets these infectious tunes with a mix of unfettered zeal and eloquent restraint. At their most impassioned, Irabagon's tortuous tenor runs and Parker's staccato trombone cadences provide ample drama, complemented by Felder and Mackstaller's scorching fretwork and the rhythm section's unwavering drive. Blistering swing is only one of many nuanced facets revealed by Kuhl's multi-dimensional writing however.

    The languid "Kiss of Death" is awash in opulent melancholy, while "The Defender of Time" massages a bittersweet refrain, intermittently amplified by brisk modulations in tempo and tone. "Phantasm" ascends into Hendrixian territory with fervent electricity and a rousing turn from Parker's blustery horn while Irabagon's vociferous tenor volleys on "The Opposition," ride a careening rhythm to roiling climax. Book-ended by complementary atmospheres, King opens with the soaring ebullience of the title track and closes with the effervescent funk of "Stars," forbearers of great things to come from an impressive new voice.
  • 2795512403-1.jpg
    Another minor discovery: Tom Baker Quartet's SAVE. Makes me wonder why guitarists who like Monk always end up sounding like Fripp trying to fit in at a pub. $5
  • 2680133843-1.png

    Triptet, which includes the above mentioned guitarist Tom Baker. This is a strong set of restrained, thoughtful Free Jazz. Definitely recommended. Free for e-mail
  • edited April 2014
    Unfortunately only for streaming:


    - Brilliant stuff !
  • edited April 2014
    Warning ! - only for hardcore Art Bears:

    a3634238548_2.jpg - Free
    Bown. Hollo. Lim-Klumpes. Ahmad. Dorrian.
    One for the fans - a free compilation with pieces featuring Ollie Bown (Icarus), Adrian Klumpes (3ofmillions, ex-Triosk), Peter Hollo (FourPlay String Quartet, Raven), label boss Shoeb Ahmad and Evan Dorrian (Spartak, Pollen Trio)
    - Blows my mind !
  • edited April 2014
    a2236836941_2.jpg - Free

    Debut release by Sydney improvising jazz trio featuring Adrian Klumpes (Triosk, Leaf Label), Abel Cross (Trio Apoplectic, Pure Evil Trio) and Finn Ryan (TheNOWnow's Splinter Orchestra) continuing on from the last Triosk record with more verve, tension and dynamics

    - Very Triosk'ish and very nice.
  • edited February 2011

    That's some pretty stuff, but you and me are gonna get into a what-is-jazz slap fight if you keep posting that ambient-electronica on my jazz thread, lol.

    Man, I wish they made one of those smiley-emoticons of two yellow heads slap-fighting.
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