Another cuffing season approaches: the time of the year when young men and women buddy-up for sleepovers during the fall and winter cool-down.
This year maybe you’ve planned to sip herbal tea leisurely and read new autumn book releases at your place while cozy in your honey’s arms after a long day at the office. Perhaps you will spend lots of weekends at his loft playing chess and learning about his childhood over pasta dinners you prepare together.
No matter what activities you choose, make sure you have the perfect playlist to help you enjoy the season, including songs from the new, fresh cadre of musicians and vocalists who have assumed the legacy-keeping business of jazz, a list devoted to the task of furthering the music and culture with rewarding listening experiences for today’s audiences.
The vanguard includes iconic Bed-Stuy Brooklyn-based vocalist Gregory Porter. Porter’s trademark sound is warm and rich as he croons the single “Be Good.” It’s also dense with an authenticity that is heard on “Illusion” and “Pretty” — additional tracks on the Porter’s sophomore jazz album entitled Water. Seasoned, traditional fans of the genre and younger, new jazz audiences alike welcome Porter’s sound to the jazz scene — making Water a top-selling download and CD. Porter — born in Southern California — was a professional football hopeful until an injury prematurely sidelined him. With inspiration, which includes Kamau Kenyatta and Hubert Laws, Porter recovered nicely with a career that includes Jazz at Lincoln Center performance dates, steady jazz radio airplay, and international acclaim that continues to grow. Porter will be in concert this fall in multiple cities, singing his instant classics.
Glasper was inspired by his jazz and blues songstress mother and different denominations of Christianity. His albums Double-Booked, In My Element, and especially Black Radio showcase the artist as a brave innovator of jazz music. He’s re-arranged Herbie Hancock and Nirvana tracks, for instance. He’s brought the hip-hop and neo-soul stylings of Lupe Fiasco and Erykah Badu to the music, and celebrated by audiences from Australia to Atlanta. Glasper’s latest album, Black Radio, is a good example of his eclectic stylings. He welcomes friends like Lalah Hathaway, Bilal, new super-female singing trio King, and Ledisi to share his vision on the LP. The chart topper will be followed by a remixed version of the original, Black Radio Recovered: The Remix EP. The 6-track EP and a tour of North America are due this fall. Catch his concert to switch up a bit from your couples’ board game nights and Wii battles.
Spalding tracks will keep your nights festive and thoughtful with conversation. She continues making headlines with Radio Music Society–her March 2012 release. But the Berkelee College of Music graduate first delighted fans with the volume Junjo, a collection of Brazilian-influenced, mainly instrumental songs that quickly brought her expertise to the foreground for jazz followers. Esperanza, the second collection of songs from Spalding, propelled the young artist to even greater heights. With performance invitations from President Obama and a first win at the 53rd Grammy Awards for Best New Artist in 2011 (the first jazz artist to do so), Spalding is changing the game for women and young musicians in all music genres. See her in concert this fall, too.
Now that you have a few suggestions for your cuffing season soundtrack, the only remaining suggestion is to steady your emotions during the romantic scenes sure to develop from your set stage. Your informed music choices may move you to explore more concentrated stuff, such as Coltrane, Miles, and Dizzy, and deeper into that funny zone between really liking your cuffing season beau and new love.