Two of D.C.’s greatest improvising talents at the DC Jazz Loft in January: Janel Leppin and Brian Settles

Last month’s comeback DC Jazz Loft was somethin’ else. (Apologies to Cannonball Adderley.) A packed room heard improvisers from scenes across the District — young lions and veterans alike — collectively creating, in the moment. And the results were fantastic. Anything goes at the loft, as we heard: There were wailing free improvisations, whispery communications […]

2018 Albums: Honorable Mentions

  Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra, Bohemiana: The Compositions and Arrangements of Dan Roberts, Vol. 1 Bohemiana: The compositions and arrangements of Dan Roberts Volume 1 by Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra The long-awaited, formal debut recording (not counting a 2012 Christmas collection) from the now-itinerant Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra features a collection of swinging but tight […]

CapitalBop’s #1 Album of 2018: Todd Marcus, ‘On These Streets’

On his last album, 2015’s Blues for Tahrir, bass clarinetist Todd Marcus sought to directly address his Egyptian heritage, musically and politically. The album was as inspired by the Arab Spring uprising as it was by his desire to weave Egyptian traditional music into a contemporary jazz identity. On These Streets: A Baltimore Story, Marcus’s […]

#2 Blacks’ Myths, ‘Blacks’ Myths’

  The hazy, trancelike tracks on Blacks’ Myths eponymous debut album brood restlessly, exploring colors and textures across musical styles without ever quite settling into one; the music is searching for a truth, and finds it at times, but never quite completes the search. Blacks’ Myths’ is the project of drummer Warren “Trae” Crudup III […]

#3 UnRehearsed, ‘Off the 6’

  If you spend enough time in the heart of U Street, you’ll eventually get hip to the sound of Bin 1301. Pulsing grooves and thumping bass radiate from inside the tiny wine bar nearly every night, spilling through its glass windows and mingling with the lively din of 14th and U. Off the 6 […]

#4 Kris Funn, ‘Bodega: The CornerStore Re-Imagined’

  Bassist Kris Funn delivers a beautifully crafted soundtrack to city living on Bodega: The Cornerstore Re-imagined. The bodega is an important fixture of urban areas, and it often reflects a small microcosm of urban life. Workers wind through cramped aisles to grab snacks and deli sandwiches during lunch breaks, pushing past cats taking refuge […]

#5 Sarah Marie Hughes, ‘Coy Fish’

  Sarah Marie Hughes’s debut album with her Coy Fish quartet is a nine-song offering that transports  listeners into a mysterious realm, reminiscent of a haunting Hans Christian Andersen tale. Uniting abstract compositions and expressionist improvisation, each song contributes to a cinematic journey. Hughes’s alto saxophone and clarinet playing draws on eclectic influences — classical […]