I get a lot of music for my consideration, more than 450 new releases so far this year. Almost all of them are notable for something, and I’d like to give them their due. So every week, I’ll offer hot takes on the releases of the preceding seven days. it’s a great writing exercise, and a lot of fun, too.
Alto saxophonist David Bixler recently emerged from a nearly decade-long recording silence following a family medical emergency. The title of his third post-return release, “Inside the Grief,” points to that experience, but it is a response to the horrific events of the year that is mercifully about to end. Like a lot of new recordings we’re likely to hear in 2021, “Inside the Grief” keeps the instrumental forces lean, but strong.