Brandon Sanders - Compton’s Finest

Album of the Week, 04-02-24

Snorre Kirk – Top Dog

Stunt Records
Released March 24, 2023

Back in 2012, drummer, composer, and bandleader, Snorre Kirk released his first album under his own name, BLUES MODERNISM. At the time, jazz listeners would have been forgiven for assuming that a drummer’s debut release would simply showcase himself on his instrument – in the “obvious,” flashy sense. But this was no ordinary debut and no ordinary drummer. Snorre Kirk was, and is, different. His inspiration is unmistakably rooted in the birthplace of jazz – specifically, from a golden age, decades ago (we can basically count in half-centuries now). It was cool, swinging music, drawing from the sounds that legends like Duke Ellington created, and it allowed plenty of space for the drummer’s carefully-chosen cohorts.

On his new album, TOP DOG, we get a new element and a slight instrumentation change compared to Snorre’s previous work. Ellington’s influence is still present, but another great composer, arranger, and musician has now been brought into the fold as a historical beacon of bandleading and overall musical advisor: the one and only Count Basie.

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Each week, WDNA music director, Michael Valentine shares his album of the week. Michael’s picks often focus on new jazz releases, but sometimes dip into history with notable and classic releases worth revisiting.



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