It’s nice when a longtime sideman with big cred finally makes an album as leader. On his debut, drummer Otis Brown III, a veteran of Joe Lovano’s and other fine bands, stakes a position in the groove wing of the jazz revival, where post-bop learning, church raising, and lifelong immersion in hip-hop aesthetics merge. Leaders of this faction abound on “The Thought of You”: ubiquitous pianist Robert Glasper, co-producer Derrick Hodge, Gretchen Parlato, who guests on an oblique remake of Shania Twain’s “You’re Still the One,” and the elusive Bilal, for a typically laconic vocal spot on the title track, which is actually a three-part piece that weaves through the album. The vibe is cooking-session with breakbeats and soul, until the final third, when church takes over: Two tracks featuring gospel singer Nikki Ross, one of them a long medley, plus earlier songs dedicated to Brown’s wife, make it clear Brown’s values are traditional even when his music isn’t. (Out Tuesday)
Essential “You’re Still the One”Siddhartha Mitter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.