Zane Carney’s new album Alter Ego is the album to listen to when you miss hanging with your friends. It’s for times when you spend 20 minutes replying to an email only to have five more emails pile up plus a thread erupt on Slack about god knows what. It’s for the times when you wander into the kitchen, open the cupboard and wonder if it’s time to make another coffee or a gin rickey.

The instrumental jazz album attributed to the Zane Carney Quartet is an album for the pandemic. It’s for those times when you slouch back in front of your computer, take a sip of your beverage and think of the LCD Soundsystem lyrics, “If I could see all my friends tonight.”

Zane Carney Quartet

From left, Katisse Buckingham, Zane Carney, Jerry Watts and Gene Coye | Photo by Aaron Meekcoms

Introducing the Zane Carney Quartet

Carney, who regularly makes the trip from his LA base to play Tokyo clubs, brought his friends together for his album. Forming several permutations over the years including a collaboration with Rachel Evans Wood, this time around the prolific jazz guitarist and composer recruited Jerry Watts Jr. on bass, Gene Coye on drums and Katisse Buckingham on woodwinds to record a bold and bombastic improvised record. Alter Ego is set to release on April 30, 2021, on Orenda Records.

While Carney is the namesake of the quartet, this is clearly an ensemble effort where no one instrument dominates the soundscape. The tight rhythm section drives each song while the guitar and Buckingham’s various winds blend seamlessly like a wending stream, or bat the melody back and forth in a call and response bout. Whether it’s a free jazz piece or a Zeppelin-meets-math rock stomper like the song “Alter,” the entire effort is as satisfying as an empty inbox.

“I wanted this record to feel alive,” says Carney. “This is the first time my actual improvisational spirit is being expressed in recorded format. I wanted to capture the sparks that fly when Jerry, Gene, Katisse and I improvise together, and document the untamed, almost manic spirit that LA’s late-night jazz scene has produced.”

Zane Carney

The Incomparable Zane Carney

Carney’s extensive discography includes playing on Thundercat’s “Drunk” and serving as John Daversa’s guitarist with appearances on his Big Band and Small Band albums, including the Grammy-nominated Kaleidoscope Eyes: Music of The Beatles.

Most recently, Carney developed a film scoring partnership with pianist Tommy King, releasing a duo record titled Film. As a guitarist, he toured with artists including Jonny Lang and John Mayer – including a performance at the Budokan His 2018 album Zane Carney: Live in Tokyo // The Bootlegs was recorded in 2017 at the Asakusa venue Gold Sounds and in Yokohama at 7th Avenue.

Once travel to Japan is allowed Carney will certainly be appearing again at his favorite clubs. In the meantime, Carney is live-streaming his record release party in LA, which will also be streamed exclusively on the TW Facebook page on Friday, April 30, from 8pm.

Tell all your friends.

Zane Carney Quartet - Alter Ego - Album Cover

Find details for the TW Live performance here.

Alter Ego is currently available for pre-order. For more information, go to