Blues & Jazz
Includes all recent Jazz and Blues releases
For over 30 years Matthew Shipp has built up an unparalleled body of work and a wholly original musical language that becomes more focused and distinctive with the passage of time. His abstract eloquence is on vivid display throughout The Piano Equation, new works for solo piano. Shipp builds his solo music in a cellular fashion, formed out of disparate elements that combine and evolve in novel and fascinating forms. Stride, swing and the avant-garde collide like elemental particles, the aftereffects radiating outward in increasingly complex and intricate formations. The scientific, the personal, the political and the fantastic co-exist throughout his work, melding in the pianists radical vocabulary which speaks with it's own alien yet familiar logic. Fragments of melody coalesce and transform, dissolve or shatter into kaleidoscopic reveries. The Piano Equation celebrates Matthew Shipp's 60th birtday, and while some may have used the arrival of such a landmark occasion as their 60th birthday to look backwards, Shipp continues to move resolutely forward, further evolving a voice that is as intimately personal as it is cosmically adventurous. This release is also the inaugural release from Tao Forms, a new label founded by drummer-improviser-composer - and longtime Shipp collaborator - Whit Dickey.
Smooth Urban Jazz superstar Kim Waters has sold over one million albums in his more than 20 years of touring and recording. Loved by R&B and Jazz fans alike, his crossover appeal, Smooth Jazz #1 radio hits and dynamic performances have placed him among the elite in his ﬁeld. Highlights include Kim's passionate remake of Ella Mai's smash hit "Boo'd Up" and brilliant Waters original compositions like the romantic "With Open Arms," the exotic "Nina In Tortola," the driving "In The Fast Lane" and much more! Sureﬁre radio hits include the funky original "Shakedown," the joyful "Feels Like Friday Night" and the uplifting "The Moment I See You!"
Ambrose Akinmusire follows his acclaimed, genre-busting 2018 manifesto, Origami Harvest, with another visionary statement on his new album `on the tender spot of every calloused moment'. The trumpeter examines blackness on an uncompromising set of modern jazz laced with a heavy blues feeling. The album presents 11 new compositions by Akinmusire, featuring his quartet - pianist Sam Harris, bassist Harish Raghavan, drummer Justin Brown - with guest vocals from Genevieve Artadi and Jesus Diaz.
Guitarist John Scofield celebrates the music of his friend and mentor Steve Swallow in an outgoing and spirited recording, made "old school" style in just one day in New York in March 2019. "I love these songs", says Scofield of the selection of Swallow compositions explored here. The rapport between Scofield and Swallow is evident in every moment. Behind the drum kit, Bill Stewart, a close associate of Scofield's since the early 90s, is alert to all the implications of the interaction.
Coming off my last album I was productive, and I ended up with a great batch of songs. I ran one by Joe Bonamassa, who said right away he wanted to play on it. And that’s how this album came about. Joe inspired me to invite others. I had songs that were strong and told good stories. I wanted the best musicians alive like Jeff Beck, Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Van Morrison and more to take them in unexpected directions. Wayne Hood, my producer, brought out the best of them. We have amazing songs and great guitars. - Dion
Kahil El'Zabar's 'Spirit Groove' on Spiritmuse Records is the latest musical inspiration from a spiritual jazz master Kahil El'Zabar, featuring the legendary tenor sax colossus, David Murray. El'Zabar's and Murray's collaborative efforts span over 4 decades of exceptional explorations in the varied realms of spiritual jazz. Joining them on this project are 2 extraordinary young talents, Emma Dayhuff on acoustic bass and Justin Dillard on keyboards/organ. 'Spirit Groove' is an innovative journey into the core soul of jazz and groove, where all are one in Spirit.
Kenny Dorham's 1964 album Trompeta Toccata would be the final album that the great underrated trumpeter and composer would record as a leader, and it stands as a fitting testament to his prodigious talent. The album featured a stellar quintet with Dorham and his frequent collaborator Joe Henderson on tenor saxophone along with pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Richard Davis, and drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath.
On 1964's Into Somethin', Larry Young made it abundantly clear that he had his own unique approach to the Hammond B-3 organ. Young explored a more modal territory over the course of his six Blue Note albums including this tremendous session featuring tenor saxophonist Sam Rivers, guitarist Grant Green, and drummer Elvin Jones. This Blue Note 80 Vinyl Edition is all-analog, mastered by Kevin Gray from the original master tapes, and pressed on 180-gram vinyl at Optimal.
On his second Blue Note album Smoke Stack, pianist and composer Andrew Hill used an unusual line-up of two bassists (Richard Davis and Eddie Khan) along with the masterful Roy Haynes on drums. The seven Hill compositions that the quartet explore here contain all the rare beauty to be found in his music. This Blue Note 80 Vinyl Edition is all-analog, mastered by Kevin Gray from the original master tapes, and pressed on 180g vinyl at Optimal.
Recorded in 1982, not long after she moved to Paris, Fodder On My Wings was one of Nina Simone's favorite albums. In addition to having written the music and lyrics for all but one of the album's 13 songs, the back cover proudly states that she 'arranged, conducted and conceived' all of them. Originally recorded for a small French label and only sporadically available since its initial release, Fodder On My Wings is a lesserknown but important part of Nina's musical history. The album contains deeply personal songs, including 'I Sing Just To Know That I'm Alive' and 'I Was Just A Stupid Dog To Them', as well a searing lyrical improvisation about the death of her father on 'Alone Again, Naturally'. Recorded at a time when Nina was feeling rejuvenated by her surroundings and the African musicians she met in Paris, Fodder On My Wings is an essential Nina Simone album that is making a longoverdue reappearance.
Three, the 21st album from legendary Australian instrumental trio The Necks, is a winding, textural, and visceral musical exploration through three individual, contrasting tracks that each delve into separate tenets of their sound. Three's variety of tones and structures offer a glimpse into the boundless, immersive sonic universe The Necks have been constructing, through recorded and live performance, for over 30 years. From its very first moments, 'Bloom' rattles and propels listeners through a dense, mesmerizing soundscape of unceasing intensity. Directly juxtaposing the consuming rattle of the opener, 'Lovelock,' dedicated to the memory of Damien Lovelock, former frontman of The Celibate Rifles, is a weightless and atmospheric threnody that ruminates in the quiet and overwhelming moments of grief. The final setting of Three is one of warmth and familiarity. 'Further,' is a confident, seductive groove in a quintuple meter, reminiscent of the groups' work on records like Sex (1989) and Aquatic (1994). Contrasting the style of their celebrated improvisational live act, the group's studio work is meticulously sculpted from beginning to end. On Three, Chris Abrahams (piano), Lloyd Swanton (bass), Tony Buck (drums/percussion), and their long-time backend collaborators Tim Whitten (engineer) and Doung Henderson (master) have again scrupulously built music that focuses on the most intricate edges of staggeringly immense, diverse worlds. From strained to still to smoky, each piece of Three marks itself as distinct and its own, but all feel representative of Australia's greatest cult band, The Necks.
Double vinyl LP pressing. Bitches Brew is a studio album by jazz musician, composer, and bandleader Miles Davis, originally released on March 30, 1970. It marked his continuing experimentation with electric instruments that he had previously featured on the critically acclaimed In a Silent Way (1969). With these instruments, such as the electric piano and guitar, Davis rejected traditional jazz rhythms in favor of loose, rock-influenced arrangements based on improvisation. In subsequent years, Bitches Brew gained recognition as one of jazz's greatest albums and a progenitor of the jazz rock genre, as well as a major influence on rock and funk musicians.
Vinyl LP pressing. 2020 release from the singer/songwriter. Supernova, the follow-up to her 2018 debut Starfire, is a "reflection of on the highs and lows that make life so beautiful," according to a press release. It was written after an extensive time on the road and the birth of her second child.
Robert Cray has been bridging the lines between blues, soul and R&B for the past four decades, with five Grammy wins and over 20 acclaimed albums. His latest album, That's What I Heard, was recorded at the iconic Capitol Records studios and produced by Steve Jordan (Sheryl Crow, Josh Groban, Keith Richards, Boz Scaggs). The music is a varied sonic blend of blues, soul, boogaloo and gospel. Guest artists include Ray Parker Jr and Steve Perry.
Sonny Landreth’s new album "Blacktop Run" mixes genres and styles across a landscape of lyricism and rootsy grooves. His 3rd album for blues connaisseur label Provogue, and his 14th overall, will be released on February 21, 2020. A percussive burst of acoustic resonator guitar pushes the narrator on a journey “between the life I left and the edge of next” in the title cut of guitarist, songwriter and bandleader Sonny Landreth’s 14th album. As the singer feels the wind at his back, a rising bass line intersects Landreth's vocalizing to stretch the fingerpicked tune into Far Eastern melodicism. The south Louisiana artist's groundbreaking work has long mixed familiarity with experimentation, and his latest ten-song collection stretches from hard-edged electric instrumentals to wistful acoustic ballads. The project's range is the fruit of a renewed collaboration. Producer RS Field – who helmed Landreth's trio of breakout albums – joined the six-stringer and co-producer Tony Daigle to finish the record.
New Vinyl: $26.98 Buy
To mark the tenth anniversary of the release of I'm New Here , the thirteenth - and last - studio album from the legendary US musician, poet and author Gil Scott-Heron, XL Recordings will release a unique reinterpretation of the album by acclaimed US jazz musician Makaya McCraven. Titled We're New Again, the album will be released on 7th February 2020; exactly a decade after the release of Scott-Heron's original Richard Russell-produced recording. It's set to follow in the footsteps of Jamie xx's highly acclaimed 2011 remix album We're New Here and will be McCraven's first release of 2020, following the huge global acclaim heaped upon his 2018 album Universal Beings. One of the most vital new voices in modern jazz, McCraven is described by the New York Times as a Chicago-based drummer, producer and beat maker, [who] has quietly become one of the best arguments for jazz's vitality.
Like their acclaimed ECM release Small Town of 2017 which The Guardian called "wistful and mesmerizing... tonally ingenious and haunting" Epistrophy by guitarist Bill Frisell and bassist Thomas Morgan was recorded at New York City's Village Vanguard. The new album once again captures the rare empathy these two players achieve together in this intimate environment. There are further poetic takes on pieces from the duo's beloved Americana songbook ("All in Fun," "Red River Valley," "Save the Last Dance for Me"), as well as another intense version of a composition by Paul Motian ("Mumbo Jumbo"), an artist whom both the guitarist and bassist knew well. Frisell and Morgan communicate the essence of Billy Strayhorn's "Lush Life" and the Frank Sinatra hit "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning," so much so that the famous words seem to hang in the air even without a singer. At the center of the album is a pair of pieces by Thelonious Monk: the funky, angular "Epistrophy" and the ruminative ballad "Pannonica." And as with "Goldfinger" on Small Town, Frisell and Morgan offer a glowing duo interpretation of a melody-rich John Barry title tune from a James Bond film "You Only Live Twice."
Big Bad Blues, as the title suggests, focuses on Gibbons' lifelong love of the blues and rock & roll, showcasing the blues-influenced vocals and guitar licks that have together served as the foundation for his numerous hits over the past five decades. The album features 11 tracks balancing some classic covers like 'Rollin' and Tumblin,'' and 'Standing Around Crying' along with some of Billy's signature new blues originals.