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Feeling Good: Her Greatest Hits And Remixes

Nina Simone

Jazz - To be released February 11, 2022 | Verve

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Y’all Don’t (Really) Care About Black Women

Melanie Charles

Vocal Jazz - Released October 22, 2021 | Verve

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With its Verve Remixed series, the Verve label is allowing young artists to revisit its vast heritage. Melanie Charles' Y'all Don't (Really) Care About Black Women is a part of this. Alongside SZA, Wynton Marsalis, Gorillaz and the Roots, the Brooklyn-based singer and flautist covers pieces from the last century by Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington and Sarah Vaughan, dressed up with neo-soul production, hip hop beats, samples and a bit of light electronics. These covers are frequently beautiful and daring like Woman of the Ghetto by Marlena Shaw. Melanie Charles hits the mark: her album is full of real class. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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A Gift To Pops

The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong All Stars

Jazz - Released October 15, 2021 | Verve

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After the artistic success of his Hot Five and Hot Seven recordings changed jazz forever, Louis Armstrong led a big band before settling into a small group format in the 1950s with a steady group of players he called his All Stars. Though led by a musical icon, the All Stars were occasionally criticized for two issues: playing the same unadventurous repertoire every night, and not speaking out more forcefully against racism. Here a modern group of All Stars—young jazz lions originally from New Orleans—has recorded a loving tribute to Armstrong and past members like drummer Barrett Deems, trombonist Trummy Young and bassist Arvell Shaw. The current All Stars tackle the faded controversy around Armstrong's relative silence on racism from the start, opening the record with a sample of a charged live version of Armstrong and his All Stars playing a favorite, "When It's Sleepy Time Down South," where Armstrong sings lines about "when old mammy falls upon her knees." Led by trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, the group (all featuring bassist Reginald Veal, drummer Herlin Riley and trumpeter Nick Payton), dives into Armstrong's All Star repertoire joined by another New Orleans native, trumpeter Wynton Marsalis taking a star turn in "The Peanut Vendor." Throughout these 12 tracks these players, supplemented at times by pianist Davell Crawford and alto saxophonist Roderick Paulin, successfully resurrect some of the cohesion and esprit de corps that gave Armstrong's ensemble its fame. Filling in for Armstrong's singer Vera Middleton, Riley and Gordon are passable vocalists, with Riley occasionally sporting an Armstrong-like growl. While at first most of the arrangements stick close to the original versions, new ideas enter in "St. Louis Blues," which is sung by Riley, and benefits from jumpier tempo and boppier solos from Payton and Paulin. Another Armstrong classic, "A Kiss to Build a Dream On," gets a low down and bluesy instrumental treatment with saxophonist Paulin using breathy approach in a low register and trumpeter Payton lightly skipping and picking his way upward in tasteful fashion. Armstrong always had a deep spiritual connection to Thomas "Fats" Waller and his music and here, "Black and Blue," Waller's potent racism lament that inspired one of the strongest vocal performances of Armstrong's entire career, is radically changed in an arrangement that ignores the original melody, adds a repeated piano figure by Courtney Bryan and a spoken word break in the middle that features rapper Common. Armstrong's late career hit, "What a Wonderful World" is sung by Niki Haris in a slow, straight arrangement led by Crawford on B3 organ that savors every word. The album closes with a sample of Armstrong expounding on his theory of life that ends with, "I've always loved everybody, still do." Right back atcha Pops! A classy tribute to an influential musical giant. © Robert Baird/Qobuz
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WE ARE

Jon Batiste

R&B - Released October 15, 2021 | Verve

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Big

Tank And The Bangas

Pop - Released October 6, 2021 | Verve

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SING

Jon Batiste

R&B - Released September 30, 2021 | Verve

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I’ll Be Your Mirror: A Tribute to The Velvet Underground & Nico

Various Artists

Rock - Released September 24, 2021 | Verve

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When it was released on the 12th of March 1967, how many people imagined that the début album by a young New York band led by Andy Warhol (responsible for the famous banana cover) and named the Velvet Underground would become one of the greatest records in the history of rock'n'roll? It was certainly one of the most influential, anyway... The promising cross-generational cast that has come together to revisit these eleven tracks, almost all of which have become classics, had a familiar choice to make: either a loyal retread of the original, or a bold reimagining of the material. R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe kicks things off with a rather pared-down Sunday Morning featuring Doug Wieselman on clarinet. An equally sparse, and ghostly, number is Sharon Van Etten's Femme Fatale, which crawls along fascinatingly. Andrew Bird went for something that was rather harder-going, choosing Venus in Furs. He lightens up this symphonic descent into hell with some nice work on the strings and voices.Kurt Vile offers a change of pace with a visceral, primitive Run Run Run, which retains the spirit of the 1967 version. Annie Clark a.k.a. St. Vincent takes the opposite approach and picks apart All Tomorrow's Parties to create a bewildering, artful piece that's full of hidden gems. The same goes for Courtney Barnett's cover of I'll Be Your Mirror who is alone on the guitar, in order to highlight Lou Reed's songwriting. In the end, it's the young Irishmen of Fontaines D.C. who steal the show, making The Black Angel's Death Song sound like they wrote it themselves. To round off the party, grand old man Iggy Pop, the only contemporary of Lou Reed's band present on this tribute album, launches into a crazy and electric European Son (Matt Sweeney takes charge of the tidal-wave guitar part). In his hands, it becomes a furious, shamanic fireball sweeping through all before it to close I'll Be Your Mirror: A Tribute to The Vel
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There She Goes Again

King Princess

Rock - Released September 24, 2021 | Verve

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Actual Proof

Julius Rodriguez

Jazz - Released September 24, 2021 | Verve

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Ch. 1 Vs. 1

Cynthia Erivo

Pop - Released September 17, 2021 | Verve

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WE ARE

Jon Batiste

R&B - Released September 17, 2021 | Verve

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Feeling Good

Nina Simone

Electronic - Released September 15, 2021 | Verve

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FREEDOM

Jon Batiste

R&B - Released September 1, 2021 | Verve

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Woman Of The Ghetto

Melanie Charles

Vocal Jazz - Released August 13, 2021 | Verve

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THE DREAM

Mark Batson

Pop - Released August 6, 2021 | Verve

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Midnight Sun

Julius Rodriguez

Jazz - Released June 4, 2021 | Verve

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Summer Rising

Joey Alexander

Jazz - Released May 28, 2021 | Verve

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Under The Sun

Joey Alexander

Jazz - Released April 23, 2021 | Verve

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I NEED YOU

Jon Batiste

R&B - Released April 16, 2021 | Verve

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WE ARE

Jon Batiste

R&B - Released March 19, 2021 | Verve

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