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Pop - Released July 26, 2019 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released September 28, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jose James is bringing back the great soul music of the sixties. With Lean On Me, his fifth album on the label Blue Note, the singer from Minneapolis pays tribute to Bill Withers. This album reiterates the influence that the big names of mythical jazz and soul have had on the artist, who sang the tracks of a certain Billie Holiday back in 2015… Despite the many musical paths he could’ve taken, James remains a faithful servant to the masters of soul, doing his duty of remembrance through his covers. Recorded in Capitol Records’ famous Studio B, he surrounded himself with big names: Pino Palladino on bass, Brad Allen Williams on the guitar, Kris Bowers on keyboard and Nate Smith on drums, a dream team with whom the soul man lays himself bare. With vintage groove and power, his warm voice evokes a bygone era and blends erotically with the piano chords of Lean On Me. Lovely Day’s funky soul doesn’t phase him either, but if there’s an area in which he truly excels, it’s on the sugary and slightly acoustic southern soul track: Hello Like Before. Watch out for hot flushes! Switching between tradition and modernity, each track is a surprise. Whether it’s brilliant musical improvisation you’re looking for (Just The Two of Us) or full funk (Better Off Dead) − here’s a guru who can hypnotise you in just a few seconds! © Anna Coluthe/Qobuz
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Vocal Jazz - Released September 7, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Kandace Springs is a reincarnation of the great soul divas. Divine beauty, a charming name, since she released her first album, all eyes have been on this young woman. Soul Eyes, released on Blue Note in 2014, saw her float away into a sublime cloud of soul-jazz with pop highlights. Four years later, she is attracting attention with a full different creation, named Indigo. Roberta Flack, Luther Vandross, Billie Holiday and Nina Simone are just a few names of her childhood influences, names that are still casting their spell over her performances. A warm timbre, a supple and delicate diction that goes hand in hand with her mastery of the piano, Indigo is a stunning mix of covers and original pieces written by Evan Rogers and Carl Sturken. The album opens on the pop-romantic overture Don't Need The Real Thing; funk airs follow on People Make The World Go 'Round and a jazzy instrumental on Unsophisticated: Springs seems unsure about where to really let her voice take off, but it works! She is testing out her capacities and limits in some contradictory registers. Fix Me even ventures into classical, with a mix of Prélude opus 28 n°4 by Chopin, imitation Gainsbourg and a more soulful Jane B sound. It's an unexpected mix but it is all brought together marvellously by the smoke timbre of this winning singer. © Anna Coluthe/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released August 10, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released June 22, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released June 8, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Pop - Released May 11, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released April 20, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Trumpeter Terence Blanchard's 2018 concert album, Live, features his electric ensemble the E-Collective playing a series of shows in cities where there have been well-publicized deaths due to gun violence. Conceived as a way for Blanchard to express his support for these communities, and as a possible catharsis, the concerts in Cleveland, Dallas, and St. Paul have a direct, purposeful feeling. The underlying message is serious, imbued with a sense of pain and loss. There's also a palpable sense of anger expressed here, especially in Blanchard's often ferocious trumpet solos. Nonetheless, the music is as vibrant, expressive, and forward-reaching as Blanchard's previous recordings with the E-Collective, including 2013's Magnetic and 2015's Breathless. Joining him are his E-Collective bandmates guitarist Charles Altura, bassist David Ginyard, Jr., keyboardist Fabian Almazan, and drummer Oscar Seaton. Together, they play an expansive brand of jazz fusion, influenced by the '70s work of artists like Miles Davis, Larry Coryell, Chick Corea, and others. However, rather than making throwback grooves, Blanchard keeps his ear attuned to modern sounds, like electronic DJ music, hip-hop, and contemporary classical composition, and weaves all of these influences together. It's a sound especially evident on the frenetic bop-tinged "Can Anyone Hear Me," in which Blanchard surfs a gargantuan jungle-electro beat, spitting densely constructed, computer-soaked trumpet lines like a mad-eyed robot. Similarly, he sinks into the slow-burn funk of "Hannibal," his effects-laden trumpet a piercing, multi-voiced cry offset by Almazan's sophisticated acoustic piano lines. Elsewhere, "Unchanged" is a far-eyed, flamenco-tinged piece, and "Soldiers" is an all-out onslaught of fuzz-toned fusion with Blanchard diving into the fray, his trumpet a sparkle of digital squelch. There are also tender moments, like the searing ballad "Dear Jimi," which opens with a soulful, George Duke-esque synth solo from Almazan and an equally intense guitar improv from Altura. While Blanchard's warm gravitas grounds all of the tracks on Live, he remains a generous leader, willing to let his bandmates capture much of the spotlight. His generosity of spirit, both musically and emotionally, and message of hope and solidarity toward his audiences make Live a truly heartfelt experience. © Matt Collar /TiVo
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Jazz - Released April 20, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

Trumpeter Terence Blanchard's 2018 concert album, Live, features his electric ensemble the E-Collective playing a series of shows in cities where there have been well-publicized deaths due to gun violence. Conceived as a way for Blanchard to express his support for these communities, and as a possible catharsis, the concerts in Cleveland, Dallas, and St. Paul have a direct, purposeful feeling. The underlying message is serious, imbued with a sense of pain and loss. There's also a palpable sense of anger expressed here, especially in Blanchard's often ferocious trumpet solos. Nonetheless, the music is as vibrant, expressive, and forward-reaching as Blanchard's previous recordings with the E-Collective, including 2013's Magnetic and 2015's Breathless. Joining him are his E-Collective bandmates guitarist Charles Altura, bassist David Ginyard, Jr., keyboardist Fabian Almazan, and drummer Oscar Seaton. Together, they play an expansive brand of jazz fusion, influenced by the '70s work of artists like Miles Davis, Larry Coryell, Chick Corea, and others. However, rather than making throwback grooves, Blanchard keeps his ear attuned to modern sounds, like electronic DJ music, hip-hop, and contemporary classical composition, and weaves all of these influences together. It's a sound especially evident on the frenetic bop-tinged "Can Anyone Hear Me," in which Blanchard surfs a gargantuan jungle-electro beat, spitting densely constructed, computer-soaked trumpet lines like a mad-eyed robot. Similarly, he sinks into the slow-burn funk of "Hannibal," his effects-laden trumpet a piercing, multi-voiced cry offset by Almazan's sophisticated acoustic piano lines. Elsewhere, "Unchanged" is a far-eyed, flamenco-tinged piece, and "Soldiers" is an all-out onslaught of fuzz-toned fusion with Blanchard diving into the fray, his trumpet a sparkle of digital squelch. There are also tender moments, like the searing ballad "Dear Jimi," which opens with a soulful, George Duke-esque synth solo from Almazan and an equally intense guitar improv from Altura. While Blanchard's warm gravitas grounds all of the tracks on Live, he remains a generous leader, willing to let his bandmates capture much of the spotlight. His generosity of spirit, both musically and emotionally, and message of hope and solidarity toward his audiences make Live a truly heartfelt experience. © Matt Collar /TiVo
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R&B - Released April 13, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

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R&B - Released April 13, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released March 23, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Rock - Released February 14, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Soul/Funk/R&B - Released January 26, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Session musicians, born tour performers or just “cats that were looked over, but they're bad!, to borrow the words of their leader, Chris Dave. That’s what these Drumhedz are. Just to give you an idea, Chris Dave was the drummer of Adele, Justin Bieber, Dolly Parton, D’Angelo, Sonny Rollins and A Tribe Called Quest. Just six names randomly picked to show the width of the guy’s experience… But this time, the gang comes out of the shadows to feel the bright lights on their face. Their album is first and foremost a no man’s land where the notion of genre isn’t in use anymore, where elements of funk, soul, gospel, hip-hop and jazz are blended until they become undistinguishable and form a solid groove mass without actually being a lackluster jam session. Among the fifty or so musicians that compose these Drumhedz, you’ll find notably Pino Palladino (bass), Isaiah Sharkey (guitar), Cleo "Pookie" Sample (keyboard), Sir Darryl Farris (vocals), Keyon Harrold (sax), but also James Poyser (The Roots), Stokley Williams (Mint Condition) and Shafiq Husayn (Sa-Ra), not forgetting Anderson .Paak, Bilal, DJ Jazzy Jeff and Phonte Coleman. And the result—as groovy as can be—is just like this fusion of names: a fusion of rhythmically heavy sounds in which no one tries to take all the credit. It’s some pure groove. © MD/Qobuz
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R&B - Released January 26, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

Session musicians, born tour performers or just “cats that were looked over, but they're bad!, to borrow the words of their leader, Chris Dave. That’s what these Drumhedz are. Just to give you an idea, Chris Dave was the drummer of Adele, Justin Bieber, Dolly Parton, D’Angelo, Sonny Rollins and A Tribe Called Quest. Just six names randomly picked to show the width of the guy’s experience… But this time, the gang comes out of the shadows to feel the bright lights on their face. Their album is first and foremost a no man’s land where the notion of genre isn’t in use anymore, where elements of funk, soul, gospel, hip-hop and jazz are blended until they become undistinguishable and form a solid groove mass without actually being a lackluster jam session. Among the fifty or so musicians that compose these Drumhedz, you’ll find notably Pino Palladino (bass), Isaiah Sharkey (guitar), Cleo "Pookie" Sample (keyboard), Sir Darryl Farris (vocals), Keyon Harrold (sax), but also James Poyser (The Roots), Stokley Williams (Mint Condition) and Shafiq Husayn (Sa-Ra), not forgetting Anderson .Paak, Bilal, DJ Jazzy Jeff and Phonte Coleman. And the result—as groovy as can be—is just like this fusion of names: a fusion of rhythmically heavy sounds in which no one tries to take all the credit. It’s some pure groove. © MD/Qobuz
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R&B - Released January 26, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

Commencing with a takeoff scene that recalls that of Charles Earland's Leaving This Planet, Chris Dave's proper debut as a leader aspires to transport the listener. Likewise, a sense of escape was something the drummer, composer, and producer wanted to establish in L.A.'s Kingsize Soundlabs where, for a few weeks in 2015, he hosted and directed the 50-strong crew of instrumentalists and vocalists who comprise the Drumhedz. Taking into account the considerable overlapping personnel and an otherwise aesthetically similar variety of involved jazz, R&B, and hip-hop figures, Dave's debut prompts easy comparisons to contributor Robert Glasper's Black Radio sessions. Nonetheless, this is less an instance of "I got next" than the culmination of a three-decade career that has intersected with the players here (as well as gospel and pop artists ranging from Yolanda Adams and Justin Bieber). The core instrumental support for Dave is bassist Pino Palladino and guitarist Isaiah Sharkey. Keyboardist Cleo Sample and singer/songwriter Kendra Foster are among the variable cast that joins that trio, so the set unsurprisingly has the densely layered, spaced-out, and fiery qualities of D'Angelo's Black Messiah. Dave truly shows off only on the lone unoriginal cut, a robust version of Alan Pasqua's "Lady Jade" (misspelled "Lady Jane"), originally recorded by the New Tony Williams Lifetime. There are a couple off-the-cuff interludes, along with a polyrhythmic delight ("Dat Feelin'") with room to showcase Keyon Harrold's trumpet and piano and Marcus Strickland's bass clarinet and tenor sax. Those tracks excepted, the album is ultimately about songs, even when Dave's dubbed-out snares are ricocheting off the walls and the electronics are on the brink of haywire status. There are three stellar ballads: the aching Anna Wise and SiR duet "Job Well Done," Foster's psychedelic "Sensitive Granite," and Bilal and Tweet's steaming "Spread Her Wings." Additionally, there's the panoramic neo-Afrobeat jam "Black Hole," fronted by a typically ebullient Anderson Paak. In the steady rocking "Destiny N Stereo," Phonte, Elzhi, and Eric Roberson operate like a unified trio. The breezy "Atlanta, Texas," a conversation that includes Goapele, Rozzi Daime, and Shafiq Husayn, sounds like a trapdoor discovery from the latter's Dave-enhanced Shafiq En' A-Free-Ka. The ease with which the album can be enjoyed is all the more astonishing considering that it effectively applies and corrals input from so many of Dave's associates. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 12, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

With 2016's Evolution, Dr. Lonnie Smith made a flamboyant comeback. The last time the doctor's name graced a Blue Note album was 45 years ago… It was on this famous label, as a sideman to Lou Donaldson (Alligator Bogaloo, Mr. Shing-A-Ling, Midnight Creeper), and then as a band leader (Think!, Turning Point, Move Your Hand, Drives and Live At Club Mozambique) that this master of the Hammond B-3 made a name for himself in the late 1960s, proving that Jimmy Smith wasn't the only one who knew how to tame an electric keyboard... Brilliant and groovy as ever despite the years that have passed, Doc has brought us a live album recorded at New York's Jazz Standard at a concert to mark the 75th anniversary. Smith himself describes the live version as essential: "It is so hard to get across what you're feeling in the moment when you're recording in the studio. Listening to my concerts, it’s like catching me playing in the moment. I like that idea." With guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg and drummer Johnathan Blake, the trio form a close-knit fraternity. "My musicians know what I'm trying to do, and they develop my thoughts. When I play, I am always in the moment. They know how to adapt and be there for me." From the famous Juju by Wayne Shorter to Paul Simon's 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover (with Joe Dyson as a second drummer), the organist revisits an exceptionally eclectic repertoire while still retaining his own style. Time has hardly left a mark on Dr. Lonnie Smith's groove or his sense of swing; he is throwing off some real sparks here throughout this bubbling, visceral record. © CM/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released November 10, 2017 | Blue Note (BLU)

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A drummer in a league of his own, a musician with an immeasurable refinement and a virtuosic composer - one day we’ll run out of superlatives to describe Brian Blade. Listening to his music while watching him navigate his drum with nimble fingers is a unique experience. It’s hardly surprising that Joshua Redman, Brad Mehldau, Kenny Garrett, Norah Jones, Daniel Lanois, Joni Mitchell, Wayne Shorter, Bob Dylan, Steve Earle and Emmylou Harris have all come to offer their services over the years… But since the end of the ‘90s, Blade has often returned to a source that’s fully his own: the Fellowship Band. Alongside Jon Cowherd on piano, Chris Thomas on double bass, and the brass instruments of Myron Walden and Melvin Butler, here we find a jazz completely other. A sound rooted in gospel, blues and folk that devotes itself to telling stories and histories. The fifth album from Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band scrolls through melodies that couldn’t be more evocative. In just over half an hour, Body & Shadow intertwines bodies and shadows to the sound of highly poetic jazz. The guitarist Dave Devine is invited along to colour a few sequences while Blade and his band apply themselves to blurring the boundaries between genres. Real musical enchantment. © MZ/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released November 10, 2017 | Blue Note (BLU)

A drummer in a league of his own, a musician with an immeasurable refinement and a virtuosic composer - one day we’ll run out of superlatives to describe Brian Blade. Listening to his music while watching him navigate his drum with nimble fingers is a unique experience. It’s hardly surprising that Joshua Redman, Brad Mehldau, Kenny Garrett, Norah Jones, Daniel Lanois, Joni Mitchell, Wayne Shorter, Bob Dylan, Steve Earle and Emmylou Harris have all come to offer their services over the years… But since the end of the ‘90s, Blade has often returned to a source that’s fully his own: the Fellowship Band. Alongside Jon Cowherd on piano, Chris Thomas on double bass, and the brass instruments of Myron Walden and Melvin Butler, here we find a jazz completely other. A sound rooted in gospel, blues and folk that devotes itself to telling stories and histories. The fifth album from Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band scrolls through melodies that couldn’t be more evocative. In just over half an hour, Body & Shadow intertwines bodies and shadows to the sound of highly poetic jazz. The guitarist Dave Devine is invited along to colour a few sequences while Blade and his band apply themselves to blurring the boundaries between genres. Real musical enchantment. © MZ/Qobuz
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Vocal Jazz - Released October 7, 2016 | Blue Note (BLU)

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It is important to realize that Norah Jones is not just a famous persona waving from the cover of a glossy magazine, or simply “a pretty face". The truth is far deeper... Day Breaks is further evidence of her undeniable talent, but also of a tangible artistic evolution. Mixing beautiful original compositions with a sprinkling of great classics (Horace Silver, Neil Young and Duke Ellington), the sixth album from the New Yorker who grew up in Texas brings her many and diverse passions together in one place.  Always lying within the realms of jazz, soul, pop and folk, it is her sincere and visceral love for the former that inhabits this stylish album, which doesn't dwell in the past for a single second. Over the years, the piano (much like her vocals) have toggled between nonchalance and pugnacity. Saxophonist Wayne Shorter, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Brian Blade are among the accomplices invited to the party here, and the experience of those involved is truly telling. Somehow, Day Breaks manages to see eye to eye with Come Away With Me, her first disc released back in 2002, and one that propelled her to the top of the charts. This 2016 vintage is even more structured than previous efforts. Mastered to perfection, the latest effort serves to epitomize the grace and beauty of this timeless artist. © MZ / Qobuz