Albums

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Pop - To be released April 12, 2019 | Blue Note Records

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Jazz - To be released April 5, 2019 | Blue Note Records

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Electro - Released February 21, 2019 | Blue Note Records

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Rock - Released February 15, 2019 | Blue Note Records

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Electro - Released February 5, 2019 | Blue Note Records

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Jazz - Released January 25, 2019 | Blue Note Records

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For decades, composer and saxophonist Wayne Shorter has led one of the more impressive quartets in jazz. With pianist Danilo Perez, bassist John Patitucci, and drummer Brian Blade, the 85-year-old saxophonist has explored the connections between chamber music and jazz. This band rehearses on-stage, creating innovative architectures via in-the-moment dialogue and improvising with unbridled freedom that never gives way to excess. Emanon is their first recording in five years and conceptual in nature. It comprises a four-part suite in a studio date from 2013 with the Orpheus Chamber Ensemble, and two 2016 live discs of the quartet playing the Emanon material with other tunes. It's packaged in an oversize hardbound book that contains a 36-page graphic novel that Shorter co-wrote with Monica Sly and illustrator Randy DeBurke. It follows the exploits of its "rogue philosopher"/warrior/protagonist namesake ("no name" spelled backwards, from a Dizzy Gillespie tune). He fights bad guys in the multiverse, a concept that shares principles with the Buddhist notion of emptiness, allowing for an infinite number of simultaneously existing universes that Emanon travels effortlessly between. Disc one begins with piano and soprano sax probing the suggestion of melody, but really it's the pianist offering Shorter a chance for dialogic thought. Orchestral brass, strings, and the rhythm section enter minutes later and create melody from rhythm and vice-versa. The full orchestra's colorful voicings introduce "Prometheus Unbound" with a majestic grandeur balanced by the quartet's subtler interventions. "Lotus" commences as a full-on orchestral thematic statement answered by a recurrent three-note piano ostinato that's countered by free blowing from Perez and Shorter. They are barely held in check by the fluid pulse from Blade and Patitucci. The chamber group's bold yet lush restatement later in the piece frames the quartet's interrogatory investigation of blues. "The Three Marias," whose origins date back to 1985's Atlantis, is rendered completely anew with Bernstein-esque orchestral flourishes and a sweeping theme. Shorter plays soprano and tenor with equal vigor. The quartet emerges to take over with speculative and assertive conversation until the last third, where the orchestra returns with tempi, texture, and dynamic changes ushering in a sweeping conclusion. The two live discs begin with a radically revisioned 27-minute version of "The Three Marias," where the group's close listening and instinctive risk-taking chart the unknown amid post-bop, modal jazz, and free improv. The medley of "Lost" and "Orbits" is edgier, traversing out jazz one moment and swinging grooves the next as Perez provides a wide palette for his bandmates to color. The final disc opens and closes with kaleidoscopic quartet versions of "Lotus" and "Prometheus Unbound," with stops at the traditional "She Moves Through the Fair" (unrecognizable from their 2003 version) and a short, blistering "Adventures Aboard the Golden Mean" that goes from 0-60 instantly in a bluesy workout led by Shorter's soprano, followed by Perez's Latin montunos and vamps given a heavy bottom by the rhythm section. While Emanon's suite may take some getting used to, it is a profoundly imaginative work; the quartet concert offers a killer portrait a group whose M.O. is pushing at the margins until they give way to something altogether new. ~ Thom Jurek
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Vocal Jazz - Released November 30, 2018 | Blue Note Records

Hi-Res Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
In 2017, Gregory Porter released a tribute album - or rather a love letter, to the man he considers his ultimate hero: Nat King Cole. A remarkable musician who weaved his way between pure jazz and easy listening, an innovative and highly skilled pianist-virtuoso, and of course, a captivating singer/crooner with his deep, romantic and velvety voice that set him apart from everyone - this genius had never before been commemorated in so much style. In this live performance recorded on the prestigious stage of the Royal Albert Hall in London, Gregory Porter is supported by his trusty quartet (pianist Chip Crawford, bassist Jahmal Nichols, drummer Emanuel Harrold and saxophonist Tivon Pennicott) as well as by the 70 musicians of the London Studio Orchestra, conducted by Vince Mendoza. He features pieces that are closely associated with Nat King Cole (Mona Lisa, Nature Boy…) but also some of his own compositions ( Hey Laura, When Love Was King, Don’t Lose Your Steam…). Throughout One Night Only it is fascinating to see how Gregory Porter is just as comfortable when singing alongside the sophistication of the string section as he is in the rougher and groovier sequences. A vocal range that makes this show truly magical. © Clotilde Maréchal/Qobuz
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Vocal Jazz - Released November 30, 2018 | Blue Note Records

In 2017, Gregory Porter released a tribute album - or rather a love letter, to the man he considers his ultimate hero: Nat King Cole. A remarkable musician who weaved his way between pure jazz and easy listening, an innovative and highly skilled pianist-virtuoso, and of course, a captivating singer/crooner with his deep, romantic and velvety voice that set him apart from everyone - this genius had never before been commemorated in so much style. In this live performance recorded on the prestigious stage of the Royal Albert Hall in London, Gregory Porter is supported by his trusty quartet (pianist Chip Crawford, bassist Jahmal Nichols, drummer Emanuel Harrold and saxophonist Tivon Pennicott) as well as by the 70 musicians of the London Studio Orchestra, conducted by Vince Mendoza. He features pieces that are closely associated with Nat King Cole (Mona Lisa, Nature Boy…) but also some of his own compositions ( Hey Laura, When Love Was King, Don’t Lose Your Steam…). Throughout One Night Only it is fascinating to see how Gregory Porter is just as comfortable when singing alongside the sophistication of the string section as he is in the rougher and groovier sequences. A vocal range that makes this show truly magical. © Clotilde Maréchal/Qobuz
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Pop - Released November 16, 2018 | Blue Note Records

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Contemporary Jazz - Released November 9, 2018 | Blue Note Records

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With his band Twi-Life, which includes trumpeter Keyon Harrold, bassist Kyle Miles, drummer Charles Haynes, and organist and pianist Mitch Henry, Marcus Strickland has always explored jazz from multiple angles. Produced by Meshell Ndegeocello, the saxophonist’s first album for BlueNote/Revive is influenced by a wide range of styles, drawing inspiration from the late hip-hop producer J Dilla, Fela’s afrobeat, Charles Mingus and even Bartók’s music! With People of the Sun, Strickland tells the musical and social tale of African diaspora from the present to the past with the aim of portraying his own identity: “I thought about where we come from and how that both clashes and goes hand in hand with what we’ve created here as Black Americans”. The result is a beautiful, dense, complex and welcoming album where Western African (the griot culture, afrobeat) and American (post-bop, funk, soul) influences collide and Bilal, Pharoahe Monch, Greg Tate, Jermaine Holmes, Weedie Braimah and Akie Bermiss cross over. These are rather unsurprising choices given that Strickland grew up in Miami surrounded by Haitian sounds, Afro-Cuban rhythms and southern rap, as well as Stevie Wonder, John Coltrane and P-Funk, his father’s favourite artists… This is a multifaceted piece of work zigzagging between Jazz, Soul, Funk and Rhythm’n’Blues in which Strickland’s sax gives us genuine melodic gems. © Max Dembo/Qobuz
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Country - Released November 2, 2018 | Blue Note Records

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Poetic and tremendously sincere, Rosanne Cash honours the traditions of country music that she learned from her illustrious father, the Man in Black. Having won three Grammys with her album The River & The Thread in 2014, Cash makes an eagerly-awaited return, without any nasty surprises. This 15th record called She Remembers Everything highlights a period of change through personal and touching songwriting. Recorded in Portland and New York, John Leventhal and Tucker Martine accompany her on the majority of the tracks, but she also brings in some other outstanding guests. Kris Kristofferson lends his voice on 8 Gods of Harlem and Elvis Costello takes charge of the strings to awaken Cash's warm timbres. Pop-country with acoustic sounds at the forefront, our singer's sublime harmonies and sincerity form a firm connection with the listener from the off. But the real strength of She Remembers Everything lies in the meaningful lyrics. Rosanne Cash's vision here is of a complex and fragile reality. The weight of past generations, painful and nostalgic memories as well as a woman's life in the broadest sense: our artist carries all these thoughts on her shoulders as she delivers irresistible country serenades. This is a profound album that manages to sound like a cry from across the centuries and yet still have a brilliantly modern feel. © Clara Bismuth/Qobuz
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Country - Released November 2, 2018 | Blue Note Records

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Poetic and tremendously sincere, Rosanne Cash honours the traditions of country music that she learned from her illustrious father, the Man in Black. Having won three Grammys with her album The River & The Thread in 2014, Cash makes an eagerly-awaited return, without any nasty surprises. This 15th record called She Remembers Everything highlights a period of change through personal and touching songwriting. Recorded in Portland and New York, John Leventhal and Tucker Martine accompany her on the majority of the tracks, but she also brings in some other outstanding guests. Kris Kristofferson lends his voice on 8 Gods of Harlem and Elvis Costello takes charge of the strings to awaken Cash's warm timbres. Pop-country with acoustic sounds at the forefront, our singer's sublime harmonies and sincerity form a firm connection with the listener from the off. But the real strength of She Remembers Everything lies in the meaningful lyrics. Rosanne Cash's vision here is of a complex and fragile reality. The weight of past generations, painful and nostalgic memories as well as a woman's life in the broadest sense: our artist carries all these thoughts on her shoulders as she delivers irresistible country serenades. This is a profound album that manages to sound like a cry from across the centuries and yet still have a brilliantly modern feel. © Clara Bismuth/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released October 12, 2018 | Blue Note Records

Hi-Res Distinctions Indispensable JAZZ NEWS - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
After two staggering studio albums (When the Heart Emerges Glistening in 2011 and The Imagined Savior Is Far Easier to Paint in 2014) and one brilliant live album (A Rift in Decorum in 2017), all three released on Blue Note, Ambrose Akinmusire has changed gear with a multifaceted and ambitious work that mixes jazz, string quartet, poetry and rap. The Californian trumpeter has never been a stranger to taking a step into the unknown, but Origami Harvest is without a doubt his most daring work to date. And the most mind-boggling! At his side, pianist Sam Harris, drummer Marcus Gilmore, saxophonist Walter Smith III and, rather more unexpected, the Mivos string quartet and Victor Vázquez (alias Kool A.D.), previously an MC with hip-hop outfit Das Racist. Jazz, free, classical, funk, rap, soul and spoken word all collide here. One might criticise Akinmusire for his 360° vision. This composition is bursting at the seams as it moves from free jazz to R&B before returning to contemporary music or funk. The radical nature of the project can be explained by its origins. Judd Greenstein from the New York Ecstatic Music Festival, who commissioned the work, asked the Californian for his craziest idea. “I wanted to do a project about extremes and putting things that are seemingly opposite right next to each other", Akinmusire explained . Despite everything, there is a real fluidity to Origami Harvest, the composition is a perfect mirror for the time in which we live - its contradictions, its violence, its frenetic changes of pace and style... "Origami,” said Akinmusire, “refers to the different ways black people, especially men, have to bend, whether in failure or to fit a mould. Then I had a son while writing this and I thought about these cycles repeating: Harvest." You'll need to take a little time to digest such a creative flood. In an era unused to pauses, contemplation and taking one's time, Origami Harvest is a curious case. It's a blast of fresh air which does you good even as it baffles you. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Rock - Released September 21, 2018 | Blue Note Records

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Jazz - Released September 14, 2018 | Blue Note Records

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Jazz - Released August 31, 2018 | Blue Note Records

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Jazz - Released August 24, 2018 | Blue Note Records

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Country - Released August 24, 2018 | Blue Note Records

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Jazz - Released February 10, 1998 | Blue Note Records

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Jazz - Released October 7, 1999 | Blue Note Records

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