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Jazz - Released July 30, 2021 | Blue Note

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The superb 2021 collection The Complete Live at the Lighthouse brings together all of the music trumpeter Lee Morgan recorded for his dynamic 1970 concert album recorded at the legendary Hermosa Beach, California jazz club. Initially issued as a double-LP, Live at the Lighthouse was Morgan's final album to be released while he was still alive; he died tragically at the age of 33 after being shot by his common-law wife Helen Morgan outside a club in 1972. Following a 1996 two-disc reissue, The Complete Live at the Lighthouse presents everything Morgan recorded during his three-day stint at the Lighthouse from July 10 to 12, 1970. Joining him was his stellar ensemble of the time featuring saxophonist Bennie Maupin, pianist Harold Mabern, bassist Jymie Merritt, and drummer Mickey Roker. Also featured is drummer Jack DeJohnette, who sits in on a version of Morgan's classic "Speedball." An innovative firebrand with a blistering attack and unerring sense of rhythm, Morgan soared to career heights in the '60s, first as a member of the Jazz Messengers and then on his own with landmark albums like 1963's Sidewinder and 1966's Search for the New Land; bold hard bop dates that introduced his soulful, boogaloo jazz sound. By the time he stepped on-stage at the Lighthouse he had already begun to expand his sound, delving into expansive modal harmonies and flirting with edgier free jazz improvisations. All of this is on display here, especially on tracks like Maupin's dreamlike "Neophilia" and Merrit's roiling "Nommo," the latter of which plays like a spatter-paint tone-poem version of Morgan's "Sidewinder." We also get a swaggering, funky reading of that classic song that reveals just how much the growing fusion and soul-jazz movements of the era were informing Morgan's work. While 1972's The Last Session would arrive posthumously as Morgan's final creative statement, The Complete Live at the Lighthouse captures him at the raw transcendency of what should have been the second half of his career, giving brilliant flashes of the bold artistic directions he might have taken. © Matt Collar /TiVo
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Jazz - Released July 30, 2021 | Blue Note

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The superb 2021 collection The Complete Live at the Lighthouse brings together all of the music trumpeter Lee Morgan recorded for his dynamic 1970 concert album recorded at the legendary Hermosa Beach, California jazz club. Initially issued as a double-LP, Live at the Lighthouse was Morgan's final album to be released while he was still alive; he died tragically at the age of 33 after being shot by his common-law wife Helen Morgan outside a club in 1972. Following a 1996 two-disc reissue, The Complete Live at the Lighthouse presents everything Morgan recorded during his three-day stint at the Lighthouse from July 10 to 12, 1970. Joining him was his stellar ensemble of the time featuring saxophonist Bennie Maupin, pianist Harold Mabern, bassist Jymie Merritt, and drummer Mickey Roker. Also featured is drummer Jack DeJohnette, who sits in on a version of Morgan's classic "Speedball." An innovative firebrand with a blistering attack and unerring sense of rhythm, Morgan soared to career heights in the '60s, first as a member of the Jazz Messengers and then on his own with landmark albums like 1963's Sidewinder and 1966's Search for the New Land; bold hard bop dates that introduced his soulful, boogaloo jazz sound. By the time he stepped on-stage at the Lighthouse he had already begun to expand his sound, delving into expansive modal harmonies and flirting with edgier free jazz improvisations. All of this is on display here, especially on tracks like Maupin's dreamlike "Neophilia" and Merrit's roiling "Nommo," the latter of which plays like a spatter-paint tone-poem version of Morgan's "Sidewinder." We also get a swaggering, funky reading of that classic song that reveals just how much the growing fusion and soul-jazz movements of the era were informing Morgan's work. While 1972's The Last Session would arrive posthumously as Morgan's final creative statement, The Complete Live at the Lighthouse captures him at the raw transcendency of what should have been the second half of his career, giving brilliant flashes of the bold artistic directions he might have taken. © Matt Collar /TiVo
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Vocal Jazz - Released June 19, 2020 | Blue Note

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After four previous albums that to varying degrees meld his idol Django Reinhardt's gypsy jazz with French chanson in originals and specially chosen covers, guitarist and vocalist Thomas Dutronc realizes a dream with Frenchy. Accompanied by his quartet and an international cast of guests including Iggy Pop, Diana Krall, Stacey Kent, Youn Sun Nah, Haley Reinhart, Jeff Goldblum, and Billy Gibbons, he pays homage to the timelessness of French song with a mostly wonderful result. Iggy and Krall assist on Hernri Bette's and Andre Hornez's "C'est si Bon," immortalized by Yves Montand. While this version doesn’t add much, it's delivered bilingually, thus embracing Jerry Seelen's English lyrics. Edit Piaf's theme, "La Vie en Rose," finds Gibbons adding a silvery touch to an uncharacteristically languid guitar solo. The particular quality in the grain of Dutronc's voice and phrasing bridge Piaf's clipped enunciation with Chet Baker's vulnerable delivery style. "Plus Je T'embrasse," penned by American composer Ben Ryan, was rendered iconic by Blossom Dearie in 1958. Dutronc reads it with fingerpopping hipster sass. American soprano saxophonist, jazz giant Sidney Bechet (beloved in France since 1922) scored a hit there with "Petit Fleur." Its Latin percussion and lonely musette frame Dutronc's vocal and guitar exquisitely. He also reimagines chart hits by two French groups who composed their lyrics in English: A sultry, almost erotic read of Air's "Playground Love" with South Korea's Nah, and an all but unrecognizable version of Daft Punk's international smash "Get Lucky." While Dutronc's vocal on the latter is unsuitable for its melody, his hip take on gypsy-cool jazz adds dimension and savvy. There's another fine duet here between the guitarist and Stacey Kent on a resonant, sensual take of Pierre Barouh's title theme for the film "Un Homme et Une Femme." Frenchy couldn’t exist without a tune by Reinhardt (the French press has dubbed Dutronc "Django's Son"), a modern version of "Minor Swing" that replaces Stephane Grappelli's violin with a Rhodes piano, popping electric guitars, and hyper-strummed mandolin. Alongside Haley Reinhart, Dutronc offers a resilient, rockist read of Jacques Brel's eternal "If You Go Away" adds to a lineage started by Georges Brassens and Leo Ferre. A truly confusing entry here is the inclusion of "My Way." Set to the music of the French song "Comme d'habitude," composed and written by Jacques Revaux, Frank Sinatra's signature version (with unrelated English lyrics by Paul Anka), is the standard no matter who sings it. Dutronc's attempt to straddle cultural lines is valiant, but so wispy it should have been abandoned. Further, on Sacha Distel's and Jean Broussolle's "La Belle Vie" (Yankees know it as Tony Bennet's "The Good Life"), is temporarily elevated by Goldblum's deft pianism, but his uneven, ever so slight singing voice, when paired with the guitarist's expressive baritone, proves detrimental. Dutronc planned and recorded Frenchy with great care and more than a little skill. Fans will find much to delight in. However, attraction for non-Francophone audiences may prove -- despite the album's high quality -- somewhat limited. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Contemporary Jazz - Released November 27, 2020 | Blue Note

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Locked down and unable to tour, GoGo Penguin made the most of the situation by developing their makeshift concert repertoire. This concert sees the virtuous Manchester trio play in a certain Abbey Road Studios. Four out of seven of the tracks from this short 30-minute Live From Studio 2, transmitted live online of the 29th of October 2020, come from their fifth album released in June 2020. This atypical situation rallies like never before pianist Chris Illingworth, drummer Rob Turner and bassist Nick Blacka. Like caged animals suddenly let free, the Mancunians deliver a powerful rendition of their famous concoction of contemporary jazz, electronic music and minimalism. From the first minutes of Totem which opens this EP, the rhythms throb more than we are used to as Illingworth’s fingers dart across the piano keys. “We didn’t want to play in an empty venue, somehow it just felt weird trying to create the energy of a concert in an empty room”, explains Blacka. “But we had recorded an EP in studio 2 back in 2015 and loved the space and somehow it just made sense to film a show here.” Chris Illingworth confirms this: “It’s a really special place and we wanted somewhere intimate that we would be excited to work in and where we could tap into that sense of excitement that you get from a live concert.” For Turner, t is more a question of sound. “When we perform, we’re always reacting to each other but also the crowd. The people and the energy in the space is as much a part of the performance as we are Studio Two is imbued with the ghosts of all the incredible music and musicians that have performed there. It has an atmosphere all of its own. You really feel the expanse of time, how much has happened before you and how much will continue to happen after you.” A great success through and through. © Clotilde Maréchal/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released November 27, 2020 | Blue Note

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Jazz - Released November 20, 2020 | Blue Note

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Jazz - Released November 13, 2020 | Blue Note

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Jazz - Released November 6, 2020 | Blue Note

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Jazz - Released October 30, 2020 | Blue Note

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Jazz - Released October 23, 2020 | Blue Note

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Contemporary Jazz - Released October 16, 2020 | Blue Note

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Be it through soul, rap or electronic music, artists are always revisiting Blue Note’s repertoire, and Madlib’s brilliant Shades of Blue (2003) is but one example. It’s now the new British jazz scene’s turn to revisit the musical gems – famous or obscure – from this legendary label launched in 1939 by Francis Wolff and Alfred Lion. The aim of this project named Blue Note Re:imagined is to focus primarily on the label’s high-quality music and key musicians. Some of the most revisited artists are therefore Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson and Bobby Hutcherson, and often their work is covered in a rather daring style. For example, Alfa Mist manages to imbue Eddie Henderson’s Galaxy with a rather sensual groove whilst preserving the avant-garde flair of the original version from 1975. The same goes for the Bristolian Ishmael, whose take on McCoy Tyner’s Search for Peace is truly captivating. As for the two sax stars of the moment, Shabaka Hutchings (Bobby Hutcherson's Prints Tie) and Nubya Garcia (Joe Henderson's A Shade of Jade), they both live up to their reputation for shaking things up.Of course, Blue Note Re:imagined doesn’t forget about the vocals. Poppy Ajudha (Watermelon Man by Hancock), Yazmin Lacey (I'll Never Stop Loving You by Dodo Greene), the Norwegian collective Fieh (Armageddon by Wayne Shorter), trumpet player and singer Emma-Jean Thackray (Speak No Evil / Night Dreamer, also by Shorter) and Jordan Rakei (Wind Parade by Donald Byrd), bring a lightness to the album and showcase real talent. But it’s Jorja Smith who takes first prize by covering the most unusual track on the album, Rose Rouge, the leading single from Frenchman St Germain’s album Tourist (2001), taking lyrics from I want you to get together by Marlena Shaw. All in all, it’s funny that what seems to have influenced these exciting young musicians most on Blue Note Re:imagined is still Herbie Hancock from his Headhunters era, an album that was released by Columbia records, not Blue Note… © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Vocal Jazz - Released April 17, 2020 | Blue Note

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With his sixth album, Gregory Porter excels once again in perfectly blending jazz, soul, rhythm'n'blues, pop and gospel. In addition to being blessed with a voice of pure velvet (so cliché, but so true), the Californian, who knows Great Black Music inside out, is also a real wordsmith. In these troubled times, Gregory Porter's music refreshes and rejuvenates, like on "Revival Song," a sort of neo-gospel hymn that ignites the soul and frees the body. This sense of wellbeing can also be felt when Porter puts on his crooner hat on "If Love Is Overrated" or when he channels his inner Marvin Gaye and George Benson on "Faith In Love." Brilliantly produced by Troy Miller (Laura Mvula, Jamie Cullum, Emili Sandé), All Rise propels the American singer towards greater global recognition, reaching audiences well outside the jazz sphere. © Max Dembo/Qobuz
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Vocal Jazz - Released April 17, 2020 | Blue Note

With his sixth album, Gregory Porter excels once again in perfectly blending jazz, soul, rhythm'n'blues, pop and gospel. In addition to being blessed with a voice of pure velvet (so cliché, but so true), the Californian, who knows Great Black Music inside out, is also a real wordsmith. In these troubled times, Gregory Porter's music refreshes and rejuvenates, like on "Revival Song," a sort of neo-gospel hymn that ignites the soul and frees the body. This sense of wellbeing can also be felt when Porter puts on his crooner hat on "If Love Is Overrated" or when he channels his inner Marvin Gaye and George Benson on "Faith In Love." Brilliantly produced by Troy Miller (Laura Mvula, Jamie Cullum, Emili Sandé), All Rise propels the American singer towards greater global recognition, reaching audiences well outside the jazz sphere. © Max Dembo/Qobuz
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Vocal Jazz - Released April 17, 2020 | Blue Note

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With his sixth album, Gregory Porter excels once again in perfectly blending jazz, soul, rhythm'n'blues, pop and gospel. In addition to being blessed with a voice of pure velvet (so cliché, but so true), the Californian, who knows Great Black Music inside out, is also a real wordsmith. In these troubled times, Gregory Porter's music refreshes and rejuvenates, like on "Revival Song," a sort of neo-gospel hymn that ignites the soul and frees the body. This sense of wellbeing can also be felt when Porter puts on his crooner hat on "If Love Is Overrated" or when he channels his inner Marvin Gaye and George Benson on "Faith In Love." Brilliantly produced by Troy Miller (Laura Mvula, Jamie Cullum, Emili Sandé), All Rise propels the American singer towards greater global recognition, reaching audiences well outside the jazz sphere. © Max Dembo/Qobuz
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Vocal Jazz - Released April 17, 2020 | Blue Note

With his sixth album, Gregory Porter excels once again in perfectly blending jazz, soul, rhythm'n'blues, pop and gospel. In addition to being blessed with a voice of pure velvet (so cliché, but so true), the Californian, who knows Great Black Music inside out, is also a real wordsmith. In these troubled times, Gregory Porter's music refreshes and rejuvenates, like on "Revival Song," a sort of neo-gospel hymn that ignites the soul and frees the body. This sense of wellbeing can also be felt when Porter puts on his crooner hat on "If Love Is Overrated" or when he channels his inner Marvin Gaye and George Benson on "Faith In Love." Brilliantly produced by Troy Miller (Laura Mvula, Jamie Cullum, Emili Sandé), All Rise propels the American singer towards greater global recognition, reaching audiences well outside the jazz sphere. © Max Dembo/Qobuz
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Contemporary Jazz - Released June 12, 2020 | Blue Note

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The three musicians of GoGo Penguin show up for work every day with a simple goal: To bend, twist, prod and occasionally mutilate repetitive musical patterns until they sprout unanticipated polyrhythmic variations. They're improvisers who are alive to whim and impulse as well as the hypnotic pull of recurring loops; one thrill of "Atomised," the jittery opening track of the UK band's 5th album, involves following a simple high-speed arpeggio as it fractures into shards and is reassembled. Like all great jazz trios, GoGo Penguin intuit, together, when to take the next turn and how hard to lean into it. But the three—pianist Chris Illingworth, bassist Nick Blacka, and drummer Rob Turner – are inspired by breakbeat and the surging vistas of Squarepusher and other electronic adventurers. The compositions are rooted in that machine language.The fundamental tension between jazz impulsiveness and electronic order animates everything GoGo Penguin has done since its 2012 debut. Pieces written for the 2019 film Ocean In a Drop arrived at a nicely settled sweet spot between those extremes, and that gets further development on this album – particularly on the buoyant "F Maj Pixie" and the placid, engagingly meditative "Don't Go." The patterns of these pieces, and others here, seem fairly straightforward at the start. But there's dimensionality at work: What begins as the racing recurring thought of a coder who's compulsive about keeping order on the grid might blossom into something beautifully free, singable, even romantic. © Tom Moon/Qobuz
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Contemporary Jazz - Released October 4, 2019 | Blue Note

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Released in 1982, Godfrey Reggio’s documentary Koyaanisqatsi has become a cult classic partly thanks to its famous soundtrack by Philip Glass. Both the work and the composer have hugely influenced pianist Chris Illingworth, bassist Nick Blacka and drummer Rob Turner, to the point that in 2015 the British trio devised their own score for Reggio’s film, which they performed exclusively on stage around the world. That project was the starting point for Ocean In A Drop: Music For Film, a five-track EP that draws from their live compositions for Koyaanisqatsi. At the start, Illingworth had no intention of recording this soundtrack. “People kept asking if we’d release the music as an album, but that didn’t feel right to us. The film has a great score already, but we really enjoyed the project and specifically writing music for film, so that provided the inspiration for Ocean In A Drop. Performing the soundtrack live is hugely demanding, both physically and mentally, and the recording was no different. We recorded the tracks together live like we have with our previous recordings, not overdubbing and layering individual parts together.” The influences from Philip Glass, which are already an integral part of GoGo Penguin’s DNA, are multiplied tenfold here, yet they never suffocate the improvisations or the lyrical and atmospheric melodies found throughout these five beautifully stirring tracks. © Max Dembo/Qobuz
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Contemporary Jazz - Released October 4, 2019 | Blue Note

Released in 1982, Godfrey Reggio’s documentary Koyaanisqatsi has become a cult classic partly thanks to its famous soundtrack by Philip Glass. Both the work and the composer have hugely influenced pianist Chris Illingworth, bassist Nick Blacka and drummer Rob Turner, to the point that in 2015 the British trio devised their own score for Reggio’s film, which they performed exclusively on stage around the world. That project was the starting point for Ocean In A Drop: Music For Film, a five-track EP that draws from their live compositions for Koyaanisqatsi. At the start, Illingworth had no intention of recording this soundtrack. “People kept asking if we’d release the music as an album, but that didn’t feel right to us. The film has a great score already, but we really enjoyed the project and specifically writing music for film, so that provided the inspiration for Ocean In A Drop. Performing the soundtrack live is hugely demanding, both physically and mentally, and the recording was no different. We recorded the tracks together live like we have with our previous recordings, not overdubbing and layering individual parts together.” The influences from Philip Glass, which are already an integral part of GoGo Penguin’s DNA, are multiplied tenfold here, yet they never suffocate the improvisations or the lyrical and atmospheric melodies found throughout these five beautifully stirring tracks. © Max Dembo/Qobuz
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53

Jazz - Released September 27, 2019 | Blue Note

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His fifteenth album is called 53! “Why 53? Simply because I wrote and recorded this music during my 53 rd year, and on this occasion I wanted to make a record that really reflected me. At the age of 53, a man begins to feel he has reached a form of maturity, he is at his peak, and so can look at life with hindsight and see things more clearly. With this record I wanted to give everything of myself, to take risks, while assuming my career, my artistic choices, my life … and my age!” Jacky Terrasson perfectly follows that roadmap on this 15th album as a leader in his 30-year career...Though this time around, the master of covers (“This way that I have to totally take over a piece by passing it through a formal and stylistic deconstruction process that renews how you see the piece. I have always loved indulging in this kind of transformation, it is like my signature in a way.”) opts for his own compositions. We find sixteen tracks that are deliberately shaped like songs and magnified by dense and precise arrangements. Capable of both pyrotechnic flamboyancy and delicate touches, the brilliant Terrasson fills his album with nods towards his idols. We find influences from Keith Jarrett in the aptly named Kiss Jannett for Me, and Ahmad Jamal on the opening of The Call. He also alternates between groovy sounds on the very pop-like This is Mine (after Charlie Chaplin’s theme Smile) and lyrical touches with the ballad La Part des anges. Jacky Terrasson even quotes Mozart on Lacrimosa with an excerpt from his Requiem. Such eclecticism!So as to highlight this kaleidoscopic richness even more, he offers up several rhythmic sections: Géraud Portal/Ali Jackson, Sylvain Romano/Gregory Hutchinson and Thomas Bramerie/Lukmil Perez. A diversity that gives concrete form to the different facets of his compositions. This could well be one of Jacky Terrasson’s greatest records... © Clotilde Maréchal/Qobuz
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53

Jazz - Released September 27, 2019 | Blue Note

His fifteenth album is called 53! “Why 53? Simply because I wrote and recorded this music during my 53 rd year, and on this occasion I wanted to make a record that really reflected me. At the age of 53, a man begins to feel he has reached a form of maturity, he is at his peak, and so can look at life with hindsight and see things more clearly. With this record I wanted to give everything of myself, to take risks, while assuming my career, my artistic choices, my life … and my age!” Jacky Terrasson perfectly follows that roadmap on this 15th album as a leader in his 30-year career...Though this time around, the master of covers (“This way that I have to totally take over a piece by passing it through a formal and stylistic deconstruction process that renews how you see the piece. I have always loved indulging in this kind of transformation, it is like my signature in a way.”) opts for his own compositions. We find sixteen tracks that are deliberately shaped like songs and magnified by dense and precise arrangements. Capable of both pyrotechnic flamboyancy and delicate touches, the brilliant Terrasson fills his album with nods towards his idols. We find influences from Keith Jarrett in the aptly named Kiss Jannett for Me, and Ahmad Jamal on the opening of The Call. He also alternates between groovy sounds on the very pop-like This is Mine (after Charlie Chaplin’s theme Smile) and lyrical touches with the ballad La Part des anges. Jacky Terrasson even quotes Mozart on Lacrimosa with an excerpt from his Requiem. Such eclecticism!So as to highlight this kaleidoscopic richness even more, he offers up several rhythmic sections: Géraud Portal/Ali Jackson, Sylvain Romano/Gregory Hutchinson and Thomas Bramerie/Lukmil Perez. A diversity that gives concrete form to the different facets of his compositions. This could well be one of Jacky Terrasson’s greatest records... © Clotilde Maréchal/Qobuz