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12 Stars

Melissa Aldana

Jazz - Verschijnt op 4 maart 2022 | Blue Note Records

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Motherland Journey

Blue Lab Beats

Soul/Funk/R&B - Verschenen op 25 februari 2002 | Blue Note Records

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Every Note Is True

Ethan Iverson

Jazz - Verschijnt op 11 februari 2022 | Blue Note Records

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The 7th Hand

Immanuel Wilkins

Moderne jazz - Verschijnt op 28 januari 2022 | Blue Note Records

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First Flight To Tokyo: The Lost 1961 Recordings

Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers

Jazz - Verschenen op 10 december 2021 | Blue Note Records

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In 1961, Art Blakey did his first tour of Japan with his then-current lineup of the Jazz Messengers. It was a young crew of players—Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter, Bobby Timmons, and Jymie Merritt were all in their early 20s, while Blakey was comparatively an elder statesman at 42—and the group only been together for a little more than a year with just two albums (The Big Beat and A Night in Tunisia) under their belt. This two-week tour could have been a straight cash grab, with Blakey and the band giving jazz-starved Japanese audiences a well-mannered and highly competent run through a collection of straight-ahead bop standards. It quickly became clear that—thanks to the enthusiastic reactions of crowds at every single tour stop—they had considerable license to let things rip. And indeed they did. The engaged energy of the crowd fed the players on stage and the result was, as documented on this previously unreleased recording from a Tokyo concert at the end of the tour, some near-electric performances. Instead of acting like ambassadors, the band here is acting more like explorers, taking the crowds' deep and informed affection for jazz as a license to walk with them into some new terrain that was truly transitioning from the bop era. This set opens with a rambling, jaunty version of Charlie Parker's "Now's the Time" that goes on for 20-plus minutes. Far from a hoary old chestnut being brought out to warm up the audience, it kicks off the show with a lengthy and intense solo from Blakey that is followed up with some expansive and exploratory interplay between Shorter and Morgan. The tone is set for the rest of the show, which runs a warm, but inquisitive vibe through a number of standards. Timmons' piano work shines so brightly on "'Round About Midnight," as one would expect, but near the last third, his keyboard work gives way to some near-cosmic playing from Morgan that totally reshapes the character of Monk's standard. There's a great balance in the set between solos and communicative group improvisation, but there's no mistake that Blakey is the leader, as he not only clocks the most spotlight time, but also provides the necessary bridge between jazz's past and future. And while he's obviously not digging into the same vibes he would in the late '60s and early '70s with albums like Roots and Herbs and The Witch Doctor, it's also clearly a few evolutionary clicks beyond the Messengers' name-making work from the late '50s. Worth noting: although the sound quality here is not quite audiophile-level (it's a little thin in places, especially—and unfortunately—on low end/percussion), for a "found" recording, the fidelity is nonetheless rich and transportive. © Jason Ferguson/Qobuz
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First Flight To Tokyo: The Lost 1961 Recordings

Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers

Jazz - Verschenen op 10 december 2021 | Blue Note Records

In 1961, Art Blakey did his first tour of Japan with his then-current lineup of the Jazz Messengers. It was a young crew of players—Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter, Bobby Timmons, and Jymie Merritt were all in their early 20s, while Blakey was comparatively an elder statesman at 42—and the group only been together for a little more than a year with just two albums (The Big Beat and A Night in Tunisia) under their belt. This two-week tour could have been a straight cash grab, with Blakey and the band giving jazz-starved Japanese audiences a well-mannered and highly competent run through a collection of straight-ahead bop standards. It quickly became clear that—thanks to the enthusiastic reactions of crowds at every single tour stop—they had considerable license to let things rip. And indeed they did. The engaged energy of the crowd fed the players on stage and the result was, as documented on this previously unreleased recording from a Tokyo concert at the end of the tour, some near-electric performances. Instead of acting like ambassadors, the band here is acting more like explorers, taking the crowds' deep and informed affection for jazz as a license to walk with them into some new terrain that was truly transitioning from the bop era. This set opens with a rambling, jaunty version of Charlie Parker's "Now's the Time" that goes on for 20-plus minutes. Far from a hoary old chestnut being brought out to warm up the audience, it kicks off the show with a lengthy and intense solo from Blakey that is followed up with some expansive and exploratory interplay between Shorter and Morgan. The tone is set for the rest of the show, which runs a warm, but inquisitive vibe through a number of standards. Timmons' piano work shines so brightly on "'Round About Midnight," as one would expect, but near the last third, his keyboard work gives way to some near-cosmic playing from Morgan that totally reshapes the character of Monk's standard. There's a great balance in the set between solos and communicative group improvisation, but there's no mistake that Blakey is the leader, as he not only clocks the most spotlight time, but also provides the necessary bridge between jazz's past and future. And while he's obviously not digging into the same vibes he would in the late '60s and early '70s with albums like Roots and Herbs and The Witch Doctor, it's also clearly a few evolutionary clicks beyond the Messengers' name-making work from the late '50s. Worth noting: although the sound quality here is not quite audiophile-level (it's a little thin in places, especially—and unfortunately—on low end/percussion), for a "found" recording, the fidelity is nonetheless rich and transportive. © Jason Ferguson/Qobuz
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I Dream Of Christmas

Norah Jones

Kerstmuziek - Verschenen op 3 december 2021 | Blue Note Records

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Christmas music, which first became a common move for singers back in the 1950s, continues to exert a mystical pull on musicians from punk rockers to pop/jazz luminaries like Norah Jones. There are two paths to making a Christmas record: cover the classics or write your own tunes. Given that Christmas music is built on impossibly catchy one-hit wonders, and the list of successful songwriters includes such talents as Irving Berlin ("White Christmas"), Leroy Anderson ("Sleigh Ride") and Johnny Marks ("Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer"), the bar is high if you're banging out originals. On the other hand, presenting your version of the classics is equally daunting considering that you're following heavyweights like Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, and Elvis Presley. Norah Jones decided to split the risk by molding classics into her style while also writing half an album of new Christmas originals. Twenty years past her early but still resonant hits like "Don't Know Why," and "Turn Me On" (both from blockbuster debut Come Away with Me) Jones makes her mark on the genre with the five tunes she penned, sometimes in collaboration with album producer Leon Michels. The single, a Jones original called "Christmas Calling (Jolly Jones)," is an enjoyably melodic holiday number. Her gospel-inflected "You're Not Alone" unfurls like a classic '60s country tune with an assembly of overdubs providing angelic vocals on the choruses and a pedal steel guitar ringing in the background. Pedal steel returns on "Winter Wonderland" where a synth sounds like timbales. The champ among the classics attempted, however, is "Christmas Don't Be Late" which gets a wonderfully slow, torchy arrangement. Memorable details include the oozy horns of Raymond Mason, Dave Guy and Leon Michels, the snare drum reverb, and Jones—singing her own harmonies—leaning into the "hula hoop" line. Vince Guaraldi's "Christmas Time Is Here," famous from the Peanuts cartoon, is a natural fit for Jones' piano-and-voice prowess. Berlin's "White Christmas'' gets a straight mid tempo cocktail jazz reading with Jones keeping up a brisk pace. On the other hand, the Elvis chestnut, "Blue Christmas'' gets an ultra-slow reading with Jones on piano and vocals, letting her impeccably tight vibrato stretch over this holiday lament. The other favorite that Jones makes her own is "Run Rudolph Run," best known as Chuck Berry's Christmas hit, which here benefits from a deep rhumba beat and reverb on her doubled vocals. Ever the mercurial talent, Jones' holiday dream is a worthy addition to the Christmas lexicon that's merry and bright and yet innovative where it counts. © Robert Baird/Qobuz
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I Dream Of Christmas

Norah Jones

Kerstmuziek - Verschenen op 3 december 2021 | Blue Note Records

Christmas music, which first became a common move for singers back in the 1950s, continues to exert a mystical pull on musicians from punk rockers to pop/jazz luminaries like Norah Jones. There are two paths to making a Christmas record: cover the classics or write your own tunes. Given that Christmas music is built on impossibly catchy one-hit wonders, and the list of successful songwriters includes such talents as Irving Berlin ("White Christmas"), Leroy Anderson ("Sleigh Ride") and Johnny Marks ("Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer"), the bar is high if you're banging out originals. On the other hand, presenting your version of the classics is equally daunting considering that you're following heavyweights like Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, and Elvis Presley. Norah Jones decided to split the risk by molding classics into her style while also writing half an album of new Christmas originals. Twenty years past her early but still resonant hits like "Don't Know Why," and "Turn Me On" (both from blockbuster debut Come Away with Me) Jones makes her mark on the genre with the five tunes she penned, sometimes in collaboration with album producer Leon Michels. The single, a Jones original called "Christmas Calling (Jolly Jones)," is an enjoyably melodic holiday number. Her gospel-inflected "You're Not Alone" unfurls like a classic '60s country tune with an assembly of overdubs providing angelic vocals on the choruses and a pedal steel guitar ringing in the background. Pedal steel returns on "Winter Wonderland" where a synth sounds like timbales. The champ among the classics attempted, however, is "Christmas Don't Be Late" which gets a wonderfully slow, torchy arrangement. Memorable details include the oozy horns of Raymond Mason, Dave Guy and Leon Michels, the snare drum reverb, and Jones—singing her own harmonies—leaning into the "hula hoop" line. Vince Guaraldi's "Christmas Time Is Here," famous from the Peanuts cartoon, is a natural fit for Jones' piano-and-voice prowess. Berlin's "White Christmas'' gets a straight mid tempo cocktail jazz reading with Jones keeping up a brisk pace. On the other hand, the Elvis chestnut, "Blue Christmas'' gets an ultra-slow reading with Jones on piano and vocals, letting her impeccably tight vibrato stretch over this holiday lament. The other favorite that Jones makes her own is "Run Rudolph Run," best known as Chuck Berry's Christmas hit, which here benefits from a deep rhumba beat and reverb on her doubled vocals. Ever the mercurial talent, Jones' holiday dream is a worthy addition to the Christmas lexicon that's merry and bright and yet innovative where it counts. © Robert Baird/Qobuz
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Emanation

Immanuel Wilkins

Jazz - Verschenen op 1 december 2021 | Blue Note Records

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Emanation

Immanuel Wilkins

Jazz - Verschenen op 1 december 2021 | Blue Note Records

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Deciphering The Message

Makaya McCraven

Jazz - Verschenen op 19 november 2021 | Blue Note Records

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Bebop jazz remix albums are nothing new. In fact when it comes to the revered Blue Note catalog, it's been plumbed by remixers a number of times in recent years since Don Was took over as label president. As trendy an idea as it is, remixing or more accurately making new albums out of the raw materials provided by a catalog as illustrious as Blue Note's is a delicate dance. To succeed you must stay respectful of the sources while adding to their legacy and making music that, as drummer/remixer Makaya McCraven puts it, "people can vibe to." There's even an underlying educational element to these remixes. If the beat scientist generation hears a track with Lee Morgan's trumpet or Hank Mobley's tenor sax, perhaps this will pique enough curiosity to explore the original records. An edge that McCraven has over straight remixers who may only be manipulating laptops is that he can add live instrumental tracks to samples of the original recordings. With the octet he's assembled—vibraphonist Joel Ross, trumpeter Marquis Hill, alto saxophonist Greg Ward, guitarists Matt Gold and Jeff Parker, bassist Junius Paul, and De'Sean Jones on tenor saxophone and flute—McCraven can control, accentuate and reshape the core rhythms of the older recordings, guiding the remix with live drums and percussion. His method is intricate and controversial, often working best when just he and a few extra instrumentalists contribute. A track like "Wail Bait," written by Quincy Jones and originally played by an all-star group of boppers including trumpeter Clifford Brown, pianist John Lewis and drummer Art Blakey, now has Brown's horn and Blakey's drums opening before McCraven's drums enter and then Jones' flute, Ross' vibraphone and McCraven on guitar take over the tune. In Kenny Burrell's version of "Autumn in New York," here called "Spring in Chicago," his original guitar part meshes beautifully with the added flute and vibes. The massed female voices present in the original of Eddie Gale's "Black Rhythm Happening" are seamlessly joined by drummer McCraven and Jones on tenor sax and flute on a remix of the same name. While Jack Wilson's "Frank's Tune," now called "De'Jeff's Tune," 'ventures a long way from the original with added keyboards and flute, it does have one of McCraven's wisest touches—spoken introductions from original Blue Note records, in this case by Blakey. Adding fresh grooves to classic jazz has uncovered new messages in venerated vessels. © Robert Baird/Qobuz
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Deciphering The Message

Makaya McCraven

Jazz - Verschenen op 19 november 2021 | Blue Note Records

Bebop jazz remix albums are nothing new. In fact when it comes to the revered Blue Note catalog, it's been plumbed by remixers a number of times in recent years since Don Was took over as label president. As trendy an idea as it is, remixing or more accurately making new albums out of the raw materials provided by a catalog as illustrious as Blue Note's is a delicate dance. To succeed you must stay respectful of the sources while adding to their legacy and making music that, as drummer/remixer Makaya McCraven puts it, "people can vibe to." There's even an underlying educational element to these remixes. If the beat scientist generation hears a track with Lee Morgan's trumpet or Hank Mobley's tenor sax, perhaps this will pique enough curiosity to explore the original records. An edge that McCraven has over straight remixers who may only be manipulating laptops is that he can add live instrumental tracks to samples of the original recordings. With the octet he's assembled—vibraphonist Joel Ross, trumpeter Marquis Hill, alto saxophonist Greg Ward, guitarists Matt Gold and Jeff Parker, bassist Junius Paul, and De'Sean Jones on tenor saxophone and flute—McCraven can control, accentuate and reshape the core rhythms of the older recordings, guiding the remix with live drums and percussion. His method is intricate and controversial, often working best when just he and a few extra instrumentalists contribute. A track like "Wail Bait," written by Quincy Jones and originally played by an all-star group of boppers including trumpeter Clifford Brown, pianist John Lewis and drummer Art Blakey, now has Brown's horn and Blakey's drums opening before McCraven's drums enter and then Jones' flute, Ross' vibraphone and McCraven on guitar take over the tune. In Kenny Burrell's version of "Autumn in New York," here called "Spring in Chicago," his original guitar part meshes beautifully with the added flute and vibes. The massed female voices present in the original of Eddie Gale's "Black Rhythm Happening" are seamlessly joined by drummer McCraven and Jones on tenor sax and flute on a remix of the same name. While Jack Wilson's "Frank's Tune," now called "De'Jeff's Tune," 'ventures a long way from the original with added keyboards and flute, it does have one of McCraven's wisest touches—spoken introductions from original Blue Note records, in this case by Blakey. Adding fresh grooves to classic jazz has uncovered new messages in venerated vessels. © Robert Baird/Qobuz
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Street Of Dreams

Bill Charlap Trio

Jazz - Verschenen op 12 november 2021 | Blue Note Records

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Classy and discreet, Bill Charlap will never make headlines in the jazz press. That just wouldn't fit with the house style for this pianist, who is focused on passing on and celebrating a kind of eternal jazz. Charlap is one of those masters of his instrument who can take a standard that has been recorded thousands of times and turn it into a refined and refined miniature. An enchanted interlude of relentless swing and well-balanced improvisation. Billy Strayhorn's Day Dream, Michel Legrand's What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life? and Dave Brubeck's The Duke, all make this Street of Dreams as comforting as (beware of cliché!) a glass of single malt sipped by the fire at the end of the evening... With his usual rhythm section made up of Californian bassist Peter Washington and the incredibly precise New York drummer Kenny Washington, Charlap shows off his ability to make this piano-bass-drums trio sing with one voice. Elegant, sophisticated and magical, his band, which he founded in 1997, is not seeking to launch any revolutions, or to bring down any walls. It is in their economy of notes, in the grain of the rhythm and in their way of approaching the melodies like watercolour paintings that Bill Charlap and the Washingtons have always managed to stand out from the crowd; and this high-quality album is no different. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Street Of Dreams

Bill Charlap Trio

Jazz - Verschenen op 12 november 2021 | Blue Note Records

Classy and discreet, Bill Charlap will never make headlines in the jazz press. That just wouldn't fit with the house style for this pianist, who is focused on passing on and celebrating a kind of eternal jazz. Charlap is one of those masters of his instrument who can take a standard that has been recorded thousands of times and turn it into a refined and refined miniature. An enchanted interlude of relentless swing and well-balanced improvisation. Billy Strayhorn's Day Dream, Michel Legrand's What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life? and Dave Brubeck's The Duke, all make this Street of Dreams as comforting as (beware of cliché!) a glass of single malt sipped by the fire at the end of the evening... With his usual rhythm section made up of Californian bassist Peter Washington and the incredibly precise New York drummer Kenny Washington, Charlap shows off his ability to make this piano-bass-drums trio sing with one voice. Elegant, sophisticated and magical, his band, which he founded in 1997, is not seeking to launch any revolutions, or to bring down any walls. It is in their economy of notes, in the grain of the rhythm and in their way of approaching the melodies like watercolour paintings that Bill Charlap and the Washingtons have always managed to stand out from the crowd; and this high-quality album is no different. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Quiet Like A Fuse

Julian Lage

Jazz - Verschenen op 5 november 2021 | Blue Note Records

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Quiet Like A Fuse

Julian Lage

Jazz - Verschenen op 5 november 2021 | Blue Note Records

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Homeward Bound

Johnathan Blake

Jazz - Verschenen op 29 oktober 2021 | Blue Note Records

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Homeward Bound

Johnathan Blake

Jazz - Verschenen op 29 oktober 2021 | Blue Note Records

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A Night In Tunisia

Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers

Jazz - Verschenen op 22 oktober 2021 | Blue Note Records

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A Night In Tunisia

Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers

Jazz - Verschenen op 22 oktober 2021 | Blue Note Records

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Blue Note Records in het magazine