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Jazz - Released June 16, 2015 | Blue Note (BLU)

Hi-Res Distinctions Sélection JAZZ NEWS
Four months after winning his second Grammy Award in the R&B category for Black Radio 2, pianist Robert Glasper re-assembles the acoustic jazz trio that played on his first two Blue Note recordings. Bassist Vicente Archer and drummer Damion Reid assist the pianist in a live audience recording from Capitol's famed Studio A. Covered is far from a return to an acoustic piano trio for Glasper. Instead, it's an acoustic approach to the directions he employed on his early Blue Note dates, and the R&B and hip-hop engagements on Black Radio. With the redo of "I Don't Even Care," Black Radio 2 commences with a nearly elliptical air, but Reid's skittering snare creates a dance rhythm while Archer's bassline plays the changes and tastefully fills Glasper's ever widening melodic circle. With post-bop flourishes, he nonetheless remains close to the harmonic center, uncovering its richness in the process. The rhythm section's intro to Radiohead's "Reckoner" is lithe and almost funky before Glasper uses the melody's limited palette as a circular, restrained, yet emotionally moving exploration of its possibilities. The album's centerpiece is the 13-minute "In Case You Forgot." It begins with a knotty, angular solo piano intro (check "Silly Rabbit" from 2007's In My Element), with single-note syncopations and mid-register arpeggios cascading around a four-note bassline with classical embellishments. When the rhythm section enters, they weave jazz standards and modern pop songs together -- from Freddie Hubbard's "Up Jumped Spring" and Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time" to Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me," among others -- with sharp, sudden cuts from Glasper before they all climb headlong into their own sprint. Scattered throughout the set is Glasper's sincere but wry dialogue with his audience. A considerable strength from the trio is their ability to translate the appeal of neo-soul ballads such as Musiq (Soulchild)'s "So Beautiful," Jhené Aiko's "The Worst," and Bilal's "Levels" as jazz, even equating them with standards. An example is "Stella by Starlight," whose canny arrangement simultaneously celebrates, decodes, and cracks open Bill Evans' lyricism atop triple-timed brushed snare -- think drum'n'bass -- and a bumping bassline. Harry Belafonte delivers an earnest, grainy, proud and poignant spoken word appearance on "Got Over." Set closer "I'm Dying of Thirst" offers a shadowy melody to a Latin-tinged tom-tom and bass groove as a children's chorus recites the names of African-Americans shot by police; it results in a statement of dignity and self-determination. Glasper's piano alternates between contemplative vamp and haunting elegy before it whispers to a finish. Covered may be a return to the acoustic piano trio, but cedes none of the ground gained by the Black Radio albums. This is Glasper refusing to be reined in by any format or artistic desire but his own. This set is welcoming, open, and warm: it invites fans of all of his musical pursuits along for the ride. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released June 1, 2015 | Decca (UMO)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Sélection JAZZ NEWS
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Vocal Jazz - Released June 1, 2015 | Decca (UMO)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Sélection JAZZ NEWS
On 2012's The Absence, Melody Gardot made her first shift away from the jazz-tinged ballads that drew such heavy comparisons to Norah Jones and Madeleine Peyroux. Lushly orchestrated, it was chock-full of songs inspired by Brazilian, Latin, and French forms. On Currency of Man, Gardot takes on a rootsier sound, embracing West Coast soul, funk, gospel, and pop from the early '70s as the backdrop for these songs. It is not only different musically, but lyrically. This is a less "personal" record; its songs were deeply influenced by the people she encountered in L.A., many of them street denizens. She tells their stories and reflects on themes of social justice. It's wide angle. Produced by Larry Klein, the cast includes members of her band, crack session players -- guitarist Dean Parks, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, Larry Goldings, the Waters Sisters, et al. -- and strings and horns. The title track is a funky blues with a rumbling bassline, dramatic strings (à la Motown) and fat horns. Gardot uses the lens of Sam Cooke to testify to the inevitability of change: "We all hopin’ for the day that the powers see abdication and run/Said it gonna come…." First single "Preacherman" is similar, employing a wrangling, smoldering blues that indicts racism in the 20st century by referring to the violent death of Emmett Till, a catalyst in the then-emergent Civil Rights movement. A driving B-3, saxophone, and menacing lead guitar ratchet up the tension to explosive. A gospel chorus mournfully affirms Gardot's vocal as a harmonica moans in the background. "Morning Sun" and closer "Once I Was Loved" are tender ballads that emerge from simple, hymn-like themes and quietly resonant with conviction. "Same to You" evokes the spirit of Dusty Springfield atop the punchy horns from her Memphis period, albeit with a West Coast sheen. The nylon-string guitar in "Don't Misunderstand" recalls Bill Withers' earthy funkiness. The song's a groover, but it's also a warning to a possessive lover. "Don't Talk" uses spooky polyrhythms (à la Tom Waits) as brooding, spacy slide guitars, B-3, and backing singers slice through forbidding blues under Gardot's voice. "If Ever I Recall Your Face" is jazzier, a 21st century take on the film noir ballad with glorious strings arranged by Clément Ducol that rise above a ghostly piano. "Bad News" simultaneously looks back at L.A.'s Central Avenue and burlesque scenes. It's a jazz-blues with a sauntering horn section, snaky electric guitar, and squawking saxophone solo. Vocally, Gardot is stronger than ever here, her instrument is bigger and fuller yet it retains that spectral smokiness that is her trademark. Currency of Man is a further step away from the lithe, winsome pop-jazz that garnered her notice initially, and it's a welcome one. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released June 1, 2015 | La Buissonne

Hi-Res Distinctions Sélection JAZZ NEWS
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Jazz - Released May 26, 2015 | Nonesuch

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Sélection JAZZ NEWS
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Jazz - Released May 25, 2015 | Sunnyside

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Contemporary Jazz - Released May 19, 2015 | Bonsaï Music

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Contemporary Jazz - Released May 18, 2015 | Gaya Music Production

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Jazz - Released May 8, 2015 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica - Sélection JAZZ NEWS - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
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Jazz - Released May 4, 2015 | jazz&people

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Sélection JAZZ NEWS
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Contemporary Jazz - Released April 27, 2015 | Onjazz Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Sélection JAZZ NEWS
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Africa - Released April 24, 2015 | Glitterbeat Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Sélection JAZZ NEWS
"No matter how intricate his finger-work or deep his Griot knowledge, plugged-in Kouyaté retains an admirably grimy tone, meaning lute-player or no, he belongs within the very top ranks of contemporary proponents of electric African guitar..." © TiVo
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Jazz - Released April 17, 2015 | ECM

Distinctions Sélection JAZZ NEWS - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
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Jazz - Released April 17, 2015 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Sélection JAZZ NEWS - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
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Jazz - Released April 17, 2015 | ECM

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Jazz - Released April 10, 2015 | Okeh

Distinctions Sélection JAZZ NEWS - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
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Jazz - Released April 10, 2015 | Okeh

Hi-Res Distinctions Sélection JAZZ NEWS
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Jazz Fusion & Jazz Rock - Released April 7, 2015 | Wide Hive Records

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Jazz - Released April 7, 2015 | Blue Note (BLU)

Hi-Res Distinctions Sélection JAZZ NEWS - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
Named after Wayne Shorter's classic composition "Footprints," the Joe Lovano and Dave Douglas quintet Sound Prints is a collaborative ensemble born out of the duo's involvement in the 2008 SFJAZZ Collective's tribute concert to legendary jazz saxophonist Shorter. Inspired to continue the creative spark they ignited at that event, saxophonist Lovano and trumpeter Douglas conceived of a group that would play original compositions, as well as new material from Shorter. The group's 2015 concert album, Sound Prints: Live at Monterey Jazz Festival, showcases their debut appearance at the famed jazz event. Joining Lovano and Douglas here are pianist Lawrence Fields, bassist Linda Oh, and drummer Joey Baron. That each of these musicians could easily lead their own band only adds to Sound Prints' depth as an ensemble. However, rather than coming off as a jazz supergroup, Sound Prints feel like an organic unit of like-minded individuals working toward creating something new. Along with the palpable Shorter influence, they also recall the ruminative experimentalism of the late trumpeter Kenny Wheeler and his 5tet from the early '90s. To these ends, cuts like the fractured title track and the rambunctious, stream of conscious "Weatherman," combine the free bop of Ornette Coleman's '60s quartet with the expressive earthiness of Douglas' own work with his Tiny Bell Trio. Similarly, the evocative, bluesy "Spirits" brings to mind late-'60s Miles Davis, while the Latin-esque "Power Ranger" recalls latter-day John Coltrane. Elsewhere, Douglas and Lovano deliver two previously unheard Shorter pieces with the sultry, introspective "To Sail Beyond the Sunset" and the languid "Destination Unknown." Ultimately, Sound Prints walk the line between muscular, tangible post-bop and free-flowing, avant-garde playing; a tantalizing dance that never fails to leave an impression. © Matt Collar /TiVo
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Jazz - Released April 6, 2015 | jazz&people

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Sélection JAZZ NEWS