Asia - Released January 18, 2019 | Glitterbeat Records

Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama

Rock - Released November 2, 2018 | Columbia - Legacy

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Best New Reissue
For fans of Bob Dylan's wide-ranging Bootleg series, More Blood, More Tracks (Vol. 14) is an entryway into one of the most mysterious, tangled stories in his recording career. These six discs contain the complete recordings sessions for 1975's Blood on the Tracks, 87 tracks in all, the vast majority unreleased. This box assists in offering a view of the process behind one of the songwriter's most enigmatic albums. On September 16 of 1974, Dylan entered Columbia's Studio with engineer Phil Ramone, with songs at once seething with anger, brokenness, and vulnerability. Written and recorded during his eventual divorce from first wife Sara, Dylan shrouds these songs in alliteration and metaphor, stretching time itself as past and present, commingling in numerous locations; they separate and return in new configurations. His protagonists speak in first and third person, often in the same verse. Once encountered, however, they're impossible to shake. Presented here are the complete sessions of the four days in New York, chronologically recorded, and, for the first time at the proper speed (Dylan had Ramone bump the master tape speed to make the tunes faster for radio play), and without the substantial reverb on the original tapes. These tunes were cut in a fit of white-heat inspiration, first by Dylan solo, and then with a band of folk-associated sidemen in Eric Weissberg & Deliverance. By the time you reach discs three through five, all the accompaniment, save for Dylan's guitar, harmonica, Tony Brown's bass, and occasional pedal steel and organ, are stripped away, resulting in what was then thought to be the completed album. Scheduled for late December release with a promotional campaign drafted, printed cover, and test pressings distributed, Dylan wasn't satisfied. Ultimately, he kept only one band track, "Meet Me in the Morning." He spent Christmas in Minnesota with his producer brother David Zimmerman, who was also less than enthused with the tracks. Dylan called his label and insisted on holding the album back. On December 27, he and a band of hastily assembled local players re-recorded five songs to complete Blood on the Tracks (captured on disc six). Since nearly half-a-million copies of the cover were already printed, the Minnesota musicians remained uncredited until now. This is exhaustive but fascinating material that sounds fantastic due to a painstaking remixing job -- nothing here sounds like a rough demo. Check the nine takes of "Idiot Wind," some offer different words, all roil with anger and bitterness. "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go" is gradually revealed as one of Dylan's finest love songs in a dozen more takes. "You're a Big Girl Now," in 15 takes, is peeled away from its sarcasm to reveal a man saddled with regret. Multiple versions of "Tangled Up in Blue," "Lily Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts," and "Simple Twist of Fate" offer proof that there were many versions of the songs before they assumed their final incarnations. Dylan's constant rewriting and creative flow are captured warts and all in false starts, stuttering alternate takes, studio conversation, and flowing inspiration in complete versions. There are hours of fascination awaiting listeners, and the music poses as many new questions as it does answers surrounding the album's mythos. As for the autobiographical nature of the content, it remains, thankfully, unclear. The enclosed photo book is as essential as the liner essays in the deluxe package. By any measure, More Blood, More Tracks is a monumentally important document in the history of popular music and a gem in Dylan's catalog. ~ Thom Jurek

R&B/Soul - Released September 21, 2018 | Warner Bros.

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Pitchfork: Best New Reissue
Two years after his premature death, Prince’s Ali Baba cave has offered up its first treasure. With the aptly named album Piano & A Microphone 1983, it’s with the simplest devices that his art is heard. At only 25 years old, Prince had already released five albums (For You, Prince, Dirty Mind, Controversy and 1999) and was just about to release the album that would turn him into a global star, Purple Rain. The multi-instrumentalist spent his days and nights in the studio and we find him here alone at the piano for a medley of personal compositions and two covers: Joni Mitchell’s A Case Of You and the gospel song Mary Don’t You Weep. The intimate context of this recording only amplifies the intensity of this unpublished work. Just close your eyes and you’ll find yourself alone with Prince… With his elastic voice and skilled playing, the musician from Minneapolis proves to those who doubted him that he was a true artist; both entertainer and composer, showman and improviser. His stripped back version of Purple Rain touches on the sublime and the track Strange Relationship gives an insight into the evolution of his productions, as four years later the track appeared, more muscular this time, on the album Sign o’ the Times. While Piano & A Microphone 1983 may be primarily aimed at Prince fans, novices – if there are any left – will no doubt enjoy discovering this impressive artist. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz

Zouk & Antilles - Released June 22, 2018 | Bongo Joe

Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Indispensable JAZZ NEWS

Maghreb - Released June 15, 2018 | Glitterbeat Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Qobuzissime
An escapee from the collective Bargou 08, Tunisian electro musician Sofyannn Ben Youssef took on the pseudonym Ammar 808 to release his hair-raising first album. As with 808 State, English pioneers of the Manchester acid movement, the name is a reference to the legendary TR 808 drum machine, which was the pride of any electro or hip-hop producer's arsenal in the late 1980s and early 1990s. And while this machine teams up with traditional North African instruments (guembri lute, gasba flute, zukra pipes), it doesn't impose a dominant retro feel on the album. The crafty producer has also brought along a few of the most remarkable voices of the North African scene: his compatriot Cheb Hassen Tej (Ichki lel Bey, El Bidha Wessamra), the Moroccan Mehdi Nassouli (Boganga & Sandia, Layli), found here alongside Titi Robin, and the Algerian Sofiane Saïdi (Zine Ezzine), with whom Ammar 808 pursues a fruitful dialogue, which was begun in the company of Mazalda on the very winning album El Ndjoum. Ammar 808 lines up covers of traditional pieces, but dresses them in futurist combinations. Already excited by the good surprises thrown up by the electro chaabi movement, and by the Acid Arab collective, this Maghreb United shows that in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, clubbers will still be filling the dancefloors. © Benjamin MiNiMuM/Qobuz

Indian Music - Released March 1, 2018 | Ocora Radio-France

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
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Indian Music - Released May 1, 2017 | Ocora Radio-France

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
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R&B/Soul - Released August 21, 2015 | Epic - Legacy

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Reissue
In a way, the Isley Brothers have been taken for granted. Part of that is the group's unwitting doing because they were exceptionally steady. From 1966 through 1983, the Isleys placed at least one single on the Billboard R&B chart each year. They were always present, frequently at or near the top. For an extended period, they were among the most progressive groups, whether they were mixing gospel, soul, and rock, incorporating synthesizers without sacrificing the funk, covering pop hits and often surpassing them, or epitomizing quiet storm. When they retreated from the fore, they adapted with ease. Another factor in their undervalued status is that their vast discography has been reissued in chunks by various sources across the decades. The RCA Victor & T-Neck Album Masters: 1959-1983, released by the Sony catalog's Legacy division, is a corrective measure in the form of a compact 23-disc box set. It doesn't cover the Isleys' brief '60s stints with Wand, United Artists, and Tamla, but it is remarkably generous with dozens of bonus tracks -- mono versions, single edits, instrumentals, and so forth -- and LP-replica sleeves for each album. As an extra enticement for those who dutifully rounded up those late-'90s Legacy and early-2010s BBR reissues, there's Wild in Woodstock, a previously unreleased recording of the Go All the Way-era band performing at Bearsville Studios. Intended for release with overdubbed crowd noise that was thankfully never applied, the set alternates between blistering and gliding and deserves a separate physical issue outside the box. ~ Andy Kellman

Jazz - Released May 29, 2015 | ACT Music

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz

Jazz - Released April 17, 2015 | Deutsche Grammophon ECM

Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz

Rock - Released October 31, 2014 | Columbia - Legacy

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Grammy Awards

Jazz - Released April 29, 2014 | Capitol Records, LLC

Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Sélection JAZZ NEWS

Blues - Released January 31, 2014 | Columbia - Legacy

Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Indispensable JAZZ NEWS
When white blues guitarist Michael Bloomfield was found dead at 37 of a drug overdose in his 1965 Chevy in 1981 in San Francisco, he was no more than a rock footnote to most people, having never had the kind of fame and adulation given to guitar peers like Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, and Jimi Hendrix, although he surely influenced all of these players with his sharp improvisational skills and his exciting, and admittedly sometimes erratic, performances. While most guitarists of his generation learned the elements of blues guitar playing from records, Bloomfield, who grew up in North Chicago, learned them first-hand by playing with the likes of B.B. King, Albert King, Freddie King, Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Big Joe Williams, and others in Chicago's gritty blues clubs, and skin color meant nothing to Bloomfield at a time when it seemed to mean everything to everyone else in America. His first bands, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Electric Flag, were racially mixed blues powerhouses, fusing the blues with jazz, R&B, psychedelia, and seemingly everything else under the sun, and like Bloomfield, both of those bands are woefully underappreciated. Bloomfield was also a much in-demand session player, playing guitar at Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited sessions and adding his energy and guitar licks to projects by Muddy Waters, Janis Joplin, and many others. His solo albums were strange, eccentric, occasionally brilliant, and never sold well. This set, produced and curated by longtime collaborator Al Kooper, is the first overarching survey of Bloomfield's woefully short career, containing three music discs, Roots, Jams, and Last Licks, with a DVD disc of Bob Sarles' documentary Sweet Blues: A Film about Michael Bloomfield rounding out the set. It's a must for any Bloomfield fan, and hopefully will open the gates to a renewed appreciation for this brilliant, manic, and groundbreaking guitarist. ~ Steve Leggett

World - Released November 18, 2013 | world village

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Hi-Res Audio

Jazz - Released April 26, 2013 | ACT Music

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - The Qobuz Standard - Hi-Res Audio

Jazz - Released September 21, 2012 | Deutsche Grammophon ECM

Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Indispensable JAZZ NEWS - Hi-Res Audio

Jazz - Released January 1, 2010 | Blue Note Records

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
Yeah, Cassandra Wilson is a jazz singer, but she’s a 21st century jazz singer, mixing elements of jazz, pop, rock, Delta blues, and light funk into her performances, expanding what a jazz vocalist can be in a contemporary world with her horn player phrasing, smoky texture, and a voice that has matured into a haunting, sensual alto. She tackles some jazz standards, but she’s also adept at taking modern rock and old country-blues songs and finding a way to make them into new jazz standards, fully aware that she’s pushing boundaries in a genre that all too often plays it safe these days. Silver Pony is a delight, with a light, shimmering sound that makes each track feel like it’s part of a deliberate yet spontaneous fabric. Wilson and her band (Wilson on vocals and synthesizer, Marvin Sewell on electric guitar, Jonathan Batiste on piano, Reginald Veal on electric bass, Herlin Riley on drums, and Lekan Babalola on percussion; Ravi Coltrane adds saxophone on “Silver Moon” and John Legend adds vocals and piano on “Watch the Sunrise”) recorded live improvisations at European concerts in Warsaw, Seville, and Granada and brought them into the studio to expand and work on with producer John Fischbach, resulting in several new songs, and with a handful of carefully picked songs by writers as diverse as Charley Patton (“Saddle Up My Pony”), Stevie Wonder (“If It’s Magic”) and Paul McCartney (“Blackbird”), and with a couple of stone-cold jazz standards (Billie Holiday’s “Lover Come Back to Me” and the traditional “Went Down to St. James Infirmary”) to fill in the spaces, Wilson and her band have created a wonderful and almost seamless set of music that explores a lot of territory and yet still keeps its cohesiveness. ~ Steve Leggett

R&B - Released January 1, 2010 | EMI Gospel - Tell It Productions (TIP)

Distinctions 4F de Télérama

Folk/Americana - Released January 1, 1968 | Craft Recordings

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama