Albums

Jazz - Released January 11, 2019 | JMS Productions

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91 years old and still loves... to play? On his album Improvised Stories (Words and Music), Martial Solal shows us the rules of the game, the rules of his game: "I improvised about twenty pieces, rather short ones, each one inspired by a name or a few words written on 52 small squares of paper picked out of a hat. All I had to do was close my eyes and pick one, and that would be my starting point. The whole thing was recorded in a single take, which explains why there are some repetitions and some wild, unexpected pieces... I played the same way I would at home in the morning, just wandering around on the keyboard." The result shows how Solal is a modest master of jazz piano, or just the piano full stop. Each piece lasting from one to five minutes, these delicious sequences don’t only tell the story of a musician, a city, an instrument, a track or whatever, but most of all the story of Solal himself. And as usual with his recordings, some of his younger colleagues would be wise to listen to these wonderfully fresh and incredibly intelligent improvisations. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released October 19, 2018 | Gazebo

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Eric Le Lann and Paul Lay return to the roots of jazz here. THE root even. With Thanks a Million the trumpeter and pianist embark on a pilgrimage to planet Louis Armstrong. They obviously aren’t the first to celebrate and pay homage to this brilliant music, but their refined approach deserves respect. Besides the wonderful elegance in their interpretations of these pieces, Le Lann and Lay display a fascinating knack for complicity, putting their own original spin on the pieces (which have been heard many times over). With some great piano/trumpet duos this album is a superb Paso Doble that closes with Farewell to Louis, an original composition that’s drenched in melancholy. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released October 12, 2018 | Sunnyside

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Even if the Oblique Quartet are moving forward together, Dave Liebman looks like a leader. The fact that his name appears on more than 300 albums and his CV includes “freelancing” for Miles Davis and Elvin Jones, to name but a few, gives an indication to the calibre of this saxophonist from Brooklyn. Fortunately for Liebman, who is now 72 years of age, he quickly succeeded in establishing his own name away from his famous employers. He is joined by pianist Marc Copland, double-bassist Drew Gress and drummer Michael Stephans, who is in fact the real mastermind behind this quartet and adds a Coltrane-esque air to a repertoire essentially comprising of classics, three of which are written by Miles (Nardis, All Blues and So What) and one by Duke (In a Sentimental Mood). Recorded live at the Deer Head Inn in Delawere Water Gap, Pennsylvania, this is a wonderful array of improvisations that were never very well-known or acclaimed. A real instrumental whirlwind to be experienced right the way through in one go. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Contemporary Jazz - Released October 5, 2018 | TRAIN FANTOME

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It takes guts to name your album L’Odyssée. But Fred Pallem has always been a real jazz adventurer, never happy to let the genre just run its cause... And his 2018 release is yet another daring and dense piece of work, built around strong rhythms and delicious arrangements. Here, Pallem, alongside his trusty Sacre du Tympan creates some layered pieces, often very funky and very filmic. Nothing surprising there, when you think of his 2017 album Soul Cinema about blaxploitation and his homage to François de Roubaix published the previous year, two records which have rubbed off on Odyssée. The Odyssée experience is like watching a spoof film that's part thriller, part comedy, with a sort of 70s vintage feel to it. The arrangements are precise and well crafted and the soloist parts are always very original. © Max Dembo/Qobuz
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Contemporary Jazz - Released September 21, 2018 | Label Bleu

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Jazz - Released August 31, 2018 | ACT Music

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama
To say that Vincent Peirani shook the world of jazz accordion is an understatement... In 2015, his album Living Being further broke down the preconceptions of the instrument. "I wanted to start my own band, in which I needed to feel confident", explained the accordionist. I wanted to feel like a "family". That’s why I got in touch with four musicians who are good friends of mine". Peirani teamed up with Emile Parisien, his partner from the duo Belle Epoque, as well as the bassist Julien Herné, the drummer Yoann Serra and the keyboardist Tony Paeleman... The compositions by Peirani and the covers of Michel Portal and Jeff Buckley make Living Being an incredibly holistic album. These young musicians succeed in closing the gap that sometimes exists between composition and improvisation. Vincent Peirani's writing is touching and imaginative yet also surprising and elusive. The accordionist is from a generation that draws its inspiration from various musical sources, hence the albums’ richness. Three years later, with the same group members, Living Being II (Night Walker) is also wonderfully rich. Peirani also includes four covers alongside his eight compositions: Bang Bang by Sonny Bono, What Power Art Thou, an extract from King Arthur by Purcell and two hits by Led Zeppelin, Kashmir and Stairway To Heaven. His approach towards this atypical choice of covers is fascinating, as is the way in which his instrument adapts the score of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. Living Being II (Night Walker) is principally the success of a group who are in perfect equilibrium. Osmosis at its best. © Max Dembo/Qobuz

Vocal Jazz - Released April 6, 2018 | ODIN

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Jazz - Released April 6, 2018 | Okeh

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Qobuzissime
They knew what they were doing when they named this record Nordub. Nor for North, represented here by Nils Petter Molvaer. In 1997, when the label ECM brought out the stunning album Khmer, this Norwegian trumpeter shook the jazz world by bringing electronic music into his atmospheric musical world. Nor is also his fellow countryman, guitarist Eivind Aarset and Finnish electro-tinkerer and DJ Vladislav Delay. As for the three letters of Dub, they stand for the genre's most classic duo: Sly Dunbar on drums and bassist Robbie Shakespeare. In 2016, this motley crew made up of the Jamaican tandem and Nils Petter Molvaer hit the stage. It was quite a warm-up for their studio session in Oslo. In essence, Molvaer's world has always been a hybrid, bringing together textures that were never exclusively jazz. His playing style uses different atmospheric controls without ever losing the creative strength of his improvisations or compositions. Here, the trumpeter even works his way into the unique Sly & Robbie sound with a perfectly natural air. And that is surely the strength of Nordub. No-one takes over, or tries to overpower the other. The fusion is total, and sincere. We even feel that our two old Jamaican long-distance travellers have strayed out of their normal comfort zone to take part actively in this music as it takes shape. Just like Aarset and Delay's work, every part is a vital component of the final result. Together, our five sound adventurers produce a fine symphony of truly singular dub and jazz. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released March 23, 2018 | Columbia - Legacy

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When you see the names Miles Davis and John Coltrane on the same poster, you feel a shiver down your spine. This sixth instalment of the trumpet player's Bootleg Series that shiver grows – to put it euphemistically – to ecstasy. The Final Tour concentrates on the final chapter of the collaboration between Miles and Coltrane. On four CDs, it takes in performances recorded as part of their 1960 European tour – their last outing together before the saxophonist's death in July 1967. It includes both concerts at the Paris Olympia of 21 March 1960, the two concerts of 22 March in Stockholm, and of 24 March in Copenhagen, all available for the first time on a format other than quarter-inch tape. These five concerts take place about a year after the release of the masterpiece Kind of Blue, which shook the jazz world to its core. Our protagonists' nuclear creative power threaten the quintet with catastrophe at every turn. With pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Jimmy Cobb, Miles and Trane deliver torrential improvisations in which fusion and opposition battle it out. But miraculously, it all holds together. And how! It's the magic of these five concerts: hearing the five giants all at once, and their ability to match each other's pace, and roar in unison. In terms of the repertoire, this box set is a kind of davisian nirvana: it holds all the greatest themes (not always his own) which made the trumpeter's name: ’Round Midnight, Bye Bye Blackbird, On Green Dolphin Street, Walkin’, All Of You, Oleo, So What and All Blues… Finally, The Final Tour finishes on a jaw-dropping interview given by Coltrane to the Swedish DJ Carl-Erik Lindgren. "Do you feel angry?," asks Lindgren. "No, I don't," says Trane. "I was talking to a fellow the other day, and I told him, the reason I play so many sounds, maybe it sounds angry, I'm trying so many things at one time. I haven't sorted them out." Listening to these 1960 concerts, we can only respond: long live confusion! © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Contemporary Jazz - Released March 2, 2018 | ONJ Records

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Jazz - Released January 26, 2018 | ACT Music

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
Love and peace. The program of this album by Joachim Kühn has the merit to be clear. With drummer Eric Schaefer and double bass player Chris Jennings, his trio formed in 2015, the German pianist, now 73, seems to have found a new playground in which the strength of his melodies proves central. Rather labelled as an avant-gardist—or even free—musician, Kühn, who has always rejected conventions throughout his extended career, is of course not sinking here into simplistic and plain music. Quite the contrary. Through rather concise themes, mostly original, aside from pieces from the Doors (The Crystal Ship), Mussorgsky (The old castle from Pictures at an exhibition) and Ornette Coleman (Night Plans), he lightens his improvisations and takes the time to play with space and even with silences. Released in 2016, Beauty & Truth, the first disc from the trio, already let you hear this somewhat uncommon Kühn. With Love & Peace, he found an inner peace which makes his music even more moving. © MD/Qobuz
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Vocal Jazz - Released October 20, 2017 | Abalone Productions

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Jazz - Released October 20, 2017 | Editions Jade

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Jazz - Released September 22, 2017 | Le Triton

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama
As the most Parisian of Italians describes his own 2017 cuvée: “This could have been the title of a 50s thriller. There’s a bit of nostalgia for my youth, of course. For that time when movies weren’t all in colour, in which we had to imagine the blue eyes of Michelle Morgan and Jean Gabin, never being fully sure. This black and white made us dream; we gave it the colour we could imagine, rather than the fake reality of Technicolor. I wanted to reinterpret songs I wrote quite a long time ago. Time passes, but music stays, timeless. Timeless like Gérard Manset’s song Il voyage en solitaire (He Travels Solo), which I sing here, but has in fact been singing within me since the first time I heard it. And then there’s the piano, of course. The instrument with black and white teeth… Black and white keyboard, the perfect symbol of a successful blend. A piano is a great orchestra at the tip of your fingers, a miracle. Throughout my long life as a musician, nothing has been more exciting for me than discovering new talents. Artists with their own personalities, but capable to serve the music suggested to them, to enrich it, give it a nice light, making it theirs. I’ve been lucky enough to meet a few artists capable of sublimating a partition, to bring these paper notes to life. It is the case today with Dino Rubino. His touch on the piano is magnificent. His lyricism, without any dramatic exaggeration, is overwhelming. I’ve played with some of the greatest pianists: Keith Jarrett, Michel Petrucciani and many others made me tingle. And Dino triggers that same emotion, this particular shiver that you’ll feel too, I’m sure, listening to Mélodies en noir et blanc, an album that reinterprets some of my favourite ballads. Time is a merciless judge. Whatever resists it gains incredible value. The same is true with music; the type that doesn’t concern itself with trends. And for friendship, everlasting when it is strong. Between Michel Benita and myself there’s an indissoluble link, the friendship of several decades. Our music highlights it, regardless of circumstances. “Happiness is sorrow taking a rest” Leo Ferré used to say. So let’s leave sorrow to its sleep, forever.”
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Jazz - Released September 8, 2017 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Choc de Classica
One year on from Note from New York, Bill Charlap is digging into his deep-New-York identity with his brilliant Uptown Downtown. As discreet as he is refined, the pianist from the Big Apple has for years been working on transmitting and celebrating an eternal jazz. With him, you are guaranteed a flawless journey into the 1940s and 1950s. The Great American Songbook that shook the boards on Broadway and Hollywood cinema screens could find no greater ambassador. It is magic every time! Even on the most-covered standards like Sophisticated Lady that closes the album. Supported by a rhythm section worth its weight in gold (Peter Washington on the double bass and Kenny Washington on drums), Bill Charlap mixes a nectar of swing, a marvel of refinement and good taste. The heat coming off this sound is just so New York. This unique way of playing the melody. An art in itself. Art that demands humility and attention; experience and intuition. An approach that makes Charlap the heir apparent of a certain tradition of piano jazz, in which Hank Jones, Tommy Flanagan and Shirley Horn are essential figures (he knew all three), and likewise Teddy Wilson, Art Tatum, Ahmad Jamal or Sonny Clark... this is a record with mind-blowing class. © CM/Qobuz

Jazz - Released April 28, 2017 | Mélisse

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Vocal Jazz - Released March 31, 2017 | Vision Fugitive

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Contemporary Jazz - Released February 17, 2017 | Laborie Jazz

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Contemporary Jazz - Released May 4, 2015 | Mina Agossi

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Contemporary Jazz - Released November 25, 2016 | Les couleurs du son

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Jazz in the magazine
  • Ralph Alessi and his Imaginary Friends
    Ralph Alessi and his Imaginary Friends Ralph Alessi's Imaginary Friends is in Hi-Res 24-Bit on Qobuz!
  • A Tropical Tale
    A Tropical Tale Leyla McCalla's The Capitalist Blues is in Hi-Res 24-Bit on Qobuz!
  • Blurred Boundaries
    Blurred Boundaries Anne Paceo's Bright Shadows is in Hi-Res 24-Bit on Qobuz!
  • To the Power of Three
    To the Power of Three Joe Lovano's Trio Tapestry is in Hi-Res 24-Bit on Qobuz!
  • Dandy Man
    Dandy Man Bryan Ferry is the ultimate dandy, the singer that never gets old and who does as he pleases.
  • A Night of Nat
    A Night of Nat In 2017, Gregory Porter released a tribute album - or rather a love letter, to the man he considers his ultimate hero: Nat King Cole.
  • Afternoon Tea and Vintage Cars
    Afternoon Tea and Vintage Cars Jools Holland, the musical virtuoso, director and well-loved host of the BBC 2 programme Later… with Jools Holland since 1992, joins forces with the first-rate vocals of Marc Almond and the musicia...
  • 360° vision
    360° vision 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 t...
  • Leaning back to the 60s
    Leaning back to the 60s Jose James is bringing back the great soul music of the sixties.
  • Perfect unison
    Perfect unison Fifteen years on from Changing Places, his first album for the label ECM, Tord Gustavsen is once again offering up an album performed with a trio, which seems to be the line-up most in keeping with...