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Vocal Jazz - Released December 4, 2020 | Blue Note

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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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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 August 28, 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 August 28, 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 August 28, 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 August 28, 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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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
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Jazz - Released September 28, 2018 | Blue Note

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Tony Allen and Jeff Mills’ story began back in December 2016 in Paris, when they decided to share the New Morning’s stage in front of an audience that was completely dazzled by the encounter of these two giants of rhythm. While the Nigerian started his career as Fela Kuti’s drummer, the American – as few people know – also started out on drums before he began developing techno music with a few friends in Detroit. Collaborating on an album made perfect sense, Tony Allen being the one who first put the idea forward. After playing with Damon Albarn, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Moritz von Osward, he was delighted to find a partner who so masterfully handled the beat: “The difference is that Jeff can play with me, whereas the others cannot play with me. I can only play with them, but they cannot play with me.”On this album released by Blue Note, the pair collaborated with Jean-Philippe Dary, who has played with countless big names, including Phoenix, Papa Wemba, Peter Gabriel and Alpha Blondy, and whose keyboards provide a melodic framework (most often afrobeat/jazz-funk). The mix by François Kevorkian, a French legend of New York House music, highlights each of their parts, for example on the track On the Run, Tony Allen’s syncopation that breaks time apart on the left channel battles it out with Jeff Mills’ frenzied hi-hats on the right. A captivating duel between two highly talented individuals who listen to and respect one another, whilst never overdoing it just for show. © Smaël Bouaici/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released September 28, 2018 | Blue Note

Tony Allen and Jeff Mills’ story began back in December 2016 in Paris, when they decided to share the New Morning’s stage in front of an audience that was completely dazzled by the encounter of these two giants of rhythm. While the Nigerian started his career as Fela Kuti’s drummer, the American – as few people know – also started out on drums before he began developing techno music with a few friends in Detroit. Collaborating on an album made perfect sense, Tony Allen being the one who first put the idea forward. After playing with Damon Albarn, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Moritz von Osward, he was delighted to find a partner who so masterfully handled the beat: “The difference is that Jeff can play with me, whereas the others cannot play with me. I can only play with them, but they cannot play with me.”On this album released by Blue Note, the pair collaborated with Jean-Philippe Dary, who has played with countless big names, including Phoenix, Papa Wemba, Peter Gabriel and Alpha Blondy, and whose keyboards provide a melodic framework (most often afrobeat/jazz-funk). The mix by François Kevorkian, a French legend of New York House music, highlights each of their parts, for example on the track On the Run, Tony Allen’s syncopation that breaks time apart on the left channel battles it out with Jeff Mills’ frenzied hi-hats on the right. A captivating duel between two highly talented individuals who listen to and respect one another, whilst never overdoing it just for show. © Smaël Bouaici/Qobuz
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Gypsy Jazz - Released September 7, 2018 | Blue Note

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Vocal Jazz - Released June 29, 2018 | Blue Note

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No need to have the same musical tastes to appreciate each other’s cuisine... The proof of this truism can be found in this collaboration between a revered queen of alternative country and a respected old sage of modern jazz: Lucinda Williams and Charles Lloyd, a one-day couple supported by a five-star cast of musicians in which we find guitarist Bill Frisell, pedal steel master Greg Leisz, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland... Both Lloyd and Williams have previously lead a revolution in their respective fields. Here, the duo are celebrating a certain idea of America with an open-minded repertoire. A heterogeneous menu mixing jazz, blues, country and rock'n'roll, with Williams only singing on half of the ten tracks. Vanished Gardens offer up Jimi Hendrix (Angel) as well as Thelonious Monk (Monk's Mood) and Roberta Flack (Ballad of The Sad Young Men), though they also include some of their signature dishes (three by Charles Lloyd and four by Lucinda Williams). This is, above all, a refined and profound album; the work of two musicians who know how to digest well decades of music. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Contemporary Jazz - Released June 15, 2018 | Blue Note

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Jazz - Released June 1, 2018 | Blue Note

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There is a before and an after 1986 for Marcus Miller. That year, the bassist was 27 years old and composed and produced Miles Davis’ famous Tutu. Since then, the career of this four-string virtuoso has expanded with stunning albums for others (over 500!) and for himself (more than twenty), as well as multiple collaborations… Like often with Marcus Miller, the borders between jazz, funk, soul and blues are magnificently blurred. And it is once again the case with this Laid Black. After Afrodeezia, which he designed like a musical journey through his personal history, retracing the path of his ancestors, Laid Black falls within present time with a cocktail of all the urban sounds he loves: hip-hop, trap, soul, funk, R&B and, of course, jazz. In fact, this kind of 180° overview is the man’s trademark. Shuffling between various currents of African-American music. And even inserting a few clever references when he covers Que Será, Será (Whatever Will Be, Will Be) popularised by Doris Day, but using Sly Stone’s arrangement from 1973 Fresh… For this 2018 opus, Marcus Miller has called upon a few sharp shooters such as Trombone Shorty, Kirk Whalum, Take Six, Jonathan Butler and the young Belgian soul sister Selah Sue. Groove galore and precise yet never sickening pyrotechnics are at the core of an album that only its author knows how to make. © Clotilde Maréchal/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released June 1, 2018 | Blue Note

There is a before and an after 1986 for Marcus Miller. That year, the bassist was 27 years old and composed and produced Miles Davis’ famous Tutu. Since then, the career of this four-string virtuoso has expanded with stunning albums for others (over 500!) and for himself (more than twenty), as well as multiple collaborations… Like often with Marcus Miller, the borders between jazz, funk, soul and blues are magnificently blurred. And it is once again the case with this Laid Black. After Afrodeezia, which he designed like a musical journey through his personal history, retracing the path of his ancestors, Laid Black falls within present time with a cocktail of all the urban sounds he loves: hip-hop, trap, soul, funk, R&B and, of course, jazz. In fact, this kind of 180° overview is the man’s trademark. Shuffling between various currents of African-American music. And even inserting a few clever references when he covers Que Será, Será (Whatever Will Be, Will Be) popularised by Doris Day, but using Sly Stone’s arrangement from 1973 Fresh… For this 2018 opus, Marcus Miller has called upon a few sharp shooters such as Trombone Shorty, Kirk Whalum, Take Six, Jonathan Butler and the young Belgian soul sister Selah Sue. Groove galore and precise yet never sickening pyrotechnics are at the core of an album that only its author knows how to make. © Clotilde Maréchal/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released May 18, 2018 | Blue Note

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A good contact goes a long way. Don Was being the boss at Blue Note, he didn’t have to think long before signing Dave McMurray who had been his saxophonist in the band Was (Not Was)… Despite their bond and this new hierarchical link, the label’s president left his recruit completely free for this delightful Music Is Life. “I know Dave plays extremely well, Don Was explained. There’s no bullshit with him! He’s not the kind of musician who just drops his plans gratuitously to impress everyone. It’s only sincerity with him.” To construct his album’s repertoire, Dave McMurray decided to combine original compositions with a few well-chosen, at times surprising covers like George Clinton’s Atomic Dog, the White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army and even Johnny Hallyday’s Que je t’aime! With bassist Ibrahim Jones and drummers Ron Otis and Jeff Canady on his sides, he mixes frontal and percussive jazz with corrosive soul and gritty blues music. His saxophone starts from the guts, and aims right back for them! A proper chameleon (he played with B.B. King, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Hallyday, Gladys Knight, Albert King, Nancy Wilson, Bootsy Collins, Herbie Hancock, Geri Allen, Bob James and countless others), he manages to retain his own voice, no matter the partition he tackles. © Clotilde Maréchal/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released May 4, 2018 | Blue Note

Following his sublime Book Of Intuition released in 2016 with bass player Kiyoshi Kitagawa and drummer Johnathan Blake, Kenny Barron is expanding his trio with tenor saxophonist Dayna Stephens and trumpeter Mike Rodriguez. The elegance, intelligence, refinement and perfect swing of the pianist are well-known, and for his first entry with the label Blue Note, the artist from Philadelphia now based in New York finds additional inspiration in the ardour of his accomplices. For these Concentric Circles, Barron opted for a repertoire mainly centred around his own compositions, complemented by Caetano Veloso’s Aquele frevo axe, drummer Lenny White’s L's Bop, and Thelonious Monk’s Reflections. His quintet firmly bites into a hard-bop style, at times punctuated with Latino rhythms. More than anything, it’s the spontaneity of interventions and the fluidity of exchanges between the five men that make this album so enjoyable. None of them tried to reinvent the wheel, just make high-level jazz, without grandstanding or using frills. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released June 1, 2016 | Blue Note