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Pop - Released July 26, 2019 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released September 28, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jose James is bringing back the great soul music of the sixties. With Lean On Me, his fifth album on the label Blue Note, the singer from Minneapolis pays tribute to Bill Withers. This album reiterates the influence that the big names of mythical jazz and soul have had on the artist, who sang the tracks of a certain Billie Holiday back in 2015… Despite the many musical paths he could’ve taken, James remains a faithful servant to the masters of soul, doing his duty of remembrance through his covers. Recorded in Capitol Records’ famous Studio B, he surrounded himself with big names: Pino Palladino on bass, Brad Allen Williams on the guitar, Kris Bowers on keyboard and Nate Smith on drums, a dream team with whom the soul man lays himself bare. With vintage groove and power, his warm voice evokes a bygone era and blends erotically with the piano chords of Lean On Me. Lovely Day’s funky soul doesn’t phase him either, but if there’s an area in which he truly excels, it’s on the sugary and slightly acoustic southern soul track: Hello Like Before. Watch out for hot flushes! Switching between tradition and modernity, each track is a surprise. Whether it’s brilliant musical improvisation you’re looking for (Just The Two of Us) or full funk (Better Off Dead) − here’s a guru who can hypnotise you in just a few seconds! © Anna Coluthe/Qobuz
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Vocal Jazz - Released September 7, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Kandace Springs is a reincarnation of the great soul divas. Divine beauty, a charming name, since she released her first album, all eyes have been on this young woman. Soul Eyes, released on Blue Note in 2014, saw her float away into a sublime cloud of soul-jazz with pop highlights. Four years later, she is attracting attention with a full different creation, named Indigo. Roberta Flack, Luther Vandross, Billie Holiday and Nina Simone are just a few names of her childhood influences, names that are still casting their spell over her performances. A warm timbre, a supple and delicate diction that goes hand in hand with her mastery of the piano, Indigo is a stunning mix of covers and original pieces written by Evan Rogers and Carl Sturken. The album opens on the pop-romantic overture Don't Need The Real Thing; funk airs follow on People Make The World Go 'Round and a jazzy instrumental on Unsophisticated: Springs seems unsure about where to really let her voice take off, but it works! She is testing out her capacities and limits in some contradictory registers. Fix Me even ventures into classical, with a mix of Prélude opus 28 n°4 by Chopin, imitation Gainsbourg and a more soulful Jane B sound. It's an unexpected mix but it is all brought together marvellously by the smoke timbre of this winning singer. © Anna Coluthe/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released August 10, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released June 22, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released June 8, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released May 25, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Pop - Released May 11, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released May 4, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released April 20, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released April 20, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

Trumpeter Terence Blanchard's 2018 concert album, Live, features his electric ensemble the E-Collective playing a series of shows in cities where there have been well-publicized deaths due to gun violence. Conceived as a way for Blanchard to express his support for these communities, and as a possible catharsis, the concerts in Cleveland, Dallas, and St. Paul have a direct, purposeful feeling. The underlying message is serious, imbued with a sense of pain and loss. There's also a palpable sense of anger expressed here, especially in Blanchard's often ferocious trumpet solos. Nonetheless, the music is as vibrant, expressive, and forward-reaching as Blanchard's previous recordings with the E-Collective, including 2013's Magnetic and 2015's Breathless. Joining him are his E-Collective bandmates guitarist Charles Altura, bassist David Ginyard, Jr., keyboardist Fabian Almazan, and drummer Oscar Seaton. Together, they play an expansive brand of jazz fusion, influenced by the '70s work of artists like Miles Davis, Larry Coryell, Chick Corea, and others. However, rather than making throwback grooves, Blanchard keeps his ear attuned to modern sounds, like electronic DJ music, hip-hop, and contemporary classical composition, and weaves all of these influences together. It's a sound especially evident on the frenetic bop-tinged "Can Anyone Hear Me," in which Blanchard surfs a gargantuan jungle-electro beat, spitting densely constructed, computer-soaked trumpet lines like a mad-eyed robot. Similarly, he sinks into the slow-burn funk of "Hannibal," his effects-laden trumpet a piercing, multi-voiced cry offset by Almazan's sophisticated acoustic piano lines. Elsewhere, "Unchanged" is a far-eyed, flamenco-tinged piece, and "Soldiers" is an all-out onslaught of fuzz-toned fusion with Blanchard diving into the fray, his trumpet a sparkle of digital squelch. There are also tender moments, like the searing ballad "Dear Jimi," which opens with a soulful, George Duke-esque synth solo from Almazan and an equally intense guitar improv from Altura. While Blanchard's warm gravitas grounds all of the tracks on Live, he remains a generous leader, willing to let his bandmates capture much of the spotlight. His generosity of spirit, both musically and emotionally, and message of hope and solidarity toward his audiences make Live a truly heartfelt experience. © Matt Collar /TiVo
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R&B - Released April 13, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

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R&B - Released April 13, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released March 23, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Rock - Released February 14, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Soul/Funk/R&B - Released January 26, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Session musicians, born tour performers or just “cats that were looked over, but they're bad!, to borrow the words of their leader, Chris Dave. That’s what these Drumhedz are. Just to give you an idea, Chris Dave was the drummer of Adele, Justin Bieber, Dolly Parton, D’Angelo, Sonny Rollins and A Tribe Called Quest. Just six names randomly picked to show the width of the guy’s experience… But this time, the gang comes out of the shadows to feel the bright lights on their face. Their album is first and foremost a no man’s land where the notion of genre isn’t in use anymore, where elements of funk, soul, gospel, hip-hop and jazz are blended until they become undistinguishable and form a solid groove mass without actually being a lackluster jam session. Among the fifty or so musicians that compose these Drumhedz, you’ll find notably Pino Palladino (bass), Isaiah Sharkey (guitar), Cleo "Pookie" Sample (keyboard), Sir Darryl Farris (vocals), Keyon Harrold (sax), but also James Poyser (The Roots), Stokley Williams (Mint Condition) and Shafiq Husayn (Sa-Ra), not forgetting Anderson .Paak, Bilal, DJ Jazzy Jeff and Phonte Coleman. And the result—as groovy as can be—is just like this fusion of names: a fusion of rhythmically heavy sounds in which no one tries to take all the credit. It’s some pure groove. © MD/Qobuz
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R&B - Released January 26, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

Commencing with a takeoff scene that recalls that of Charles Earland's Leaving This Planet, Chris Dave's proper debut as a leader aspires to transport the listener. Likewise, a sense of escape was something the drummer, composer, and producer wanted to establish in L.A.'s Kingsize Soundlabs where, for a few weeks in 2015, he hosted and directed the 50-strong crew of instrumentalists and vocalists who comprise the Drumhedz. Taking into account the considerable overlapping personnel and an otherwise aesthetically similar variety of involved jazz, R&B, and hip-hop figures, Dave's debut prompts easy comparisons to contributor Robert Glasper's Black Radio sessions. Nonetheless, this is less an instance of "I got next" than the culmination of a three-decade career that has intersected with the players here (as well as gospel and pop artists ranging from Yolanda Adams and Justin Bieber). The core instrumental support for Dave is bassist Pino Palladino and guitarist Isaiah Sharkey. Keyboardist Cleo Sample and singer/songwriter Kendra Foster are among the variable cast that joins that trio, so the set unsurprisingly has the densely layered, spaced-out, and fiery qualities of D'Angelo's Black Messiah. Dave truly shows off only on the lone unoriginal cut, a robust version of Alan Pasqua's "Lady Jade" (misspelled "Lady Jane"), originally recorded by the New Tony Williams Lifetime. There are a couple off-the-cuff interludes, along with a polyrhythmic delight ("Dat Feelin'") with room to showcase Keyon Harrold's trumpet and piano and Marcus Strickland's bass clarinet and tenor sax. Those tracks excepted, the album is ultimately about songs, even when Dave's dubbed-out snares are ricocheting off the walls and the electronics are on the brink of haywire status. There are three stellar ballads: the aching Anna Wise and SiR duet "Job Well Done," Foster's psychedelic "Sensitive Granite," and Bilal and Tweet's steaming "Spread Her Wings." Additionally, there's the panoramic neo-Afrobeat jam "Black Hole," fronted by a typically ebullient Anderson Paak. In the steady rocking "Destiny N Stereo," Phonte, Elzhi, and Eric Roberson operate like a unified trio. The breezy "Atlanta, Texas," a conversation that includes Goapele, Rozzi Daime, and Shafiq Husayn, sounds like a trapdoor discovery from the latter's Dave-enhanced Shafiq En' A-Free-Ka. The ease with which the album can be enjoyed is all the more astonishing considering that it effectively applies and corrals input from so many of Dave's associates. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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R&B - Released January 26, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

Commencing with a takeoff scene that recalls that of Charles Earland's Leaving This Planet, Chris Dave's proper debut as a leader aspires to transport the listener. Likewise, a sense of escape was something the drummer, composer, and producer wanted to establish in L.A.'s Kingsize Soundlabs where, for a few weeks in 2015, he hosted and directed the 50-strong crew of instrumentalists and vocalists who comprise the Drumhedz. Taking into account the considerable overlapping personnel and an otherwise aesthetically similar variety of involved jazz, R&B, and hip-hop figures, Dave's debut prompts easy comparisons to contributor Robert Glasper's Black Radio sessions. Nonetheless, this is less an instance of "I got next" than the culmination of a three-decade career that has intersected with the players here (as well as gospel and pop artists ranging from Yolanda Adams and Justin Bieber). The core instrumental support for Dave is bassist Pino Palladino and guitarist Isaiah Sharkey. Keyboardist Cleo Sample and singer/songwriter Kendra Foster are among the variable cast that joins that trio, so the set unsurprisingly has the densely layered, spaced-out, and fiery qualities of D'Angelo's Black Messiah. Dave truly shows off only on the lone unoriginal cut, a robust version of Alan Pasqua's "Lady Jade" (misspelled "Lady Jane"), originally recorded by the New Tony Williams Lifetime. There are a couple off-the-cuff interludes, along with a polyrhythmic delight ("Dat Feelin'") with room to showcase Keyon Harrold's trumpet and piano and Marcus Strickland's bass clarinet and tenor sax. Those tracks excepted, the album is ultimately about songs, even when Dave's dubbed-out snares are ricocheting off the walls and the electronics are on the brink of haywire status. There are three stellar ballads: the aching Anna Wise and SiR duet "Job Well Done," Foster's psychedelic "Sensitive Granite," and Bilal and Tweet's steaming "Spread Her Wings." Additionally, there's the panoramic neo-Afrobeat jam "Black Hole," fronted by a typically ebullient Anderson Paak. In the steady rocking "Destiny N Stereo," Phonte, Elzhi, and Eric Roberson operate like a unified trio. The breezy "Atlanta, Texas," a conversation that includes Goapele, Rozzi Daime, and Shafiq Husayn, sounds like a trapdoor discovery from the latter's Dave-enhanced Shafiq En' A-Free-Ka. The ease with which the album can be enjoyed is all the more astonishing considering that it effectively applies and corrals input from so many of Dave's associates. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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R&B - Released January 19, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

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R&B - Released January 19, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)