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Bebop - To be released December 6, 2019 | HighNote Records

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Jazz - Released August 30, 2019 | HighNote Records

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In the mid-1980s, Wallace Roney’s youthful virtuosic trumpet playing fascinated post-bop fans. So much so that he was recognised by a certain Miles Davis and even joined him on stage in Montreux in 1991. Three years after the master died, Davis’ faithful companions from his historic quintet - Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter and Tony Williams - even suggested that Roney should play the trumpet on the album A Tribute to Miles (1994). Despite having such a hard act to follow, the Philadelphia native nevertheless managed to assert himself as a significant force on the jazz scene... One year after his 60th birthday and with more than twenty albums to his credit as a bandleader, Wallace Roney is still contributing to this impeccable blend of hard bop and post-bop. And with Blue Dawn - Blue Nights, this time he is the master. A master who surrounds himself with younger stars such as the pianist Oscar Williams II (31 years old), bassist Paul Cuffari (20 years old), saxophonist Emilio Modeste (19 years old) and his nephew, the drummer Kojo Odu Roney (only 15 years old!). The group is supported on some tracks by guitarist Quintin Zoto as well as Lenny White, the legendary drummer who played for Chick Corea’s band, Return to Forever, and for Miles Davis from the Bitches Brew period. And to further highlight his young accomplices, Wallace Roney has chosen not to sign any of the eight themes on his refined album. © Max Dembo/Qobuz
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Bebop - Released July 26, 2019 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released May 24, 2019 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released May 24, 2019 | HighNote Records

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Jazz - Released March 8, 2019 | HighNote Records

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Tom Harrell is a master at making his trumpet sound pure, clear and graceful in a manner like no one else. When he plays, he projects an intense feeling of well-being and engages in inspired and lively improvisations. On his latest record, Harrell has invited Mark Turner on the saxophone (another incredible sound), Charles Altura on electric and acoustic guitar, Ben Street on bass, and Johnathan Blake on drums. Along with this wonderful band, the trumpet player reminds us that he is not only one of the most touching soloists of his generation, but also a famous composer and a precise band leader, collaborative and always listening to his companions. At 72 years old, Harrell teaches us a lesson in jazz perfection. The harmonic and melodic whole he creates on the record should not come as a surprise for anyone aware of Harrell’s background. Band member with Woody Herman, Horace Silver and Phil Woods, sidemen with George Russell, Bill Evans, Gerry Mulligan and Charlie Haden, Tom Harrell has recorded more than thirty albums since the end of the 1970’s. © Max Dembo/Qobuz
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Bebop - Released February 8, 2019 | HighNote Records

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Showcasing a five-part suite based on the work of French sculptor Auguste Rodin, Jeremy Pelt's 2019 album, The Artist, finds the trumpeter translating his love of the visual arts into a set of deeply textured compositions that touch upon harmonically rich modalism, driving post-bop, and lyrical balladry. Beginning with the hypnotic "The Rodin Suite, Pt. 1: L'Appel aux armes," which translates fittingly as "the call to arms," The Artist evokes the '70s jazz of artists like Woody Shaw and Bobby Hutcherson. It's a sound Pelt has long embraced, at least as far back 2013's fusion-influenced Water and Earth, and one that he has increasingly made his own. Which is to say, while The Artist brings to mind the vibes, keyboard, and groove-oriented aesthetics of '70s jazz, it never sounds like pastiche, and remains a nuanced palette for Pelt to draw from. Adding rich colors to this palette are Pelt's bandmates: pianist Victor Gould, bassist Vicente Archer, guitarist Alex Wintz, marimba player Chien Chien Lu, and percussionist Ismel Wignall. Together they play with a deft sense of group interplay that's as much the focus as Pelt's own improvisatory prowess and balmy tone. In fact, Pelt bows out of "The Rodin Suite, Pt. 2: Dignity and Despair (Burghers of Calais)" altogether, allowing Gould to lead the ensemble with his gem-tone keyboard warmth. "The Rodin Suite, Pt. 3: I sol tace (Gates of Hell)" is perhaps the most fusion-sounding track as the trumpeter paints the song's intro with thick wah-wah and echo pedal-dipped lines against a backdrop of woody marimba and conga, before settling into an arid, slow-burn noir groove. Similarly evocative is "The Rodin Suite, Pt. 4: Camille Claudel (L'Éternel printemps)," whose sparkling chimes, fuzzy marimba, and drawn-out dual guitar and trumpet melody conjure the image of sculptor Camille Claudel (Rodin's muse and partner), framing her tragic story in a haze of sadness and midday languor. Elsewhere, Pelt continues to pull inspiration from the visual arts, offering up the buoyant Latin rhythms of "Ceramic," the propulsive swing of "Feito," and the exuberant harmonic spirals of "Watercolors." With The Artist, Pelt has crafted an album that engages your attention and captivates your imagination much in the same way Rodin's famed sculptures continue to fascinate audiences. ~ Matt Collar
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Bebop - Released December 7, 2018 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released December 7, 2018 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released December 7, 2018 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released November 9, 2018 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released August 31, 2018 | HighNote Records

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Pianist Cyrus Chestnut is a virtuoso player with deep roots in both spiritual gospel music and harmonically sophisticated jazz. That said, he's also a classically trained artist with a wide-ranging and eclectic taste in music. He brings all of these influences to bear on his nuanced and enveloping 2018 trio date, Kaleidoscope. Joining him are bassist Eric Wheeler and drummer Chris Beck, who offer empathetic support throughout. Here, Chestnut has chosen a handful of his favorite classical compositions, including tracks by Erik Satie, Claude Debussy, and Maurice Ravel, which he reworks in his own inimitable jazz style, alongside other standards and his own originals. What's particularly compelling about his choices is just how well the classical songs fit into the jazz trio concept. The Satie selections in particular lend themselves to a jazz approach. Chestnut's languid reading of "Gymnopedie No. 1" has the feel of a hazy summer afternoon, and brings to mind Vince Guaraldi's Peanuts soundtracks. He also turns the composer's "Son Binocle" into a jauntily urbane bossa nova. Elsewhere, he transforms Debussy's "Jimbo's Lullaby" into a bluesy, far-eyed rumination, anchored by a soulful bass solo intro from Wheeler. Similarly engaging is the trio's dramatic, modal jazz take on Ravel's "Entre Cloches," in which Chestnut's spiraling solo swells into a sustained din of reverberating bass notes before returning to the main theme. Conversely, his own songs, like the meditative "Father Time" and the lyrical "Prayer for Claudine," evince a classical feel, displaying his knack for finely attenuated melodies and richly textured harmonics. He splits the difference on his swaggering version of Deep Purple's classic rock anthem "Smoke on the Water," diving into the iconic main theme with Rachmaninov-esque dynamism and then pulling back into a mutative, Eastern-influenced improvisation. ~ Matt Collar
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Bebop - Released August 31, 2018 | HighNote Records

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Jazz - Released July 20, 2018 | HighNote Records

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The natural wear and tear of a couple? Houston Person and Ron Carter wouldn’t know… A quarter of a century after the beginning of their collaboration, the tenor saxophonist and the double bassist (both now in their eighties) continue their beautiful partnership. For Remember Love, they climb up the Everest of the American Songbook; they’re themes that have been played a thousand times by the whole world, yet the warmth of the duo’s interpretation makes them fascinating. Person’s tenor is a summit of gentleness and languor. Carter’s feline double bass scales the steep paths. We find here two wise old men playing with pure musical velvet. It’s no reinvention of the menu of the day, but beautiful all the same… © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Bebop - Released July 20, 2018 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released June 15, 2018 | HighNote Records

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Vocal Jazz - Released May 15, 2018 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released March 6, 2018 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released March 6, 2018 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released November 10, 2017 | HighNote Records

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