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Jazz - Released September 15, 2021 | Impulse!

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Jazz - Released August 26, 2021 | Impulse!

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Jazz - Released August 26, 2021 | Impulse!

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Jazz - Released August 13, 2021 | Impulse!

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Jazz - Released August 13, 2021 | Impulse!

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Jazz - Released July 23, 2021 | Impulse!

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Jazz - Released June 30, 2021 | Impulse!

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Jazz - Released May 14, 2021 | Impulse!

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2018's Your Queen Is A Reptile felt like a capstone work for Sons of Kemet. Although it was only the group's third record, it marked such a sharp upward spike in the innovation and creativity that had garnered them so much attention when they first appeared on the UK jazz scene in 2011. In both concept and execution, Reptile felt so daring, so consistent, and so superlative, one would be forgiven for expecting its follow-up to show a sort of relaxing of the group's standards. Black to the Future is not relaxed. It is, from the incandescent rage of its opening notes, an unyielding album fueled by a relentless righteousness. The insistent interplay between Hutchings' sax work (and, here, additional woodwinds) and Theon Cross' tuba-playing has long been the resonant hallmark for Sons of Kemet's music, and on Black to the Future, the two are locked in as tightly as ever; however, the material here spans a wider range of tones and textures, allowing the group's sound to expand considerably. On "Let the Circle Be Unbroken," steel drums set the rhythmic scene and a deep tuba groove from Cross is countered by a soulful, mournful lead line by Hutchings, both of which evolve into a frenetic, ecstatic chorus by song's closing that clearly marks out that this is not the same song from your grandma's hymn book. Hutchings, Cross, and the rest of the Sons of Kemet core define the sound of most of the record, but there are also many guests who are deployed with maximum effectiveness. From Lianne La Havas and rapper/poet Kojey Radical turning "Hustle" into something truly genre-transcendent and Angel Bat Dawid and Moor Mother elevating the intensity of "Pick Up Your Burning Cross" into emotionally devastating territory. However, it's Joshua Idehen's unapologetically fiery poetry on the opening and closing tracks ("Field Negus" and "Black") that provides a thematic and vibrational bookend to this album. The incandescent rage of his delivery in conjunction with the sonic electricity of Sons of Kemet's music intentionally denies the listener any sort of easy closure from the tight-wound, revolutionary intensity of the album. You are meant to leave Black to the Future feeling energized, angry, and ready for action, and the musical and philosophical approach here absolutely ensures that result. It's an album that demands—and deserves—your attention and engagement. © Jason Ferguson/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released May 14, 2021 | Impulse!

Booklet
As jazz is increasingly seen as America's classical music, jazz record labels have become expert at mining their catalogs for retrospectives—most are now assembling one every decade. Impulse! Records issued its first label-wide compilation, The Definitive Jazz Scene Volume 1 in 1964 and now comes this well-chosen 25-track sampler (in the famous orange and black design theme) to celebrate the label's 60 years of existence, directed by such visionaries as Creed Taylor, Bob Thiele and Ed Michel. While aficionados will already own many of the albums these tracks come from, surveys like this are particularly useful for newbies and also as impressive shuffle play party records. The styles here range across the entire Impulse spectrum, from the almost R&B of Stanley Turrentine's "Good Lookin' Out" and Earl Hines' especially piquant arrangement of Duke Ellington's "Black and Tan Fantasy" to Archie Shepp's alternately angry and desolate "Malcolm Malcolm—Semper Malcolm" and Quincy Jones snappy, upbeat big band bop, "Hard Sock Dance." Impulse was always horn driven—hence the nickname, "the house that Trane built"—and we hear from some of lesser-known lights in the label's horn universe like Dewey Redman, Marion Brown, Albert Ayler and Yusef Lateef. There are also wonderful surprises buried within like an edit of Pharoah Sanders' surprisingly cheerful and lyrical, "The Creator has a Master Plan" (from the album Karma) where singer Leon Thomas speaks of universal happiness before taking his vibrato into a quiet yodel. While it's tempting to say that just throwing darts at Impulse titles would make for a great collection, there's a powerful unifying theme to this tribute. The song titles tell the story: Oliver Nelson's brilliant "The Rights of All," The Ahmad Jamal Trio's smooth "The Awakening" and Charlie Haden's short, instrumental version of the civil rights anthem, "We Shall Overcome." All beautifully recorded (most by Rudy Van Gelder), this is music bent on change, an idea that poet and critic A. B. Spellman—who lived through NYC's early bop era—picks up in the liner notes. "…this is all music that has something to say. It expresses a deep commitment to the fundamental change of the human condition… We need this scope of sound again: We need the horns to scream of stout resistance, and we need the bands to sing to us of the righteous beauty of our souls." Perhaps no track expresses that "scope" better than John Coltrane's frenetic, squeal 'n' skronk "Reverend King," (from Cosmic Music, his album with wife Alice, released after his death), it's pent-up energy frustrated, ricocheting, crying for a way out. An insightful collection built to celebrate 60 years as an indispensable part of the story of jazz, this timeless music has fresh relevance. © Robert Baird/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released May 14, 2021 | Impulse!

2018's Your Queen Is A Reptile felt like a capstone work for Sons of Kemet. Although it was only the group's third record, it marked such a sharp upward spike in the innovation and creativity that had garnered them so much attention when they first appeared on the UK jazz scene in 2011. In both concept and execution, Reptile felt so daring, so consistent, and so superlative, one would be forgiven for expecting its follow-up to show a sort of relaxing of the group's standards. Black to the Future is not relaxed. It is, from the incandescent rage of its opening notes, an unyielding album fueled by a relentless righteousness. The insistent interplay between Hutchings' sax work (and, here, additional woodwinds) and Theon Cross' tuba-playing has long been the resonant hallmark for Sons of Kemet's music, and on Black to the Future, the two are locked in as tightly as ever; however, the material here spans a wider range of tones and textures, allowing the group's sound to expand considerably. On "Let the Circle Be Unbroken," steel drums set the rhythmic scene and a deep tuba groove from Cross is countered by a soulful, mournful lead line by Hutchings, both of which evolve into a frenetic, ecstatic chorus by song's closing that clearly marks out that this is not the same song from your grandma's hymn book. Hutchings, Cross, and the rest of the Sons of Kemet core define the sound of most of the record, but there are also many guests who are deployed with maximum effectiveness. From Lianne La Havas and rapper/poet Kojey Radical turning "Hustle" into something truly genre-transcendent and Angel Bat Dawid and Moor Mother elevating the intensity of "Pick Up Your Burning Cross" into emotionally devastating territory. However, it's Joshua Idehen's unapologetically fiery poetry on the opening and closing tracks ("Field Negus" and "Black") that provides a thematic and vibrational bookend to this album. The incandescent rage of his delivery in conjunction with the sonic electricity of Sons of Kemet's music intentionally denies the listener any sort of easy closure from the tight-wound, revolutionary intensity of the album. You are meant to leave Black to the Future feeling energized, angry, and ready for action, and the musical and philosophical approach here absolutely ensures that result. It's an album that demands—and deserves—your attention and engagement. © Jason Ferguson/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released April 23, 2021 | Impulse!

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Jazz - Released March 30, 2021 | Impulse!

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Jazz - Released March 30, 2021 | Impulse!

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Jazz - Released November 20, 2020 | Impulse!

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Jazz - Released March 13, 2020 | Impulse!

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In 2016, Shabaka Hutchings made his debut with Impulse! with Your Queen is a Reptile, recorded with Sons of Kemet. Since his beginnings, the saxophonist and posterboy for the blossoming new British jazz scene has collaborated with plenty of artists (Sun Ra Arkestra, Heliocentrics, Anthony Joseph, Floating Points) and beefed up plenty of groups (The Comet Is Coming, Melt Yourself Down). With Shabaka & The Ancestors, he is joined by musicians from Johannesburg for an eclectic and engaged jazz record, blending spirituality and shamanic feelings. Four years after Wisdom of Elder, We Are Sent Here By History continues the South African adventure. Once again surrounded by a subtle but powerful rhythm section (bassist Ariel Zamonsky, drummer Tumi Mogorosi and percussionist Gontse Makhene), an inspired wind section (alto saxophonist Mthunzi Mvubu and trumpeter Mandla Mlangeni) and pianists Nduduzo Makhathini and Thandi Ntuli, Shabaka creates solid links between a jazz inherited by Sun Ra, Pharaoh Sanders and Don Cherry and the vast plethora that is African music. Zulu chants (We Will Work (On Redefining Manhood)) and texts sung by Siyabonga Mthembu that touch on ecology as much as the relationships between men and women reinforce this torrent of music. We Are Sent Here By History (better than its predecessor) is a snapshot of an era which questions the future of its protagonists, but is also a study of the values and sounds to conquer the future. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released February 21, 2020 | Impulse!

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Jazz - Released February 21, 2020 | Impulse!

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Jazz - Released January 31, 2020 | Impulse!

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Jazz - Released January 31, 2020 | Impulse!

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Jazz - Released September 27, 2019 | Impulse!

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A little more than a year after the release of Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album (a studio session from March 1963), the label Impulse! has released a new unpublished recording by John Coltrane. Recorded on June 24, 1964 (between the Crescent and A Love Supreme sessions) with his faithful colleagues Jimmy Garrison (double bass), Elvin Jones (drums) and McCoy Tyner (piano), Blue World is not an album like his others. In fact, it is music for film. Canadian director Gilles Groulx, a friend of Garrison, commissioned Trane’s Quartet to illustrate his next feature film, The Cat in the Bag. And the saxophonist obliged without warning his label. At the end of the short session, Groulx left for Quebec with the record under his arm but only used a few minutes in the final cut.55 years later, the whole session has resurfaced and we discover a truly inspired Coltrane, intertwining highly spiritual sequences with dazzling punctuations. The saxophonist was in a period of letting go of complex, superimposed harmonies. Later on in his career he even abandoned Western harmonies. Here, Coltrane is in the midst of a transition and the cohesion between the four musicians is stunning throughout. Blue World offers new takes of pieces that were recorded for his 1960 albums: his hit Naima which carried the album Giant Steps, as well as Village Blues and Like Sonny, two pieces found on his record Coltrane Jazz. Despite not being as essential as Crescent and A Love Supreme, Blue World remains a superb document concocted by a quartet unfortunately unable to provide anecdotal information. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz