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Classical - Released June 24, 2016 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2010 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard
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Africa - Released January 1, 2009 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Victoire de la musique - The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Classical - Released April 12, 2019 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica - La Clef RESMUSICA
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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
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2010 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard
This is the Django Reinhardt who might have been, recorded only two months before his death from a stroke. With a French bop rhythm section in tow, he thoroughly adapts himself to the prevailing idiom while allowing himself plenty of gypsy-flavored runs and those unique harmonic turns of phrase. Reinhardt's sharp attacks, fast runs, vibrato, and bright tone on electric guitar delineate the links to Les Paul much more clearly than his acoustic guitar recordings do (explicitly so in one of Paul's famous vehicles, "Brazil"), and runs like those on "Confessin'" must have had an effect upon Chet Atkins. Clearly, Reinhardt would have been a leading, distinctive light of mainstream bop-grounded jazz had he lived and toured outside France. He could also play the blues convincingly on the cool, swinging, and droll "Blues for Ike" (for the newly inaugurated President Eisenhower?). Nevertheless, there is a strain of melancholy that runs through most of this collection, nowhere more so than in his heart-stopping closing rendition of his tune "Manoir de Mese Reves" (also known as "Django's Castle"); one could read a portent of impending mortality into this. Issued on 10" LPs in the 1950s, first on Mercury, then on Clef, mutilated in the '70s with overdubs by a group called Guitars Unlimited, and not issued on CD until the early '90s, these sessions have not been given their due among historians. But they are indispensable for a total understanding of his music. © Richard S. Ginell /TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2013 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - Hi-Res Audio
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French Music - Released January 1, 2004 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard
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French Music - Released January 1, 1998 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2007 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2007 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1993 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard
On Bheki Mseleku's American label debut, jazz greats Joe Henderson, Abbey Lincoln, Pharoah Sanders, and Elvin Jones, plus up-and-comers Kent Jordan and Rodney Kendrick, join the South African-born London resident and his trio mates Michael Bowie and Marvin "Smitty" Smith for a diverse program of Mseleku originals. And the stars make their presence felt. The uptempo title track has one of the best Henderson solos heard anywhere. The beautiful "Through the Years" features Lincoln's lyrics and a heartfelt vocal. Sanders contributes some forceful tenor sax on the joyous "Yanini," while the bouncy "Homeboyz" puts the percussive piano vamp of Kendrick under Mseleku's alto sax. As for Jones, the drum legend proves he is also a master of brushes and soft bass drum on the introspective "My Passion." Mseleku primarily plays McCoy Tyner-influenced piano on this recording, but his tenor and alto sax work are more than adequate. Timelessness is an impressive American label debut for this talented artist. © Greg Turner /TiVo
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Flamenco - Released January 1, 1996 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
The acoustic guitar trio of John McLaughlin, Al di Meola, and Paco de Lucia can always be relied upon to create quiet but fiery music. The three virtuosos always sound restrained and tasteful (yet inwardly explosive) when they play together. This 1996 effort has three originals apiece from McLaughlin and di Meola, two by de Lucia and a beautiful McLaughlin-di Meola duet on "Manha de Carnaval" that makes one wish they would more fully explore bossa nova. Most of the selections are thoughtful, but there are also plenty of explosive outbursts for contrast (along with the jubilant closer "Cardeosa") on the highly arranged yet spontaneous-sounding program. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Contemporary Jazz - Released February 15, 2019 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama
Piano/bass/drums trios are like small islands which are deserted in spirit and highly populated in reality. And jazz pianists can’t help but keep coming back to visit! Some even live there all year round. For Yaron Herman, playing as a trio means "freedom with constraints": make something new out of something old, don't simply copy the big names (Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, Ahmad Jamal...), bend the rules by staying within them and, most importantly, have something to say. The Franco-Israeli jazzman is fully aware of the difficulty and ambiguity of the task. "As a trio, it is not easy to find new things, to make a melody sing, to come up with something moving or illuminating, to place yourself in space, sound and improvisation."Nine years after Follow the White Rabbit, Herman decided to "go back to basics" with this trio album. Songs of the Degrees won’t leave you indifferent. With drummer Ziv Ravitz (who has been by his side on his four previous records) and the Iranian-American double bassist Sam Minaie (Charlie Haden's former student who has worked extensively with Tigran Hamasyan) he has found a rhythmic dream team who understand his compositions perfectly. They are compositions that are reinforced with melodies that you’ll be whistling all day long, the kind that remain imprinted in your brain. What’s more, Yaron Herman displays his flair for the exceptional use of space and silence. It’s in those moments that his playing reaches an organic simplicity that makes Songs of the Degrees one of his most engaging albums yet. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2001 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Charlie Haden teams up once more with the young Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba for this melancholy, soothing album. Ignacio Berroa, on drums and percussion, completes the core trio. Special guests include tenor saxophonists Joe Lovano and David Sanchez, violinist Federico Britos Ruiz, and guitarist Pat Metheny (one track only). Rubalcaba contributes orchestrations on two cuts, both of which omit drums and percussion. Haden's intention is to explore the bolero, a distinctive Latin dance rhythm that Ignacio Berroa accents with a soft, subtle snare drum roll, played with brushes, beginning on the "and" of the first beat of the bar and ending on the second. This rhythm is perfect for a slow dance, and indeed, the entire album is highly romantic, with bittersweet melodies and lilting cadences. The only problem is that Berroa's bolero figure anchors nearly every track -- perhaps what one should expect from a bolero album, but there's no getting around the fact that the music sounds pretty much the same throughout. (To be fair, Berroa isn't solely to blame for the sameness.) Most of the songs, save for two originals by Haden and one by Rubalcaba, are Cuban and Mexican standards, and they're beauties. Haden's reluctance to mess with them is understandable. But the unvaryingly straightforward arrangements fade too easily into the background. Nocturne may well be the best candlelight dinner music ever, but Haden and his guests are capable of more. © David R. Adler /TiVo
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Jazz - Released September 28, 2018 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Hi-Res Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
At 66 years old, Sco remains fascinating. With about fifty albums as either the lead artist or under a shared credit, the guitarist from Ohio always finds interesting stories to tell. This time he uses a four piece including his old friend and drummer Bill Stewart (with whom he’s been playing since 1992!), bassist Vincente Archer (a member of Robert Glasper’s trio), and organist and pianist (keyboard) Gerald Clayton. “Guitar and keyboard are not always the easiest mix. Because of its percussive nature, the piano is relatively similar to the guitar. But Gerald has a beautiful touch and though he is quite modern, his style reminds me of Hank Jones or Tommy Flanagan, and that really is a beautiful legato sound that works well with the guitar.”Armed with his Ibanez AS200, John Scofield, aware of the guitar/keyboard clash, carefully delivers progressions and improvisations that perfectly complement Clayton’s playing style. Their back-and-forths send sparks flying on the up-tempo tracks such as Willa Jean and New Waltzo. The real success of this album is found in the way it puts the emphasis on swing, an eternal swing, like on King of Belgium. The track that closes Combo 66 is a homage to the Belgian harmonica master, Toots Thielemans, a man full of humanity and gifted with a wonderful sense of humour, a quality he shared with John Scofield. “If you can’t have fun playing music, go home! I always take jazz very seriously, but the fact is that it only works if you are relaxed and you don’t worry. If you try too hard, it simply doesn’t work. Humour really helps me find a better place with music.” © Max Dembo/Qobuz
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Electronic - Released January 1, 1996 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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French Music - Released January 1, 2009 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
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French Music - Released January 1, 2000 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
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World - Released January 1, 2003 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Yet another of Harry Belafonte's protégés who later made a big name for himself, Cameroon's Richard Bona takes time out from his ace session bass life to make another remarkably versatile, impeccably polished solo album, Munia: The Tale, his first on Verve. While Bona allows rock, jazz, funk, and Brazilian influences through the window, the melodies and rhythmic patterns are still strongly rooted in West Africa, always permeating the atmosphere. On some of the tracks, Bona needs no help at all to make an impression, layering on his vocals over his bass, guitars, keyboards, and percussion in an exquisitely controlled one-man show. He often does so with the subtle shading and dabs of color of a pianter, like the gentle Moog lines that seep into the background of "Dina Lam." Indeed, "Munia" opens with a cleverly titled a cappella incantation "Bonatology" -- featuring no other voices than those of Bona. And when he gets one of those revolving Afrobeat grooves going -- with irresistible results on "Couscous" -- you wish the track would never end. Yet Bona also doesn't mind playing a supporting role, laying back on bass as Miles Davis alumnus Kenny Garrett offers up some soulful soprano sax on the now-contemplative, now-complex Miles tribute "Painting a Wish." Salif Keita adds his impassioned, keening vocals to "Kalabancoro," and Romero Lubambo's acoustic guitar gives "Bona Petit" (another self-referential title) a lot of its Brazilian flavor. Bona the virtuoso doesn't try to dazzle you with his technique; instead, he seduces you with his music's glossy finish and peacefully insistent rhythms. © Richard S. Ginell /TiVo