Blues & Jazz
Kahil El'Zabar's 'Spirit Groove' on Spiritmuse Records is the latest musical inspiration from a spiritual jazz master Kahil El'Zabar, featuring the legendary tenor sax colossus, David Murray. El'Zabar's and Murray's collaborative efforts span over 4 decades of exceptional explorations in the varied realms of spiritual jazz. Joining them on this project are 2 extraordinary young talents, Emma Dayhuff on acoustic bass and Justin Dillard on keyboards/organ. 'Spirit Groove' is an innovative journey into the core soul of jazz and groove, where all are one in Spirit.
Kenny Dorham's 1964 album Trompeta Toccata would be the final album that the great underrated trumpeter and composer would record as a leader, and it stands as a fitting testament to his prodigious talent. The album featured a stellar quintet with Dorham and his frequent collaborator Joe Henderson on tenor saxophone along with pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Richard Davis, and drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath.
On 1964's Into Somethin', Larry Young made it abundantly clear that he had his own unique approach to the Hammond B-3 organ. Young explored a more modal territory over the course of his six Blue Note albums including this tremendous session featuring tenor saxophonist Sam Rivers, guitarist Grant Green, and drummer Elvin Jones. This Blue Note 80 Vinyl Edition is all-analog, mastered by Kevin Gray from the original master tapes, and pressed on 180-gram vinyl at Optimal.
On his second Blue Note album Smoke Stack, pianist and composer Andrew Hill used an unusual line-up of two bassists (Richard Davis and Eddie Khan) along with the masterful Roy Haynes on drums. The seven Hill compositions that the quartet explore here contain all the rare beauty to be found in his music. This Blue Note 80 Vinyl Edition is all-analog, mastered by Kevin Gray from the original master tapes, and pressed on 180g vinyl at Optimal.
Three, the 21st album from legendary Australian instrumental trio The Necks, is a winding, textural, and visceral musical exploration through three individual, contrasting tracks that each delve into separate tenets of their sound. Three's variety of tones and structures offer a glimpse into the boundless, immersive sonic universe The Necks have been constructing, through recorded and live performance, for over 30 years. From its very first moments, 'Bloom' rattles and propels listeners through a dense, mesmerizing soundscape of unceasing intensity. Directly juxtaposing the consuming rattle of the opener, 'Lovelock,' dedicated to the memory of Damien Lovelock, former frontman of The Celibate Rifles, is a weightless and atmospheric threnody that ruminates in the quiet and overwhelming moments of grief. The final setting of Three is one of warmth and familiarity. 'Further,' is a confident, seductive groove in a quintuple meter, reminiscent of the groups' work on records like Sex (1989) and Aquatic (1994). Contrasting the style of their celebrated improvisational live act, the group's studio work is meticulously sculpted from beginning to end. On Three, Chris Abrahams (piano), Lloyd Swanton (bass), Tony Buck (drums/percussion), and their long-time backend collaborators Tim Whitten (engineer) and Doung Henderson (master) have again scrupulously built music that focuses on the most intricate edges of staggeringly immense, diverse worlds. From strained to still to smoky, each piece of Three marks itself as distinct and its own, but all feel representative of Australia's greatest cult band, The Necks.
Double vinyl LP pressing. Bitches Brew is a studio album by jazz musician, composer, and bandleader Miles Davis, originally released on March 30, 1970. It marked his continuing experimentation with electric instruments that he had previously featured on the critically acclaimed In a Silent Way (1969). With these instruments, such as the electric piano and guitar, Davis rejected traditional jazz rhythms in favor of loose, rock-influenced arrangements based on improvisation. In subsequent years, Bitches Brew gained recognition as one of jazz's greatest albums and a progenitor of the jazz rock genre, as well as a major influence on rock and funk musicians.
Vinyl LP pressing. 2020 release from the singer/songwriter. Supernova, the follow-up to her 2018 debut Starfire, is a "reflection of on the highs and lows that make life so beautiful," according to a press release. It was written after an extensive time on the road and the birth of her second child.
Robert Cray has been bridging the lines between blues, soul and R&B for the past four decades, with five Grammy wins and over 20 acclaimed albums. His latest album, That's What I Heard, was recorded at the iconic Capitol Records studios and produced by Steve Jordan (Sheryl Crow, Josh Groban, Keith Richards, Boz Scaggs). The music is a varied sonic blend of blues, soul, boogaloo and gospel. Guest artists include Ray Parker Jr and Steve Perry.
Sonny Landreth’s new album "Blacktop Run" mixes genres and styles across a landscape of lyricism and rootsy grooves. His 3rd album for blues connaisseur label Provogue, and his 14th overall, will be released on February 21, 2020. A percussive burst of acoustic resonator guitar pushes the narrator on a journey “between the life I left and the edge of next” in the title cut of guitarist, songwriter and bandleader Sonny Landreth’s 14th album. As the singer feels the wind at his back, a rising bass line intersects Landreth's vocalizing to stretch the fingerpicked tune into Far Eastern melodicism. The south Louisiana artist's groundbreaking work has long mixed familiarity with experimentation, and his latest ten-song collection stretches from hard-edged electric instrumentals to wistful acoustic ballads. The project's range is the fruit of a renewed collaboration. Producer RS Field – who helmed Landreth's trio of breakout albums – joined the six-stringer and co-producer Tony Daigle to finish the record.
New Vinyl: $26.98 Buy
Like their acclaimed ECM release Small Town of 2017 which The Guardian called "wistful and mesmerizing... tonally ingenious and haunting" Epistrophy by guitarist Bill Frisell and bassist Thomas Morgan was recorded at New York City's Village Vanguard. The new album once again captures the rare empathy these two players achieve together in this intimate environment. There are further poetic takes on pieces from the duo's beloved Americana songbook ("All in Fun," "Red River Valley," "Save the Last Dance for Me"), as well as another intense version of a composition by Paul Motian ("Mumbo Jumbo"), an artist whom both the guitarist and bassist knew well. Frisell and Morgan communicate the essence of Billy Strayhorn's "Lush Life" and the Frank Sinatra hit "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning," so much so that the famous words seem to hang in the air even without a singer. At the center of the album is a pair of pieces by Thelonious Monk: the funky, angular "Epistrophy" and the ruminative ballad "Pannonica." And as with "Goldfinger" on Small Town, Frisell and Morgan offer a glowing duo interpretation of a melody-rich John Barry title tune from a James Bond film "You Only Live Twice."
Big Bad Blues, as the title suggests, focuses on Gibbons' lifelong love of the blues and rock & roll, showcasing the blues-influenced vocals and guitar licks that have together served as the foundation for his numerous hits over the past five decades. The album features 11 tracks balancing some classic covers like 'Rollin' and Tumblin,'' and 'Standing Around Crying' along with some of Billy's signature new blues originals.
Cheyenne Valley Drive is the 3rd studio album (and the first on their brand new label Bud's Recording Services), by Austin's Greyhounds. The band has been aptly described as "ZZ Top meets Hall & Oats" for their blend of gritty guitar riffs, smooth rhythms and soulful R&B. Cheyenne Valley Drive is no exception. Co-writers and singers Anthony Farrell and Andrew Trube mix these elements deftly throughout the 10 tracks. The sessions were recorded and mixed at legendary Sam Phillips Recording in Memphis, TN by Grammy award winning engineer Matt Ross-Spang (Margot Price, Jason Isbell).
New CD: $11.98 Buy
Mississippi, particularly the Delta, lays claim to being the land where the blues began. Forged in the crucible of poverty and racial oppression, blues flourished there as nowhere else, evolving into what most critics consider the deepest or most intense strain of the blues tradition. During the Great Migration, music changed consistently, adapting to its new surroundings like St. Louis and Chicago, while retaining its connection to its down home Delta roots. This collection celebrates the diversity and dissemination of the blues’ most powerful and influential voices. 67 minutes, 40-page booklet with extensive notes and photos.
In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording captures jazz guitar legend Wes Montgomery on his only tour of Europe on the night of March 27, 1965 at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, France. The first official release of this legendary concert, In Paris is being released in partnership with the Institutnational de l'audiovisuel (INA) with remastered, high-resolution audio transferred directly from the original tape reels. The concert was organized by jazz producer and impresario Alan Bates to the great delight of European audiences who had long wanted to see Wes perform live, but his severe fear of flying had kept him in the states. Featuring an all-star band with pianist Harold Mabern, bassist Arthur Harper and drummer Jimmy Lovelace, with special guest tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin, the deluxe 2CD set includes an extensive 32-page booklet with stunning archival photos taken at the concert from famed music photographer Jean-Pierre Leloir; essays from historian and director of operations in jazz studies at Rutgers University, Vincent Pelote, Resonance producer Zev Feldman and associate producer Pascal Rozat from INA; plus interviews with pianist Harold Mabern, renowned guitarist Russell Malone and more.
New CD: $49.98 Buy
For the first time, all of Ella & Louis' classic duets are in one place. This 4CD set gathers their timeless three Verve albums newly remastered versions of Ella and Louis, Ella and Louis Again and Porgy and Bess combining them with their eight Decca singles, live recordings from Jazz at the Hollywood Bowl plus several alternates & false starts from the Decca & Verve eras, illuminating their craft & good humor. The set also includes an extensive essay by Ricky Riccardi.
The latest entry in the award-winning Miles Davis Bootleg Series focuses on the final chapter in the landmark collaboration between Davis and saxophonist John Coltrane: their last live performances together, in Europe in the spring of 1960.
Miles and Coltrane first collaborated in 1955, when Davis recruited the tenor saxophonist alongside pianist Red Garland, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Philly Joe Jones. This "first great quintet" made their Columbia Records debut in 1957. Those early recordings showcased the stunning contrasts between Miles' spacious, melodic lines and Trane's cascading high-energy solos, famously described by the critic Ira Gilter in 1958 as "sheets of sound."
While the quintet disbanded shortly after the release of 'Round About Midnight, Coltrane was back in Miles' ensemble in early 1958. A year late, the Miles Davis Sextet (Davis, Coltrane, Chambers, saxophonist Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, pianists Bill Evans or Wynton Kelly, and drummer Jimmy Cobb) recorded the historic Kind Of Blue, the best-selling jazz album of all time. And for this final tour the rhythm section of Kelly, Chambers and Cobb backed Miles and Trane.
These historic performances marked Miles and Trane's last outing together and showcased both musicians' incredible influence on the changing sound of jazz. The beautiful music they made together is presented here officially for the very first time.
The 4CD set The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series Vol. 6 includes concerts recorded in Paris, Copenhagen and Stockholm.
BMG proudly release Gary Moore’s Blues and Beyond, a remarkable collection of his powerful and emotive blues studio recordings. Blues and Beyond is released on double CD, 4 LP and as a box set, which includes unreleased live recordings and the official Gary Moore biography I Can’t Wait Until Tomorrow written by Harry Shapiro. Best known for his evocative solo hits, Parisienne Walkways and Still Got the Blues (live versions feature in this set), and his on/off membership of Thin Lizzy, Gary Moore’s solo career comprises over twenty albums. Throughout the 1980s, Gary moved up the rock hierarchy, but turned his back on what he regarded as the empty flash of metal and reverted to his heart music – the blues – where ironically he scored his biggest commercial success through his 1990s and 2000s blues albums. As well as running his own bands, during a successful solo career, Gary mixed with the best that rock and blues could offer, playing live and on record with George Harrison, Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, Greg Lake, BB King, Albert King, Albert Collins and many others. Gary was also the guitarist many looked up to, not just for the terrifying speed of his fretwork, but for the passion, fire and honesty in his playing.