Still going strong at the age of 81, legendary jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal's love letter to his favorite Broadway, Hollywood, and Great American Songbook classics, Blue Moon, is arguably one of his most accomplished efforts since his Chess/Impulse! heyday. The Pittsburgh virtuoso, once credited by Miles Davis as a major influence on his career, shows that age is no barrier to invention with six exquisite reworkings of postwar standards.
The drummer gives the saxophonists some on Coexist, another round of sophisticated truth telling from Winard Harper that demonstrates high standards of musical excellence when it comes to expansive compositions, creative arrangements and choice of able bandmates. Leading ensembles ranging from sextets to tentets, the leader taps guest saxophonists on five of the disc’s 12 tracks. He also shows off his considerable gifts as a trap-set wizard, percussionist and, on his African-tinged “Ummah” and “Jeli Posse,” a player of the balaphone, a vibraphone-type instrument from West Africa.
This album confirms it, Virginie Teychené is a musician with a voice. She strolls through her imaginary museum dedicated to jazz singer-songwriters and brings her own light to each of its rooms. A grazing light in Familiar Dream, a bright light in Tight, the light of dawn in I'm Gonna Go Fishing and that of dusk in Goodbye Pork Pie Hat. The contributions of her co-musicians are intense due to their restraint; Gérard Maurin's weightless double-bass arrangements, Stéphane Bernard's chiaroscuro piano playing, Jean-Pierre Arnaud's dance-like drumming, and last but not least, Éric Le Lann's inspired trumpet playing, all make Bright and Sweet an exemplary jazz album, where all the miniatures that make it up are in fact merely beginnings.
A landmark bit of indie funk from the 70s – one of the few records cut by Detroit keyboardist Eddie Russ, and easily the best! The album features Russ going to town on electric piano – working with a hip combo called The Mixed Bag, which features some wicked work on flute and soprano sax by Larry Nozero – and a vibe that's a lot more laidback than standard funk, or even more mainstream jazz funk too – a sweet open groove that's mighty nice all the way through! The album's really a showcase for Nozero and Russ' solos – trading back and forth effortlessly over long tunes that roll along in a sweet electric-tinged groove – long vamping rhythms that really seem to drive both players onto new heights.
We are pleased to announce "Charles Mingus - The Jazz Workshop Concerts 1964-65 (Town Hall, Amsterdam, Monterey '64, Monterey '65 & Minneapolis)." It chronicles the essential live performances of this genius of modern music as his compositions achieved a depth and complexity we would come to know as Mingus's most signature work. It includes (on the earlier recordings) the brilliant Eric Dolphy, along with Jaki Byard, Dannie Richmond, Johnny Coles, and Clifford Jordan – certainly one of the best assemblages of musicians ever. And the music, recorded across the world's concert stages and intended for release by Charles Mingus Enterprises, dashes once and for all every previously-held notion about what is, and isn't, jazz.
The title Paris Days, Berlin Nights is a little misleading. One might expect French songs about morning-after regrets and German ones about living cynically hedonistically, but this collection goes way beyond that. It includes songs about war, abandonment, the indifference of time to human suffering, and gritty street life, with music by Piazzolla and Polish-Jewish composer Chava Alberstein in addition to the expected Kurt Weill, Hanns Eisler, and Jacques Brel.
Instrumental Quartet open to the sounds of the world. The Camerata Flamenco Project comes from the friendship and communication during the many years of work of their members touring around the world with big dance companies, orchestras and, above all, composing and performing for the theatre, where the project took shape naturally as chamber music …until it took a life of its own with certain features that make it not only absolutely original, but also so intense in its live appearances that it's very difficult to match.
The Latin rock band Del Castillo started in the winter of 2000 in Austin, TX, as a family CD project for singer/guitarists and brothers Mark del Castillo and Rick del Castillo, who eventually added Alex Ruiz on lead vocals, guitar, and harmonica; Albert Besteiro on bass; and Mike Zeoli on drums. That CD turned out to be Del Castillo's debut release, Brothers of the Castle, in 2001. Vida followed in 2002, and Brotherhood (with special guest Willie Nelson) in 2006. The group's self-titled fourth album appeared in April 2009. Del Castillo also has contributed to several films directed by Robert Rodriguez, including Spy Kids 3D, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Sin City, and Grindhouse. Performing with Rodriguez under the name Chingon, they recorded a version of the traditional Mexican song "Malaguena Salerosa" used in the Quentin Tarantino film Kill Bill Vol. II.