In the summer of 2011 France’s most eminent cultural institution, the Château de Versailles, joined naïve in celebrating Antonio Vivaldi with a month of concerts, fireworks and publications – the crowning glory of our first ten years of work in restituting the massive corpus of works by this little-known italian composer to the public. The Vivaldi edition, a recording venture conceived by the italian musicologist Alberto Basso (istituto per i Beni Musicali in Piemonte) and the independent label naïve, is one of the most ambitious recording projects of the twenty-first century. its principal objective is to record the massive collection of Vivaldi autograph manuscripts preserved in the Biblioteca nazionale Universitaria in Turin.
Avishai Cohen impressed a lot of listeners with his soulful contributions to Mark Turner’s Lathe of Heaven album in 2014. Now the charismatic Tel Aviv-born trumpeter has his ECM leader debut in a programme of expansive and impressionistic compositions for jazz quartet (trumpet, piano, bass, drums), augmented by tenor saxophone on a few pieces. Into The Silence is dedicated to the memory of Avishai’s father David, reflecting upon the last days of his life with grace and restraint. Avishai’s tender muted trumpet sets the emotional tone of the music in the album’s opening moments and his gifted cast of musicians explore its implications. Israeli pianist Yonathan Avishai has played with Cohen in many settings and solos creatively inside the trumpeter’s haunting compositions, sometimes illuminating them with the phraseology of the blues.
For 15 years, Jake Shimabukuro has been expanding the possibilities of the ukulele as an instrument, bringing it from its role as a cornerstone of Hawaiian music into the worlds of rock, jazz and classical music. This January, Shimabukuro assembled a trio and went into the studio with no music written beforehand, in hopes of coming up with some decent ideas and maybe recording a song or two. Six days later, they had recorded Nashville Sessions, a full album of original compositions, written on the spot and recorded live.
In the autumn of 2016, word began to spread around New Orleans that an extraordinary new collective had begun to record an album and were starting to perform in the premier venues in the city. The personnel? Brad Webb on drums, Matt Booth on bass, and Oscar Rossignoli on piano. All of them compose for the group, and with the particular musical personalities of the group foremost in mind – an approach that has thrilled locals and will likely soon reach audiences both nationally and internationally.
Street Blues is a beautifully produced album that is a fantastic listening experience. Full of great original songs and choice covers. A perfect vehicle for Simon's clever writing, soulful singing and killer modern blues guitar playing.
Cuban born pianist Alfredo Rodrguez literally lived his music while in his native land. Coming to the United States has given Rodriguez a new perspective and a second chance at creativity that few artists are smart enough to embrace on the first go-round. The Invasion Parade celebrates different styles of Cuban music seldom recorded in the United States along with a wonderful lineup of musicians including a nice cameo from Esperanza Spalding.
The hauntingly beautiful voice of countertenor Carlos Mena is featured here on the Mirare début of the Disfonik Orchestra. The group’s music blends jazz and classical with other influences to produce a sound that is both unique and captivating. Under the Shadow includes a selection of some of the most beautiful works in the classical repertoire, delicately arranged for jazz band.
Legendary jazz greats Branford Marsalis and Kurt Elling collaborate for the first time on a full album, Upward Spiral. They ve been talking for a while about making a record together, and finally at the end of 2015 it all came together. They found time to play the new material in the New Orleans Snug Harbor club for four days and then recorded a variety of songs in the studio, all chosen because of their melodic richness and musical quality. Their versions of the chosen material are simply incredible, as the musicality of Branford and Kurt and their deep understanding of these songs shows through immediately.