Issued just after his landmark two-week June 1998 gig at the Village Vanguard and subsequent U.S./Canada tour, Chucho Valdйs' first album for Blue Note bears out a lot of the hype surrounding this hugely gifted Cuban pianist. Unlike many of today's younger Cuban keyboard hotshots, Valdйs not only has great technical chops and musical erudition, he manages to stay closely tied to his Cuban rhythmic roots. Thus, he employs a Cuban percussionist Roberto Vizcaino Guillot along with the standard bass (Alain Pйrez Rodriguez) and drums (Raъl Pнсeda Roque), which dramatically increases the possibilities for rhythmic experiments. Valdes more often than not is all over the keyboard, comfortable with everything from Ravel-ian classical complexity to Bill Evans' introspection to Cecil Taylor-like crunches.
On his fourth studio effort and first for Blue Note Records, 2017's Parking Lot Symphony, New Orleans singer, songwriter, and brass wizard Troy Andrews (aka Trombone Shorty) fully embraces the organic '70s-style R&B he’s heretofore only touched on. Ever since officially debuting in 2010 with Backatown, Andrews has moved ever closer to that '70s soul aesthetic with each subsequent album. Backatown even featured contributions from both Lenny Kravitz and legendary New Orleans pianist Allen Toussaint. In fact, his previous effort, 2013's Say That to Say This, had a similarly old-school bent courtesy of neo-soul master and co-producer Raphael Saadiq. But for Parking Lot Symphony, Andrews dives into the sound full-force, paired with producer Chris Seefried (Fitz & the Tantrums, Haley Reinhart, Andra Day) on a set of songs that bring to mind the earthy, vinyl-laden vibe of '70s artists like New Orleans own the Meters..
Reissue. Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player) and the latest 24bit 192kHz remastering. On Song for My Daughter, his third record for Blue Note, Jack Wilson "changed with the times," to paraphrase one of the record's songs. Like many of his peers on the label, Wilson pursued a pop direction as the '60s drew to a close, which meant he covered pop hits like "Scarborough Fair/Canticle" and "Stormy," and that he recorded the album with a large band augmented by a string section. It is a testament to Wilson's strengths as a pianist that he doesn't get lost in this heavy-handed setting and manages to contribute some typically graceful moments, including the lovely title song.
Mirroring his onetime boss and mentor Miles Davis' own protean output, Herbie Hancock has explored hard bop, soul-jazz, fusion, funk-rock, soundtracks, hip-hop-inflected pop ("Rockit"), and many permutations in between. His early work for Blue Note, though, offers the best entrée for newcomers. Compiled from five of his albums for the label and covering a period from 1962-1968, this fine sampler includes highlights from his debut, Takin' Off ("Watermelon Man"), the classic Maiden Voyage (the title track and "Dolphin Dance"), and the early electric album Speak Like a Child (the title track and "Riot"). Add to this more indelible cuts like "Cantaloupe Island" and "One Finger Snap," not to mention the presence of numerous '60s jazz luminaries (Dexter Gordon, Freddie Hubbard, Thad Jones, Hank Mobley, Billy Higgins, et al.), and you have perfect way to get a taste of some of the best modern jazz committed to wax.
Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player) and the latest 24bit 192kHz remastering. A real stroke of genius from pianist Andrew Hill – and a surprising one too! After an initial legacy of groundbreaking experimental sides for Blue Note, Hill returns to his "grass roots" on this excellent session of straight ahead, fairly funky, soul jazz piano tunes! In the notes, Hill claims a desire to get back to the people – and in a really unusual turn, he shakes off his previous modernist trappings and goes for territory that's much more in the mode of Lee Morgan, Horace Silver, or Hank Mobley on Blue Note!
Features SHM-CD format and the latest 24bit 192kHz remastering. One of the most dynamic albums that Andrew Hill ever cut for Blue Note – a record of long tracks, played by a largeish group who seem perfectly suited to Hill's most creative musical ideas! There's an approach here that almost predates some of the more righteous soul jazz ensemble sides of the 70s – as Hill's piano leads a octet that features Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, John Gilmore on tenor and bass clarinet, Cecil McBee and Richard Davis on basses, Joe Chambers on drums, and Nedi Quamar and Renaud Simmons on percussion. The percussionists roll out with quite a bit of presence in the set – not so much as on some of the Art Blakey percussion sides for Blue Note, but more with a pronounced sense of "bottom" that you might not always hear from Hill – an earthy, sometimes organic way of riffing that then allows freer solo work from the horns and piano on the top!
Don Grolnick was a busy session pianist/keyboardist who played on many kinds of dates, including jazz fusion and pop. But for a brief period in the late 1980s and early '90s, he detoured into playing post-bop. Weaver of Dreams was the first of his two CDs for Blue Note, featuring an all-star septet including the Brecker Brothers, Bob Mintzer, Dave Holland, Peter Erskine, and Barry Rogers.
Matt Baker, Liz Bonnin and Steve Backshall present a three-part series observing the wide variety of sea creatures that gather in California's Monterey Bay, including many endangered species. Big Blue Live simply wouldn’t be possible without the help of a large network of partners, scientists and contributors, all pulling together to promote ocean life.