It's been 4 years since the critically acclaimed, Grammy nominated, and #1 Billboard Blues album Seesaw was released by singer-songwriter Beth Hart and guitar hero Joe Bonamassa. They have reunited for Black Coffee - another collection of scorching interpretations of ten soul gems that pair Hart’s breathtaking vocals and Joe’s masterfully expressive playing. Featuring songs made famous by; Edgar Winter, Ray Charles, Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, Lucinda Williams and more. LP is 180g, red vinyl, and contains an exclusive bonus track.
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.
The sessions that produced Out In The Open were brisk and instinctive, expansive yet intimate, visceral and immediate - and they would have had to be, for herein are songs that tell the big story by drawing the small ones. There is, to my ear, as much of Raymond Carver's literate and humane influence on display as the Osborne Brothers, as much Welty in the pointed details - both sublime and confounding - as Clark and Van Zandt. Compassion and determination act as connective tissue when, throughout this song cycle, the bones, muscle, and blood of daily life dance with loose-limbed motion toward the inevitable, guided by an ethos best articulated by Sam Beckett who directed that when we falter, we try again and ''fail better.''
While in the studio, the Rangers stood in a circle - facing each other and the music with a well-worn brotherhood that was as well open to all they could not imagine transpiring between them. The songs were written as a map, and their shared history a compass blade, but the road itself - the journey - was a moving target and, as with all relevant music, remains one. And the Steep Canyon Rangers are moving along with it. - Joe Henry
And now we have Goin' Platinum!, the newest effort from the soon-to-be legendary soul singer Robert Finley and his crack band of geniuses. From the lovelorn bombast of "If You Forget My Love" to the soul-stirring "Medicine Woman," and the home-on-the-road ripper "Empty Arms" to the yearning "Honey Let Me Stay the Night," all capped by the epic closer "Holy Wine," featuring Finley's ethereal falsetto, Finley's performance left Dan Auerbach speechless-as it will anyone who lays ears to it.
As for the album title, Dan Auerbach gives all credit to Finley and his huge but wholly considerate personality. "He was just beaming from the second he walked in the door," Auerbach says. "Every time he'd listen to playback, he'd say, ‘It's goin' platinum.' That was his catch phrase.
Doctor Ross, also known as "Doctor Ross the Harmonica Boss", made his reputation as a bluesman in Memphis before moving to Michigan. During the early '50s, Ross recorded his first sides, including "Chicago Breakdown”, with Sam Phillips at Sun Records. This compilation, Memphis Breakdown, compiles the best of those early Memphis sessions all in one place, remastered for vinyl.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe was the first great recording star of gospel music and among the first gospel musicians to appeal to rhythm-and-blues and rock-and-roll audiences, later being referred to as “the original soul sister” and “the godmother of rock and roll”. This live recording from 1960 had never been on vinyl, until now, a whole 57 years later.
The set has plenty of variety, lots of sincere feeling, and high levels of musicianship from the unique performer. Highlights include “He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands,” “Didn’t It Rain,” “The Gospel Train” and “Down By the Riverside.” The album was remastered for vinyl from analog tape and pressed at Pallas Group in Germany.
Over the course of his astounding career, acclaimed singer-songwriter, Seal, has sold over 50 million albums globally. Now this iconic voice is tackling timeless songs with a collection of stunning versions of standards. Standards will release on November 10 and will include hit tracks “Luck Be A Lady” and “It Was A Very Good Year.”
Blue Note Records will release a new Deluxe Edition of Norah Jones’ acclaimed album Day Breaks. A 2-CD set and limited edition 2-LP 180g silver foil-cover vinyl.
The expanded track listing includes the addition of nine songs recorded live in New York City during Norah’s memorable album release shows at the Sheen Center’s Loreto Theater in October 2016. The live cuts include versions of songs from Day Breaks like “Flipside” and the Horace Silver ballad “Peace,” as well as fan favorites like “Don’t Know Why” and “Sunrise,” performed by Norah (voice, piano), Chris Thomas (bass), Brian Blade (drums), Pete Remm (Hammond B-3 organ), and background vocalists Tarriona ‘Tank’ Ball & Anjelika ‘Jelly’ Joseph of Tank and The Bangas (winners of NPR Music’s 2017 Tiny Desk Contest).
Two-time GRAMMY-winning vocalist Gregory Porter s 3rd Blue Note album, Nat King Cole & Me, is a heartfelt tribute to his idol, the legendary singer, pianist and Capitol recording artist Nat King Cole.
With the help of 6-time GRAMMY-winning arranger Vince Mendoza, the London Studio Orchestra, a core band featuring pianist Christian Sands, bassist Reuben Rogers, and drummer Ulysses Owens, and special guest trumpeter Terence Blanchard on two tracks, Porter revisits some of Cole s most cherished classics such as Mona Lisa, L-O-V-E, Nature Boy & The Christmas Song
The Luckiest Man confirms Ronnie Earl’s status as one of the most soulful blues/soul/jazz guitarists working today. A three-time Blues Award winner as Guitarist Of The Year, Earl has worked with his band The Broadcasters for almost 30 years. This is his 25th release. This album is dedicated to the memory of long-time Broadcaster bass player Jim Mouradian. As Jim would say when he first met someone, “I’m the luckiest man you know — and I don’t even know who you know.” Playing with spellbinding intensity and soul, Earl has a legion of fans that await each new release.
2017 release from the blues singer, songwriter and guitarist. Fish recorded Belle of the West in the relaxed, rural creative atmosphere of the legendary Zebra Ranch Studios in the North Hills of Mississippi with producer Luther Dickinson (of North Mississippi Allstars fame), with whom she worked previously on her 2015 album Wild Heart. The studio team included some of the region's most iconoclastic musicians, including Dickinson, solo artist and Jack White associate Lillie Mae, much-traveled juke-joint blues artist Lightnin' Malcolm, Squirrel Nut Zippers founder Jimbo Mathus, upright bassist and beloved solo artist Amy LaVere, Tikyra Jackson, Trina Raimey and Shardé Thomas, granddaughter of the legendary Southern bluesman Otha Turner.
2017 release from the veteran blues outfit. Blues is not for the faint-hearted. Since the genre first drew breath, it's greatest practitioners have embraced the darkness, spinning tales of hardship and death, hellhounds and devilry. If the sleeve of Witchy Feelin' suggests that Kim Simmonds, too, has a tendency towards the macabre, then Savoy Brown's iconic leader is happy to confirm it. "Blues has always dealt with themes of the Devil, witchcraft and so forth, and I've always written along those lines. At least three of the songs on Witchy Feelin' have that hoodoo vibe..." Witchy Feelin' proves the Devil still has all the best tunes. From the thrillingly brittle guitar riff that opens Why Did You Hoodoo Me, we are in the hands of a master, with Simmonds reigniting the seismic vocals and searing fretwork that established Savoy Brown as linchpins of the '60s British blues boom. Recording alongside Pat Desalvo (bass), Garnet Grimm (drums) and engineer Ben Elliott, Simmonds leads us into a world of dark nights, wild weather, women and whiskey: all perennial themes given a modern twist by this ageless bluesman. "The songs on this album have been two years in the making," he reflects. "I tried to write songs that had a personal point of view yet can be relatable to everyone. On 'Vintage Man', I wrote about being the type of guy who doesn't change as he gets older. I wrote about the power of love on 'Why Did You Hoodoo Me'. And with 'Guitar Slinger', I wrote a song about seeing a great guitar player in an old country bar - as I did when I first saw Roy Buchanan in '69."
Sister Rosetta Tharpe was the first great recording star of gospel music and among the first gospel musicians to appeal to rhythm-and-blues and rock-and-roll audiences, later being referred to as "the original soul sister" and "the godmother of rock and roll". This live recording from 1960 had never been on vinyl, until now, a whole 57 years later. The set has plenty of variety, lots of sincere feeling, and high levels of musicianship from the unique performer. Highlights include "He's Got the Whole World In His Hands," "Didn't It Rain," "The Gospel Train" and "Down By the Riverside." The album was remastered for vinyl from analog tape and pressed at Pallas Group in Germany.
One of the South's finest vocalists, international recording artist Susan Marshall began her career Off-Broadway as a leading soprano in the Rep-Company Light Opera of Manhattan. Shortly after moving back to Memphis in 1990 she began fronting rock-soul band The Mother Station and was signed to a record deal with EastWest / Atlantic Records. In 1994 they released their debut album "Brand New Bag" which peaked at #34 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock charts.
Since then, Susan has released three critically praised solo albums - "Susan Marshall Is Honey Mouth", "Firefly" and "Little Red".
Susan has toured all over the world as part of the Afghan Whigs as well as with Cat Power & The Memphis Rhythm Band, which included appearances on Austin City Limits, The Late Show w/ David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O'Brian, and the BBC's Later...with Jools Holland.
Her new release on Madjack Records is titled "639 Madison". Recorded at world renowned Sam Phillips Recording Studio in Memphis, TN, the album includes Susan's interpretation of several classic songs including one new song written by Sam Phillips' son Jerry.
The theme of friendship has carried Mitch Woods along through his career and has led him to this, his current duets and trios project…. Friends Along The Way. Featuring Guests: Van Morrison, Taj Mahal, Elvin Bishop, Charlie Musselwhite, Ruthie Foster, Joe Louis Walker, Maria Muldaur, Cyril Neville, Marcia Ball, John Hammond, Kenny Neal, James Cotton, John Lee Hooker and more… Mitch Woods has delivered a career spanning tour de force. What you hear on these songs is a simple duo or trio of musicians each expressing their innermost feelings and emotions through their instrument….the voice, piano, guitar, harmonica, tambourine…anything that can communicate the feelings, the rhythms of life to the audience. Friends Along The Way finds Mitch reaching into his historical sense of music. He reaches backwards to the roots rather than forward for his inspiration. This shines through on the first single “Take This Hammer” featuring a stunning vocal performance from Van Morrison and backed on guitar by Taj Mahal and of course Mitch Woods on piano. With Friends Along The Way, Mitch wanted to get a chance to play with some of his contemporaries in an intimate and mostly unplugged environment. The piano as an instrument lends itself to this format so perfectly. Mitch can play rhythm, lead, bass, and sing while accompanying some of his friends, who happen to be today’s blues and musical greats. It is a great instrument for bringing out the best of these awesome artists who are keeping the blues flame burning for generations to come. Some say music is a gift. It is a gift, not only to the person who performs it but to the world. The musicians you hear in these songs have spent a lifetime doing what they love to do….play music. Enjoy…this album is Mitch Wood’s gift to you
Duke Ellington and his Orchestra recorded multiple albums worth of material for this World Broadcasting Series between 1943 and 1945. The songs on this compilation include the best of two volumes which were originally released by Circle Records in 1985. All of the material was recorded on November 8 and 9 of 1943. The album was remastered and pressed on audiophile-grade vinyl at Pallas Group in Germany.
New Vinyl: $274.98 Buy
Deluxe box set contains 10 vinyl LPs, four DVDs and a book. Here you go. The box set celebrating the 20th anniversary of the passing of blues legend Luther Allison. This release is limited and numbered to 1500 CD sets; you should not wait to get your copy of this collection containing the essential albums Luther recorded after his Motown years. In addition to the albums, our friend Art Tipaldi has written an 88-page coffee table book featuring Luther's inspiring story, comments from his friends and associates, as well as many rare and private photos. Plenty of video footage is included on four DVDs. You'll get to see performances from 1997 (Live in Paradise and Zoo Bar), 1991 (a concert in Germany where Luther plays alongside his son Bernard), and 1987 (a show from East Berlin). It's all there; this compilation is a feast for the eyes, ears, and heart of any blues fan. Luther Allison is a genuine blues hero with an incomparable expanse of energy and love for his music and for the people who loved it. I hope you enjoy every bit of this celebratory Luther Allison collection.
SUPERSONIC BLUES MACHINE will release their exciting new studio album CALIFORNISOUL on October 20, 2017. "CALIFORNISOUL! That’s exactly what it is. It's the missing soundtrack to a summertime drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 1971!" Fabrizio Grossi explains. The album picks up right where the band left off on their well-received debut record, 'West of Flushing, South of Frisco'. Californisoul is all about great songs. "Cry" is a soul searching, simmering piece of poetry and Lance Lopez preaches it in the most righteous way. "I Am Done Missing You" is another number that reaches down deep with a message that will resonate with both spurned lovers and those who have left their bad habits and way in the past. "This Is Love" could be the lovechild of Bob Marley and War with some stinging guitar action spread on top. Blues, rock, reggae, soul, it's all here in a joyous abundance and a celebration of life. That's the nature of Californisoul. Guests on the album include Billy Gibbons, Steve Lukather, Eric Gales and Walter Trout. Fabrizio adds, "Lots of people have been saying to me 'why does Supersonic Blues Machine always bring guests around? You guys can stand your own ground', and there are three answers to that: 1) we're all super friends and we're having a blast, 2) most of them don't give lessons and for us this is the only way to learn their secret "ways" and 3) because of the inspiration and the challenge they bring to the table!" Californisoul will be released on CD, double vinyl, digital and streaming services,.
Signs is not merely a return the Jonny's guitar-based beginnings, but an embodiment of an even more elemental sound. Beyond focusing attention on his soloing prowess, it is about recapturing the spirit of the early blues, where the guitar was front and center, fairly leaping out of the speakers. 'A lot of my earlier influences have been coming to the surface, like Robert Johnson, and Howlin' Wolf,' he reports. 'I have been appreciating how raw and unrefined that stuff is. I had an itch to emulate some of that and I think it shows in the songs. Still, I let the writing be what it was and that was sometimes not necessarily the blues.'
Rock Candy Funk Party are: Tal Bergman (producer/drums), Joe Bonamassa (guitar), Ron DeJesus (guitar), and Mike Merritt (bass). On The Groove Cubed, they have added two fabulous vocalists to the mix - Ty Taylor (Vintage Trouble) and Mahalia Barnes - which is a first for them. The new album delivers a lavish soundscape that incorporates a plethora of genres, from dance and electronica, to funk and jazz and everything in between. Their last album, Groove Is King, has sold 5K RTD. LP is 180g black vinyl, includes download card.
The follow-up to last years Jazz Loves Disney, volume two features a collection of jazz and world artists taking on classic Disney songs. Produced by Jay Newland, arranged and directed by Rob Mousey, Jazz loves Disney 2 A Kind of Magic features jazz icons George Benson, Madeleine Peyroux, Laura Mvula, Jamie Cullum and more, performing songs like Be Our Guest, Under The Sea, Beauty & The Beast, and other Disney greats.
Earlier this year, avant-garde jazz titan Kamasi Washington premiered Harmony of Difference, an original six-movement suite, as part of this year’s Whitney Biennial. The EP is the first new music from Washington since his universally acclaimed 2015 debut album The Epic. Harmony of Difference explores the philosophical possibilities of the musical technique known as “counterpoint,” which Washington defines as “the art of balancing similarity and difference to create harmony between separate melodies.” Washington’s suite includes visual elements married to the musical works and draws voraciously on jazz for its foundation. Each of the first five movements is its own unique composition. “Truth,” the sixth movement, fuses all five compositions into one simultaneous performance. Beyond the artistic impulse to expand the possibilities within counterpoint, Washington wanted to create something that opened people’s minds to the gift of diversity. In his own words, “my hope is that witnessing the beautiful harmony created by merging different musical melodies will help people realize the beauty in our own differences.” “Against a backdrop of “fake news,” chemical warfare and presidential missteps, Washington’s 13-minute opus thrives with gospel-infused power, resting alongside his previous work while occupying new sonic space…. The huge scale makes his music feel like a sacred offering in bleak times” - Pitchfork Best New Track “a liberation theology for fearsome times” - New York Times “We can count on the man Kamasi Washington to deliver peace in the form of jazz” - The Fader “an expansive, winding new song...’Truth’ unfurls with breezy piano chords, soulful electric guitar counter-melodies, wordless choral chants and washes of the bandleader’s smoldering saxophone.” - Rolling Stone
Ella Fitzgerald’s iconic vocals are given new life by marrying newly recorded string arrangements from the London Symphony Orchestra. Recorded at Abbey Road Studios, and conducted by James Morgan and Jorge Callandrelli, this new approach to Ella’s timeless music reinvigorates her catalog and is sure to excite and please long time Ella fanatics and classical music connoisseurs at the same time. Guest vocalist Gregory Porter also lends his incredible talent to "People Will Say We're in Love”.
"The Mugician" features collaborations with world-renowned artists including Gary Clark, Jr., Bilal, Big K.R.I.T., Pharoahe Monch, Guy Torry, Robert Glasper, Georgia Ann Muldrow, Darin Atwater, James Poyser. Don Cheadle wrote the liner notes for this album.
“There are many borders in our lives. Some are built by others, some we create for ourselves. Whenever I have ventured beyond the borders in my life, I have been the better for it. Beauty, humanity, artistry, joy, wisdom, and of course love…these things don’t stop at some line on a page. If music is the universal language, maybe there is something it can teach us?”…Jesse Cook Following on the heels of One World’s critical and commercial success, Jesse Cook is ready to launch his new album Beyond Borders. This is the most sonically diverse and distinctive disc in Jesse Cook’s vast and varied catalogue. This catalogue has earned Jesse 11 Juno nominations and one Juno win for 2000’s Free Fall. Beyond Borders is an in depth musical journey exploring the exotic boundaries of World Music.
Dee Dee Bridgewater has gone back to her beginning...Memphis, TN.
Born in the city known for its pivotal part in American culture, music and civil rights struggle, Bridgewater was part of an American legacy. After moving to Flint, Michigan, Bridgewater s childhood nights were spent tuning into Memphis WDIA, the first radio station in the nation featuring all-black programming. It was also the station where her father spun vinyl as the on-air disc jockey, Matt the Platter Cat.
This album is not only a return to Bridgewater s roots, but it offers ground-breaking re-imagining of American Blues and R&B classics with backing by the Stax Academy Choir, Kirk Whalum and recorded at Willie Mitchell s world-renowned Royal Studios. Co-Produced by Bridgewater and close friend Kirk Whalum (a Memphis native) the Memphis...Yes, I m Ready album features such crowd pleasers as Why? (Am I Treated So Bad) by the Staple Singers, I m Going Down Slow (Bobby Blue Bland) and Don t Be Cruel, among others.
In a career spanning four decades, 2017 NEA Jazz Master, three-time Grammy and Tony award winner, and UN Goodwill Ambassador Dee Dee Bridgewater is a pillar of the upper echelon of jazz artists.
The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and special guests take you through 100 hundred years of jazz piano on Handful of Keys. Star pianists Joey Alexander, Dick Hyman, Myra Melford, Helen Sung, Isaiah J. Thompson, and the JLCO's own Dan Nimmer grab hold of all 88 keys and reveal the full extent of the piano's evolution over the 20th century.
Recorded on opening night of the 2016-17 Jazz at Lincoln Center season, Handful of Keys showcases a band in full stride, burning through electric arrangements of beloved compositions from James P. Johnson, Bill Evans, McCoy Tyner, and more. With guests ranging in age from 13-year-old prodigy Alexander (recently featured on '60 Minutes') to 89-year-old American treasure Hyman, Wynton Marsalis and the JLCO survey jazz piano's past and give the stage to several prodigies who are taking the instrument in bold new directions.
“Infectious, captivating, powerful blues….Intense Chicago-style harp playing, witty songs and tough-as-nails grooves” –Living Blues Wildly fun, musically fearless and bursting with bravado, Rick Estrin & The Nightcats have created one of the blues’ most instantly recognizable sounds and no-holds-barred styles. Featuring the world-class talents of harmonica master, songwriter and vocalist Rick Estrin, guitar wunderkind Chris “Kid” Andersen, keyboard wizard Lorenzo Farrell and dynamic drummer Alex Pettersen, Rick Estrin & The Nightcats serve up sharp and incisive original blues and gritty roadhouse rock ‘n’ roll. With his wily and unforgettable original songs and his hipster, street-smart vocals, no one on the blues scene writes or sings like Rick Estrin. No one looks like him either, as Estrin is always dressed to the nines, sporting his trademark pencil-line mustache and pompadour hair. DownBeat says, “Rick Estrin sings and writes songs like the brightest wiseguy in all of bluesland and blows harmonica as if he learned at the knee of Little Walter.” Live, the band is simply unbeatable. They deliver a high-energy show capable of bringing any audience to its feet. According to Living Blues magazine, they play “captivating, powerful blues and roots rock with a wickedly cool and otherworldly twist on tradition. Intelligently conceived and executed… hugely entertaining." Rick Estrin & The Nightcats’ fourth Alligator album, Groovin’ In Greaseland, features 13 original songs, 11 by Estrin (including one co-write with Andersen), and one each by Andersen and Farrell. From the true life wisdom of The Blues Ain’t Going Nowhere to the rambunctious Hot In Here to the humorous Dissed Again to the hard luck Living Hand To Mouth, the album delivers one winning performance after another. The songs spring to life as richly detailed characters spill their secrets and share their stories while the band dazzles. One listen makes it clear that this is one of the tightest and most original groups in any genre, constantly inspiring each other to new heights. Groovin’ In Greaseland was produced by Andersen and Estrin and recorded at Andersen’s soon-to-be legendary Greaseland Studio in San Jose, California. For more than 30 years and nine albums, Rick fronted Little Charlie & The Nightcats, flawlessly combining his songs, vocals and harmonica with Little Charlie Baty’s one-of-a-kind guitar excursions. The band won international acclaim and toured the world repeatedly. They were nominated four times for the prestigious Blues Music Award for Band Of The Year. With Charlie’s retirement from touring in 2008, Rick took over leadership of the band. He knew the only way to replace Baty’s mind-melting mashup of blues, jazz and roots rock was to find someone with an equally insane and daredevil guitar approach. Rick knew that would be a tall order to fill. As luck would have it, Kid Andersen, who had been working with another harp legend, Charlie Musselwhite, became available. “Kid’s a fearless nut on the guitar,” says Estrin. “He’s really the only guy who could fit in with us.” With an unpredictable, uninhibited style that perfectly meshed with Estrin’s wildly imaginative songs, the new band charged out of the gate. Besides Estrin’s songwriting and musical skills, he and the band are among the most colorful showmen around. Estrin’s quick wit and signature look and Andersen’s spontaneous guitar acrobatics add spur-of-the-moment frenzy to their live performances. “People don’t go out to see people who look like themselves,” says Estrin. “They want to see something special. I was schooled in this business to be a showman, and that’s what you get when you come to see us perform.”
On September 9, 2017 Walter Trout will release a new album on Mascot Label Group/Provogue. The album will be out on CD, double vinyl, digital download and streaming. "We're All In This Together" features Walter with a different guest on each track, including artists Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Sonny Landreth, Robben Ford, Warren Haynes, Eric Gales, Joe Louis Walker, John Mayall and Joe Bonamassa. Gonna Hurt Like Hell (feat. Kenny Wayne Shepherd) Ain't Goin' Back (feat. Sonny Landreth) The Other Side Of The Pillow (feat. Charlie Musselwhite) She Listens To The Blackbird Sing (feat. Mike Zito) Mr. Davis (feat. Robben Ford) The Sky Is Crying (feat. Warren Haynes) Somebody Goin' Down (feat. Eric Gales) She Steals My Heart Away (feat. Edgar Winter) Crash And Burn (feat. Joe Louis Walker) Too Much To Carry (feat. John Nemeth) Do You Still See Me At All (feat. Jon Trout) Got Nothin' Left (feat. Randy Bachman) Blues For Jimmy T. (feat John Mayall) We're All In This Together (feat. Joe Bonamassa)
4-time GRAMMY nominee and multi-platinum selling saxman Boney James lays it all out there with his new CD 'Honestly'. Says Boney, 'The title reflects how I aspire to live my life and create my music. I try to do what I can to make the world a more pleasant place.' 10 songs (9 co-written by Boney) with chart-topping special guests Avery*Sunshine and Eric Roberson on vocals. 'Honestly' is an affirmation of the power of Music.
Fred Hersch has long been acclaimed as an exploratory artist, an outspoken activist, an influential educator and a uniquely revelatory and lyrical pianist. As one of the most expressive voices in modern jazz, Hersch has never been shy about letting listeners glimpse his most intimate thoughts and emotions. In September, however, Hersch's fans will be treated to even deeper, more revealing insights into the story of the renowned pianist when he publishes his much-anticipated memoir, Good Things Happen Slowly: A Life In and Out of Jazz. As a companion piece, Hersch decided to present an equally direct and vulnerable glimpse into his private musical thoughts with his 11th solo release, Open Book.
The seven pieces on Open Book (out September 8 on Palmetto Records) offer some of the finest, most unguardedly emotional solo music that Hersch has created in a career unique for its profound poignancy and passion. Recorded in a South Korean concert hall on a superb Hamburg Steinway concert grand piano, the album captures the vital essence of the revelatory adventurousness and intense beauty that have made Hersch one of the most important solo artists in jazz. With more than 40 albums to his credit as a leader or co-leader, Hersch remarkably continues to discover new areas of inspiration and depths of feeling.
For the last two and a half decades I've been pretty open about who I am, what I like and what I m dealing with at times, Hersch says. But I've always got to dig deeper, and I thought this might be a chance to make an album that s a window into the kinds of things that I play at home or don t play in public all that much.
The album arrives during a momentous month for Hersch. On September 12, the esteemed publishers Crown Archetype (Penguin Random House) will release Good Things Happen Slowly, Hersch's bravely confessional memoir. The book covers the pianist s meteoric rise in jazz from his sideman days alongside masters like Art Farmer and Joe Henderson to his gradual recognition as one of the most individualistic and innovative artists of his generation, a ten-time Grammy Award nominee and winner of countless accolades including being named a 2016 Doris Duke Artist as well as the same year s Jazz Journalists Association Pianist of the Year. But it also frankly reveals his story as the first openly gay, HIV-positive jazz musician, tracing his path through hedonistic post-Stonewall New York City to the dramatic two-month medically induced coma in 2007 from which he emerged to make some of the most stunning and captivating music of his career.
Later that month Hersch will reprise his ambitious Leaves of Grass full-evening piece at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Appel Room, the first time the song cycle has been performed in New York City since 2005. Vocalists Kurt Elling and Kate McGarry will reprise their roles from the original project, which sets the verse of American bard Walt Whitman. The legendary poet s timeless ode to the miracle of nature and openhearted love of all beings seems especially vital in our present socio-political moment.
The centerpiece of Open Book, and the spark that ignited the album, is the nearly 20-minute improvisation Through the Forest. Unique in Hersch's extensive discography, the stream-of-consciousness gem is a miniature masterpiece of narrative development, a compelling journey through an abstract, glimmering landscape, revealing that in his early 60s Hersch continues to take creative risks and daunting inventive leaps.