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Live In Cuba (Box Set)Playing Afro-Cuban repertoire, jazz classics and contemporary works, the JALC Orchestra may have done more for American-Cuban relations in a single week than all the political rhetoric generated from both sides of the Straits of Florida for the past 60-plus years. - The Chicago Tribune
Supercharged... A suave delight." - The New York Times
Mr. Marsalis and company strike just the right mood, choose just the right set and play just the right amount to an adoring audience while maintaining the artistic high ground here. The band gave the Havana audience a lot of love over those three nights, and the crowd returned the favor. It's all evident on Live In Cuba. - DownBeat
From bebop to bolero and beyond, LIVE IN CUBA captures nine-time Grammy Award-winning Wynton Marsalis and the world-renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis's first-and only-performances in Cuba. Explore the profound connections between American jazz and Afro-Cuban music on this deluxe vinyl box set featuring four LPs and a gorgeous booklet.
Recorded in front of clamorous, sold-out crowds over three nights at Havana's Mella Theatre in October 2010, LIVE IN CUBA finds the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis performing Ellington standards, Afro-Cuban numbers, and distinctly modern compositions from band members. LIVE IN CUBA is a document of two nations' indelible cultural connections and of an emotional reunion between long-lost musical cousins.$39.99Vinyl LP Box Set - 4 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Dreams And Daggers (Awaiting Repress)"You get a singer like this once in a generation or two." - Wynton Marsalis
"Salvant has a supple, well-trained voice with spot-on pitch. (No vibrato-teases; no meandering warbles passing as melisma.) Her low notes go from husky to full-bodied; her high notes float purely and cleanly. When she scats, it's not an ego trip but a musical game, where notes and syllables get to shape-shift." - The New York Times Magazine
"She had emotional range, too, inhabiting different personas in the course of a song, sometimes even a phrase-delivering the lyrics in a faithful spirit while also commenting on them, mining them for unexpected drama and wit." - The New Yorker
GRAMMY® Award-winning vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant has had a remarkable rise to stardom in her professional career, and she's taking another big leap forward with Dreams and Daggers, her third album for Mack Avenue Records.
The songs on this album are of dreams and daggers. The daggers have been used at times to attack, at times to defend. For power, no doubt, to take it, to keep it. The dreams are the ones I caught looking out a window, or from the light sleep before the deep. I don't always know what they mean, but they are the ones I was able to keep. And yet dreams can be desires too. I wrote them down to make them true. That we may bring our wildness into view. That we may be unruled and unruly.LP 1
1. And Yet
2. Devil May Care
3. Mad About The Boy
4. Sam Jones' Blues
6. Never Will I Marry
7. Somehow I Could Never Believe
8. If A Girl Isn't Pretty
9. Red Instead
10. Runnin' Wild
1. The Best Thing For You (Would Be Me)
2. I Didn't Know What Time It Was
3. You're My Thrill
4. Tell Me what they're Saying Can't Be true
5. Nothing Like You
6. You've Got To Give Me Some
7. The Worm
1. My Man's Gone Now
2. Let's Face The Music And Dance
3. Si J'etais Blanche
5. Wild Women Don't Have The Blues
6. You're Getting To Be A Habit With Me$44.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 3 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
United We SwingCelebrating the red, white, and Blues! Recorded between 2003 and 2007, United We Swing finds an unparalleled array of music talent that collectively boasts 94 Grammy Awards joining Jazz at Lincoln Center Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis (a nine-time Grammy Award winner himself) and some of the world's top jazz musicians to perform blues-inflected versions of iconic American repertoire.
Those one-night-only, live performances have never been released before. They include Lenny Kravitz performing Marsalis's hypnotizing, New Orleans-inflected arrangement of Kravitz's own song, "Are You Gonna Go My Way"; Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks uniting for a stirring, infectious take on Civil Rights anthem "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free"; Bob Dylan adding harmonica licks to a deeply felt, in-the-pocket rendition of "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry"; and Ray Charles taking the stage for one of his final performances to play "I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town."Together these artists raise their voices to highlight jazz's importance to America's cultural heritage and to remind us that, even in divided times, music can unite us all. All proceeds from the album will go toward Jazz at Lincoln Center's education programs, which introduce thousands of children to jazz each year.
FEATURED SPECIAL GUEST ARTISTS:
1. The Last Time feat. Blind Boys of Alabama
- Audra McDonald
- Blind Boys of Alabama Bob Dylan
- Carrie Smith
- Eric Clapton
- James Taylor
- Jimmy Buffett
- John Legend
- John Mayer
- Lenny Kravitz
- Lyle Lovett
- Natalie Merchant
- Ray Charles
- Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks
- Willie Nelson
2.It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry feat. Bob Dylan
3. I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town feat. Ray Charles
4. I'm Not Rough feat. Eric Clapton
5. Creole Love Call feat. Audra McDonald
6. Milk Cow Blues feat. Willie Nelson
7. I'm Gonna Find Another You feat. John Mayer
8. My Baby Don't Tolerate feat. Lyle Lovett
9. The Worst Thing feat. Natalie Merchant
10. Please Baby Don't feat. John Legend
11. Mean Old Man feat. James Taylor
12. Are You Gonna Go My Way feat. Lenny Kravitz
13. Fool's Paradise feat. Jimmy Buffett
14. Empty Bed Blues feat. Carrie Smith
15. I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free feat. Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks
16.What Have You Done?$29.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
- Audra McDonald
Black Codes (From The Underground)Limited Edition - Only 2000 Copies Pressed
Cut at 33 1/3rpm and Pressed on 180g Audiophile-Grade Vinyl at Pallas in Germany!
Mastered From the Original Master Tapes by Bernie Grundman
With his brother Branford (who doubles here on tenor and soprano) often closely emulating Wayne Shorter, and the rhythm section (pianist Kenny Kirkland, bassist Charnett Moffett, and drummer Jeff Watts) sounding a bit like the famous Herbie Hancock-Ron Carter-Tony Williams trio, Wynton is heard at the head of what was essentially an updated version of the mid- to late-'60s Miles Davis Quintet. The music is brilliantly played and displays what the "Young Lions" movement was really about: young musicians choosing to explore acoustic jazz and to extend the innovations of the pre-fusion modern mainstream style.
Limited Edition - Only 2000 Copies Pressed
180g Audiophile-Grade Vinyl
Mastered from original master tapes
Mastered by Bernie Grundman
Pressed at Pallas in Germany
Wynton Marsalis, trumpet
Branford Marsalis, saxophone
Charnett Moffett, bass
Jeff Tain Watts, drums
Ron Carter, bass
Kenny Kirkland, keyboards1. Black Codes
2. For Wee Folks
3. Delfeayo's Dilemma
4. Phryzzinian Man
5. Aural Oasis
6. Chambers of Tain
7. Blues$29.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Inspiration A Tribute To Nat King ColeAfter four years of touring and developing An Unforgettable Tribute to Nat King Cole, the legendary George Benson makes his most inspired album: Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole. The recording is one of the most meaningful of Benson's career and is a testament to the spirit of Cole's timeless body of work. Benson's heartfelt renditions of some of Cole's greatest songs with Nelson Riddle arrangements and the 42-piece Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra are complemented by duets with Tony Award winner Idina Menzel and rising star Judith Hill, along with a special collaboration with multi-GRAMMY and Pulitzer Prize-winning trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.1. Just One of Those Things
3. Walkin' My Baby Back Home
4. When I Fall In Love
5. Route 66
6. Nature Boy
8. Smile Straighten Up and Fly Right
9. Too Young
10. I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter
11. Mona Lisa$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Croz"The best solo record David Crosby has made, without a doubt. Beautifully produced and recorded, the musicianship is so tasteful. His voice sounds as good as it ever was." - Glyn Johns
CROZ is David Crosby's rst studio album in over 20 years, a collection of 11 new tracks from one of America's most notable singer-songwriters and two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer. CROZ also features guest appearances from Wynton Marsalis, Mark Knop er, Leland Sklar and Steve Tavaglione.1. What's Broken (feat. Mark Knopfler)
2. Time I Have
3. Holding On To Nothing (feat. Wynton Marsalis)
4. The Clearing
6. Slice Of Time
7. Set That Baggage Down
8. If She Called
9. Dangerous Night
10. Morning Falling (feat. Steve Tavaglione)
11. Find A Heart (feat. Steve Tavaglione And Leland Sklar)$24.99200 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Love Makes The WorldImport
180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl
Includes 4 Page Booklet With Pictures, Lyrics And Liner Notes
First Time On Vinyl
Featuring Guest Appearances By Babyface, Steven Tyler, Celine Dion. Wynton Marsalis And K.D. Lang
Carole King is the most successful female songwriter of the 20th century, having written or co-written 118 pop hits on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1955 and 1999. She also wrote 61 hits that charted in the UK, making her the most successful female songwriter on the UK singles charts between 1952 and 2005.
Carole King has won four Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for her songwriting. She is the recipient of the 2013 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, the first woman to be honored this way.
Love Makes The World by Carole King was officially released in 2001 and is now finally available on vinyl for the first time. The album features a variety of well-known musicians like Babyface, Steven Tyler, Celine Dion, Wynton Marsalis and K.D. Lang.
King's distinctive piano and heartfelt vocals belt out tunes with spare accompaniment. The string quartet on Uncommon Love seems organically relaxed and K.D. Lang remains appropriately low-key throughout the duet.
The yearning of You Will Find Me There recalls the simple poetic honesty of You've Got a Friend both lyrically and musically.
Love Makes the World is the classiest and most consistent collection of songs since the late '70s.1. Love Makes The World
2. You Can Do Anything
3. The Reason
4. I Wasn't Gonna Fall In Love
5. I Don't Know
6. Oh No Not My Baby
7. It Could Have Been Anyone
8. Monday Without You
9. An Uncommon Love
10. You Will Find Me There
11. Safe Again
12. This Time$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Pound Of Dirt (Awaiting Repress)Brooklyn's own Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds
deliver an eclectic and timeless mix of gritty blues,
soul, funk and garage rock. Led by the dynamic,
soulful and sexy Arleigh Kincheloe and her brother
Jackson on harmonica, SSDB are one of the must
see live acts.
The tight-knight collective s nine endlessly talented
musicians have performed alongside artists ranging
from Dr. John and Wynton Marsalis to Beyonce and
Hercules and Love Affair, creating an undeniably
original and raucous sound that is at the core of the
group s album 'Pound Of Dirt' on Modern Vintage Recordings.
Arleigh Kincheloe - vocals
Jackson Kincheloe - harmonica
Bram Kincheloe - drums
Sasha Brown - guitar
Aidan Carroll - bass
JJ Byars - alto saxophone
Phil Rodriguez - trumpet, flugelhorn
Ryan Snow - trombone
Johnny Butler - baritone saxophone, tenor saxophone, clarinet1. Make It Rain
2. Millie Mae
4. Too Much
5. Hollow Bones
7. This Crazy Torpedo
8. Another Ride
9. Feather of a Queen
10. No Rest
12. Horse To Water$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
In The Blue Light (Pre-Order)Produced by Simon and Roy Halee, who have worked together since the 1960s, the album features collaborations with a diverse array of artists who have joined Simon to lend fresh perspectives on 10 of the artist's favorite (though perhaps less-familiar) compositions drawn from the five-decade span of his illustrious solo career.
Revisiting his repertoire, Simon has selected songs originally appearing on There Goes Rhymin' Simon (1973), Still Crazy After All These Years (1975), One-Trick Pony (1980), Hearts and Bones (1983), The Rhythm of The Saints (1990), You're The One (2000) and So Beautiful Or So What (2011), refreshing and transforming the compositions through new arrangements and a talented cast of guest musicians. Among the many artists joining Simon on In The Blue Light are jazz icons trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, guitarist Bill Frisell, drummers Jack DeJohnette and Steve Gadd and chamber ensemble quintet yMusic.1. One Man's Ceiling Is Another Man's Floor
3. Can't Run But
4. How the Heart Approaches What It Yearns
5. Pigs, Sheep and Wolves
6. RenÉ and Georgette Magritte with Their Dog After the War
7. The Teacher
8. Darling Lorraine
9. Some Folks' Lives Roll Easy
10. Questions for the Angels$22.99Vinyl LP - Sealed PRE-ORDER Buy Now
Art Blakey!!!!! Jazz Messengers!!!!!Art Blakey discovered and championed young talented musicians such as Clifford Brown, Lou Donaldson, Keith Jarrett and Wynton Marsalis to name but a few. But he also delivered the message of hard bop through thousands of performances at festivals right down to the smallest club. Lively, joyous performances, the very highest technical standards and somnambulistic music-making characterize this recording. Right from the very start it is clear that these jazz ambassadors have a new message for us. The hard-beat recordings win in lyricism thanks to the gentle sound of Curtis Fuller's trombone, something that was often missing in the powerful Blue Note sound. Four jazz evergreens give the musicians the time and opportunity to display their soloistic talents. The real climax, however, is to be found in the harmonic layering of the three winds which lend the themes new appeal. The message was broadcasted many times until the death of Art Blakey, but the history of jazz would have been a great deal poorer without these milestone recordings on the Impulse label. Art Blakey certainly knew how to delight his audience with fire, originality, a wealth of ideas and great humor. All these attributes are applicable to the six titles on this album.
Lee Morgan (trumpet)
Curtis Fuller (trombone)
Wayne Shorter (tenor saxophone)
Robert H. "Bobby" Timmons (piano)
Jymie Merritt (bass)
Art Blakey (drums)
Recording: June 1961 at Rudy van Gelder's Recording Studios, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., USA by Rudy van Gelder Production: Bob Thiele
This title is not eligible for discount.1. À la Mode
4. You Don't Know What Love Is
5. I Hear a Rhapsody
6. Gee Baby, Ain't I Good to You$49.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl 45 RPM LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Art Blakey!!!!! Jazz Messengers!!!!!Import
Art Blakey discovered and championed young talented musicians such as Clifford Brown, Lou Donaldson, Keith Jarrett and Wynton Marsalis to name but a few. But he also delivered the message of hard bop through thousands of performances at festivals right down to the smallest club. Lively, joyous performances, the very highest technical standards and somnambulistic music-making characterize this recording. Right from the very start it is clear that these jazz ambassadors have a new message for us. The hard-beat recordings win in lyricism thanks to the gentle sound of Curtis Fuller's trombone, something that was often missing in the powerful Blue Note sound. Four jazz evergreens give the musicians the time and opportunity to display their soloistic talents. The real climax, however, is to be found in the harmonic layering of the three winds which lend the themes new appeal. The message was broadcasted many times until the death of Art Blakey, but the history of jazz would have been a great deal poorer without these milestone recordings on the Impulse label. Art Blakey certainly knew how to delight his audience with fire, originality, a wealth of ideas and great humor. All these attributes are applicable to the six titles on this album.
Lee Morgan (trumpet)
Curtis Fuller (trombone)
Wayne Shorter (tenor saxophone)
Robert H. "Bobby" Timmons (piano)
Jymie Merritt (bass)
Art Blakey (drums)
Recording: June 1961 at Rudy van Gelder's Recording Studios, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., USA by Rudy van Gelder Production: Bob Thiele1. Alamode
4. You Don't Know What Love Is
5. I Hear A Rhapsody
6. Gee Baby, Ain't I Good To You$27.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Mythologies (Awaiting Repress)A singular jazz work, Patricia Barber's groundbreaking Mythologies is the result of the pianist becoming the only singer-songwriter to ever win a Guggenheim Fellowship. Allowed the time to craft a sophisticated album, the ambitious 2006 set is without peer in any musical genre. A cycle based on Greek mythology and Ovid's Metamorphoses, Mythologies brings each of the eleven characters from Ovid's play to life in song.
Accompanied by guitarist Michael Alger, bassist Michael Arnapol, and drummer Eric Montzka, and assisted by a few special guest background vocalists--including a children's choir--Barber has turned in one of the first legitimate masterworks of the new century.
When Patricia Barber's Mythologies (Blue Note Records) appears in stores on Tuesday, listeners will hear a piece of music with no apparent model in jazz of the 20th Century (or the 21st). For though classically tinged jazz suites date back to at least Duke Ellington's Black, Brown and Beige (1943) and extend to epic works such as Charles Mingus' posthumously premiered Epitaph (1989) and Wynton Marsalis' Pulitzer Prize-winning Blood on the Fields (1997), Mythologies stands apart from such behemoths.
Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune, August 2006
Lyrically addressing lovestruck emotions, insomnia, desires, risks, and more, Barber habitually turns conventions on their head. She matches her sonnets, double entendres, and fascinating narratives with music that's at once seductive, sad, beautiful, and powerful. Intended to be listened to from start to finish, Mythologies comes off as a sonic cycle that traces life and death in an engrossingly imaginative fashion that's on par with the classic Greek influences.
Half-speed mastered from the original master tapes, Mobile Fidelity's numbered limited-edition 180-gram 2-LP set of Mythologies boasts astounding sonics. Every vocal delicacy and breathy aspect of Barber's singing is fully audible, balanced, and gorgeously textured. Instrumental decay and acoustic details are suspended against a pitch-black background. Vocal jazz records don't get better than this! Don't settle for the standard CD version, which is robbed of much of the presence, richness, and atmosphere.
This title is not eligible for discount.1 The Moon
5 Icarus (for Nina Simone)
6 Orpheus/ Sonnet
9 Whiteworld/ Oedipus
11 The Hours$49.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
WomanchildWhen CÉcile McLorin Salvant arrived at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC to compete in the finals of the 2010 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, she was not only the youngest finalist, but also a mystery woman with the most unusual background of any of the participants. When she walked away with first place in the jazz world's most prestigious contest, the buzz began almost immediately. If anything, it has intensified in the months leading up to the launch of her Mack Avenue Records debut, WomanChild.
"She has poise, elegance, soul, humor, sensuality, power, virtuosity, range, insight, intelligence, depth and grace," Wynton Marsalis asserts. "I've never heard a singer of her generation who has such a command of styles," remarks pianist Aaron Diehl. "She radiates authority," critic Ben Ratliff wrote in The New York Times in response to one of her post-competition performances, and a few weeks later his colleague Stephen Holden announced that "Ms. McLorin Salvant has it all.... If anyone can extend the lineage of the Big Three-Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald-it is this 23-year-old virtuoso."
Yet at almost every step of the way, McLorin Salvant has followed a different path from her peers. Born in Miami to a French mother and Haitian father, McLorin Salvant's first language was French. She immersed herself in the classical music tradition, long before she turned to jazz-starting on piano at age five and joining the Miami Choral Society at age eight. When it came time for college, McLorin Salvant bypassed all the US conservatories and jazz schools, heading instead to Aix-en-Provence in France, where she continued to develop as a singer, but with an emphasis on classical and baroque vocal music as well as jazz.
There, thousands of miles away from jazz's land of origin, McLorin Salvant entered into a fruitful partnership with reed player and teacher Jean-François Bonnel, first as a student and soon as a performer. Before returning to the US, she gave concerts in Paris, recorded with Bonnel's quintet, and immersed herself in the early jazz and blues vocal tradition. By the time she returned to her home country to take the stage in the Monk Competition, she had drawn on this unusual set of formative experiences in shaping a personal style of jazz singing, surprising and dramatic by turns, and very much in contrast to that of the other participants and McLorin Salvant's contemporaries.
In the aftermath of McLorin Salvant's triumph at the Monk Competition, the jazz world eagerly awaited the winner's first US recording. Answering that call with WomanChild, McLorin Salvant draws on songs spanning three centuries of American music. "I like to choose songs that are a little unknown or have been recorded very few times," McLorin Salvant notes. "While these songs aren't recognized as standards, many should be because they are so beautifully crafted."
On the album, her repertoire ranges from the 19th century ballad "John Henry," refreshed in a spirited up-to- date arrangement, to McLorin Salvant's own 21st century waltz "Le Front CachÉ Sur Tes Genoux" which draws on a poem by Haitian writer Ida Salomon Faubert for its lyric. She is joined by a world class band who share her concern for creating jazz of today by drawing on vibrant traditions of the past: pianist Aaron Diehl and bassist Rodney Whitaker (both of whom are Mack Avenue label mates), guitarist James Chirillo and master drummer Herlin Riley.
The old and new rub shoulders throughout this album, but this singer's attitude is neither beholden to the past nor trying to anticipate the trends of the future. Her captivating singing is immersed in the immediacy of the present moment. So much so, that those who have seen McLorin Salvant in concert marvel at how she radiates the confidence and poise of a mature artist even though she is just at the dawn of her own career.
McLorin Salvant may have the deepest roots of any singer of her generation. She knows the sounds and styles of modern jazz but also possesses complete command of the classic blues and early American vocal tradition. She has studied the entire recorded legacy of the great Bessie Smith (1894-1937), often called the Empress of the Blues, and also has deep familiarity with Valaida Snow, Bert Williams and other early masters of American music. For her, these musicians are exponents of living traditions that she has drawn into the orbit of her own work.
However, McLorin Salvant can't be pinned down as a jazz traditionalist. Alongside fellow Monk Competition winner Jacky Terrasson, she has recorded works by John Lennon/Yoko Ono and Erik Satie, and can sing in French, Spanish or English as the mood and situation warrant. Knowledgeable jazz fans will identify the influence and inspiration from some of the most distinctive modern jazz stylists, such as Betty Carter, Carmen McRae and Abbey Lincoln. She is also currently continuing her studies of the classical and baroque tradition. In short, McLorin Salvant is a seeker and a creative spirit who is determined to push ahead, even while she shows an extraordinary command of the tradition that has preceded her.
In his article in The New York Times, critic Stephen Holden listed some of the virtues of McLorin Salvant's singing: "perfect pitch and enunciation, a playful sense of humor, a rich and varied tonal palette, a supple sense of swing, exquisite taste in songs and phrasing, and a deep connection to lyrics." Her musical skills are considerable, but they are matched by an interpretive ability that is almost more akin to an actor's than a singer's. She draws out the story hidden inside the song, and can draw on the elements of her own personality and a full gamut of emotional stances-from the darkly troubling to the richly comic-in bringing lyrics to life.
"I want to get as close to the center of the song as I can," McLorin Salvant explains. "When I find something beautiful and touching I try to get close to it, and share that with the audience."
On WomanChild, McLorin Salvant gives music lovers the chance to hear why the illustrious judges at the Monk Competition gave her top honors. McLorin Salvant is still a bit of a mystery, but she will hardly be a secret any longer.1. St. Louis Gal
2. I Didn't Know What Time It Was
5. Prelude/There's A Lull In My Life
6. You Bring Out The Savage In Me
7. Baby Have Pity On Me
8. John Henry
9. Jitterbug Waltz
10. What A Little Moonlight Can Do
11. Deep Dark Blue$35.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Bringin' ItIconic bassist Christian McBride has been doing what the title of his upcoming big band album implores for years: Bringin' It. This highly anticipated release, which follows the Christian McBride Big Band's 2011 Grammy® Award-winning debut, The Good Feeling, puts his status and skills as an all-around entertainer on full display. With a list of growing accolades including his recent appointment as Artistic Director at the Newport Jazz Festival, hosting shows on SiriusXM ("The Lowdown: Conversations with Christian") and NPR ("Jazz Night in America," as well as frequent online contributions to various programs including "All Things Considered"), speaking engagements, and occasional DJ performances under the alias DJ Brother Mister, he's more than just a bandleader: Christian McBride is transcending that title to something more complete.
If it is true that jazz is a sponge for musicians to absorb and then squeeze out what they hear to produce their own sound, McBride has been "bringin' it" for quite a long time. From his amazing quintet, Inside Straight, to his avant-garde leaning quartet, New Jawn, the contemporary sound of his fusion group, A Christian McBride Situation, to the critically acclaimed music he's made with his trio, the bassist has always disseminated his own unique 360-degree view of jazz.
While the music played by the Christian McBride Big Band is on the cutting edge of 21st century large ensemble music, the orchestra's presentation, like its sound, respects the past while looking forward. Danny Ray, the legendary stage announcer for James Brown, travels with the group to give the leader an old-school intro before playing his thoroughly modern music. "I love having the show aspect of it as well, with Danny Ray there, and being able to create somewhat of a show while also having Melissa there as our vocalist."
That would be Melissa Walker, who graces Bringin' It on two tracks: "Upside Down," originally done by Brazilian superstar Djavan, and the unlikely slick arrangement of "Mr. Bojangles." In addition to maintaining a career in jazz, Walker is also the co-founder of Jazz House Kids, the award winning jazz education center and she's Mrs. Christian McBride.
Only two tracks on this 11-song set were not arranged by the leader: the "Upside Down" arrangement was contributed by Norman Simmons, while "Optimism" is from the person he's known the longest in his band, trombonist Steve Davis. Davis has the distinction of being the very last Jazz Messenger that Art Blakey hired before he died in 1990.
"I saw that last Jazz Messengers band that Steve was in," McBride remembers. "Blakey was a huge influence on me and because of that, Steve and I share the same compositional and arranging DNA. You see, even though I've been influenced by every great big band and every great arranger I've ever heard, three of my greatest influences - not just as composers but also as improvisers - are Freddie Hubbard, Wayne Shorter and Cedar Walton. I mean before, after and during the period when they were with Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers."
McBride played bass for Freddie Hubbard's quintet for nearly three years starting when he was 18. One of the songs he loved to play with the legendary trumpeter was "Thermo." A few years ago he brought this arrangement to a gig with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. When the four trumpeters had to work hard to go over the riffs in the tune, McBride felt a certain pride. "I just thought that Freddie was somewhere up in heaven laughing," says McBride.
Perennial poll-topping arranger Maria Schneider has also been an influence on McBride. He cites times when he'd just bug her for hours, peppering her with questions, particularly on a recent trip to Europe. He honors her with his rendition of "I Thought About You." "She has an arrangement of 'Giant Steps' where she arranged the melody over a D pedal so I said let me try something like that," McBride recounts. "That's where that came from. She really gave me a lot of information and has been a great influence on me."
Another aspect that has helped the bassist find his voice as an arranger is the fact that, except for drummer Quincy Phillips, this is the exact same band that recorded with him six years ago. "These guys know my sound. They know my style. They know what my compositional and arranging DNA is. I've been able to keep the exact same unit, so like Duke Ellington used to do, I can write for my guys because I know their sound and style.
"As for my originals, they all have been recorded with my small groups," he continues on about the tracks "Gettin' To It," "Youthful Bliss," and "Used'ta Could." "As an arranger I'm still in the early stages of my development so it seems to me the best way to really make my hopeful ascension into a better arranger is to obviously take a song I've already written and try to add to that and make it a worthy large ensemble song."
While the Wes Montgomery smoker "Full House" isn't a McBride original, it is part of his development as an arranger - it's a big band chart he first created for guitarist Russell Malone at Jazz Aspen in 2009. He says he's tweaked it since then for his go-to guitarist Rodney Jones. For the McCoy Tyner classic "Sahara," the bassist channeled his 20+ years of playing with the legendary Chick Corea, for which McBride won two of his five Grammys. Another one of his Grammys came from a co-op project with Tyner. "I always thought of Chick, in his early years, as being a branch from the tree of McCoy Tyner, if you will," he commented.
McBride's work ethic is evident in the challenge he set for himself on the steamy old ballad "In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning." "I decided to torture myself by writing that arrangement in the key of B. To me that's a very pretty key, but it is a very hard key for a double bass because I get to play no open strings," McBride explains. "When I play it live, every bass player in the house comes to me and says, 'is that in B? Why do you do that?' Maybe it's because I'm crazy, but I really wanted to do something difficult and keep myself on my toes."
Planning to keep this group simmering while he simultaneously resurrects his Inside Straight band and introduces his new trio, Tip City, McBride is most excited to embrace the golden age of big bands while they continue bringin' it with more gigs and their first European tour. "With my big band I try to combine all of my journeys and goals as a musician and then try to put it in a wrapper of show business," the five-time Grammy® Award-winner comments. "I really think in that sense I'm following something of a big band tradition."1. Gettin' To It
3. Youthful Bliss
4. I Thought About You
6. Upside Down
7. Full House
8. Mr. Bojangles
9. Used 'ta Could
10. In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning
11. Optimism$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Clapton (Out Of Stock)Co-produced by guitarist and long-time collaborator Doyle Bramhall II, Clapton features an all star cast of musical collaborations started with the legendary JJ Cale, drummer Jim Keltner, bassist Willie Weeks, and keyboardist Walt Richmond-and the sessions later added guests including Steve Winwood, Wynton Marsalis, Sheryl Crow, Allen Toussaint, and Derek Trucks. Clapton created a collection that touches on everything from century-old traditional brass bands to little-known country blues to brand-new originals. The result is both relaxed and revelatory, and unlike anything the guitarist has done in his legendary career.
This album wasn't what it was intended to be at all, it's actually better than it was meant to be because, in a way, I just let it happen. It's an eclectic collection of songs that weren't really on the map and I like it so much because if it's a surprise to the fans, that's only because it's a surprise to me, as well. - Eric Clapton01 Travelin' Alone
02 Rockin' Chair
03 River Runs Deep
04 Judgement Day
05 How Deep Is The Ocean
06 My Very Good Friend The Milkman
07 Can't Hold Out Much Longer
08 That's No Way To Get Along
09 Everything Will Be Alright
10 Diamonds Made From Rain
11 When Somebody Thinks You're Wonderful
12 Hard Times Blues
13 Run Back To Your Side
14 Autumn Leaves$29.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Temporarily out of stock