Bolden [OST] (CD)

Bolden, the new biopic about New Orleans jazz king Charles “Buddy” Bolden, was not only produced by current icon Wynton Marsalis, but he also performed the music that takes center stage in the film. The soundtrack is a feast of that pioneering Big Easy brass sound, reviving many ragtime numbers that Bolden made famous. Delivered here by Marsalis with a wellspring of talent that includes Catherine Russell, Brianna Thomas, Victor Goines, Wycliffe Gordon and more, the music vividly captures the sound of a turbulent era from which a brand new genre exploded – forever changing American popular music.

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Hollywood Africans (CD)
Batiste dives deep into his own personal and cultural heritage, weaving an intimate and emotional tapestry out of original material and American standards that carries the listener from the early jazz of New Orleans to the present day. Produced by T Bone Burnett. Read more
Immigrance (CD)

GRAMMY-winning jam ensemble Snarky Puppy continue to embellish their groove with different genres, blending jazz, funk, hip-hop, and bebop. Their accomplished new collection of songs shows off their virtuosity and further experimentation. “Bad Kids To The Back” is one of the many lively funk numbers, but elsewhere the group mellows and even adds non-Western scales to the mix, such as in the sorrowful closer “Even Us.” Another highlight is “Chonks,” which swaggers and sways with expert interplay, bringing in and dropping instrumental layers to dance around that funky guitar.

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Love Hurts (CD)

GRAMMY-nominated guitarist Julian Lage adds bassist Jorge Roeder and drummer Dave King to his trio for new album, Love Hurts. Digging into the American songbook, Lage brings his enviable technique and creative interpretation to music by Ornette Coleman, Roy Orbison, Peter Ivers and more, and provides several originals. The well-known title track is elegantly rendered here, as is Orbison's “Crying,” paired with funky numbers like “The Windup” by Keith Jarrett. Wide-ranging, adventurous, and delightful.

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In The Key Of The Universe (CD)

On his new record, soul jazz organist Joey DeFrancesco basks in the talents of the legendary Pharoah Sanders who performs on three of the ten tracks, already rounded out by an excellent trio that includes drummer Billy Hart. DeFrancesco holds his own with songs like the lilting “Soul Perspective” and the meditative “A Path Through The Noise,” making it clear from the start with the upbeat opener “Inner Being” that this is a celebration of spiritual jazz. The return of Sanders is truly a treat, perhaps especially on the recreation of his classic “The Creator Has A Master Plan.”

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The Music Never Stops (CD)

The late Betty Carter's 1992 performance for the burgeoning Jazz at Lincoln Center in NYC is available now as a recorded testament to her terrific talents. At age 61, Carter's on-stage energy and largely free-style vocalization was impressive, as she led the big band and three trios, as well as guests like Geri Allen, Crys Chestnut, Ariel Roland, and John Hicks. In keeping with the title of the evening, the concert had no intermission and Carter sang most of the intros and segues, keeping the music constant. The medley of “Tight” and “Mr. Gentleman,” the album's single, shows off her expert intonation and phrasing.

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The Window (CD)

Two time Grammy winner Cecile McLorin Salvant teams up with acclaimed New Orleans pianist Sullivan Fortner for her latest, The Window. McLorin Savant’s velvety voice is a natural fit for these moody romantic numbers and her impressive vocal range certainly comes out to play. Listening to the album is an intimate experience, like sitting in a smoky, underground jazz club listening to the duo play their hearts out — for an audience of one. But isn’t that love? Expect sophisticated renditions of classics by Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Stevie Wonder, Bernstein/Sondheim, as well as an original French language composition by the gifted Ms. McLorin Salvant.

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Songs Of Resistance 1942-2018 (CD)

Featuring guest appearances by Tom Waits, Steve Earle, Sam Amidon, and more, New York guitarist Marc Ribot has compiled of a collection of tracks, ranging from World War II-era resistance songs to newly penned commentaries on Donald Trump, as an eclectic document of protest in the face of oppression.

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Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album (CD)

As more and more miles of dusty tapes are exhumed from the vaults of long-deceased musical icons, claims of “lost albums” abound. Likewise, so do questions as to whether that material necessary denotes that merit. Both Directions At Once is an unearthed recording session from the ’63 John Coltrane Quartet. That’s the classic quartet for ya: McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison, and Elvin Jones. Love Supreme and Crescent-era Coltrane. The telepathic frequency those four operated on in their brief 3-year existence is unparalleled, and their transcendent playing advanced the tonal and melodic possibilities of jazz. Both Directions features, among others, a couple of untitled originals, and extended 12-bar blues-based vamp, and an early reworking of “Nature Boy.” As a lost album, one would place it as a natural bridge between 1962’s Coltrane and the aforementioned Crescent. Was the session that birthed Both Directions ultimately meant as its own complete artistic statement, or a coincidental treasure trove of extra material from the group that would go on to record jazz’s apex? The question is irrelevant; the proof is in the playing. These songs are statement enough.

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