Monday, December 11, 2017

LEF Creates Soundtrack for Dystopian Multi-Media Project HyperSomniac Features Super Band with Bill Laswell, Nils Petter Molvaer, Eivind Aarset

Singer-composer Lorenzo Esposito Fornasari (LEF) has made his mark as a powerfully expressive singer through a series of potent RareNoiseRecords releases, including Obake's Draugr, Seven Mutations and their 2011 self-title debut, Owls' The Night Stays, O.R.k.'s Soul of an Octopus, Somma's 23 Wheels of Dharma and Berserk's 2013 self-titled debut. But his own debut as a leader, the intriguing multi-media project HyperSomniac, is easily his most ambitious and impressive undertaking to date. LEF's music serves as the soundtrack for a dystopian tale, which he wrote with Pier Luigi Rocca, of a future society based on mind control. An online comic with stark, startling drawings by Nana Octopus Dalla Porta, is underscored by LEF's appropriately dark soundtrack performed by an all-star band featuring American bassist Bill Laswell, Norwegian guitar visionary Eivind Aarset, Norwegian future jazz trumpeter Nils Petter Molvaer, thunderous Norwegian drummer Kenneth Kapstad (of Motorpsycho), British saxophonist Rebecca Sneddon (of Free Nelson Mandoomjazz) and Norwegian organist Ståle Storløkken (of Supersilent, Motorpsycho and Reflections in Cosmos).

"I wanted to collaborate with a few extremely talented musicians I had the privilege to work with in the recent past." LEF explained. "That was also important for the sound I aimed to. I worked with Bill in the past on two projects led by my brother-in-music Eraldo Bernocchi - Somma and Ashes. Bill is god, enough said. Nils Petter Molvaer was in the Somma lineup as well. I'm a big fan of his unique and peculiar sound. Eivind had an important role in Berserk! We played live several times together and I also provided vocals to a piece from his last solo album. He is simply one of the most talented and visionary musicians out there. A lot of people are trying to emulate his peculiar guitar style and sound, but he is truly an original. I deeply love his musical view, which is somehow complementary to my own approach. Kenneth is a groove machine and has a very impressive personal style. Ståle is a keys and Hammond organ wizard and Rebecca was just the perfect sax player we were missing for the kind of sound I had in mind. She also provided the voice-over to all the HyperSomniac videos."

While LEF's visionary project might recall similarly ambitious dystopian tales like The Who's Tommy or Pink Floyd's The Wall, HyperSomniac has a wholly fresh spin on the multi-media process. "My first solo is in many ways inspired by the mighty records that I loved in my youth - Pink Floyd among the others," LEF explained. "And the fact that it took me more than a good couple of years to release this project, I guess this kind of approach might have something in common with The Wall and Tommy. But there's more to say. HyperSomniac started as a concept and a story I wanted to tell. On one side, I wanted to investigate the obscure dichotomy between material and the immaterial along with the human mind's power for changing, distorting, even melting down reality in order to create visions and dreams. On the other side, I wanted to describe a dystopian future as possible result of the paranoid chaos of the current era. This could be the main affinity for me in creating HyperSomniac."

"It took me several weeks, months maybe, to elaborate the script," LEF added, "and thought it could work well to illustrate the story as some form of highly stylized drama. Nanà Oktopus Dalla Porta's drawing style was just perfect to elaborate a dark visual part, thus I had to re-write the script several times to communicate the exact way I imagined every scene. Later on I learned how to mold 3D models to animate the drawings and Pier Luigi Rocca (who helped me from the very beginning) is still writing the code to make the whole story live as an interactive web comic which will actually be the only way to read the full story."

The online interactive graphic novel HyperSomniac will be presented officially on November 14th on, and will be available to the public to read episode by episode from the end of January 2018.

The album HyperSomniac be available to pre-order from that date and will be officially released on December 8th, 2017. From the dark intimacy of the creepy and compelling "It's Alright" and "A Glimpse of Emma" to the tender opening of "Let the Sun Fall Apart," which is juxtaposed against the heavy metal-laden crescendo, this album soundtrack carries an operatic sweep. And the super band behind LEF delivers with pummeling power on highly-charged numbers like "Parallel Powers," "Therapy" and "First Day of Work."

"Having scored several soundtracks for music, art installations and advertisements, I see music itself as if part of a bigger vision," said LEF. "That's why we decided to produce a feature movie The Nightless City (directed by Alessandra Pescetta) for the Berserk! album (with Lorenzo Feliciati featuring Gianluca Petrella, Jamie Saft, Cristiano Calcagnile, Eivind Aarset and many other friends). Later on I started experimenting with 2D and 3D modeling and animations to produce the animated video for the O.R.k. tune 'Pyre'. Both of those projects gave me a strong connection to the world of movie production and had an effect on my solo multimedia project HyperSomniac."  


The National Jazz Museum in Harlem Presents The Savory Collection Volume 4: Bobby Hackett and Friends

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem's Savory Collection will release Vol. No. 4: Bobby Hackett and Friends exclusively on Apple Music and iTunes on December 15. The full multi-volume collection of historical archives will feature swing era jazz artists at the height of their artistry and previously unissued performances, all captured in superb sound quality by sound engineer and technical genius Bill Savory. Starting today, a sample track is available on Apple Music, and the album is available for pre-order on iTunes.

For 30 years, Loren Schoenberg, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem's founding director and senior scholar, chased down these essential recordings. This edition further emphasizes the importance and excitement of this series, of which the eminent documentarian Ken Burns said: "It's hard to think of many other historical discoveries that equal the incredible amount of new and vital information that comprises the Savory Collection."

"In being an integral part of this project since its inception, Apple Music is helping to ensure this wonderful music is not simply limited to jazz collectors' shelves but reaches a broader audience as well," said Schoenberg, of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.

As the title emphasizes, the outstanding cornetist Bobby Hackett is prominently featured -- on three tracks with his own ensembles and four as a participant led by the fine clarinetist Joe Marsala, with whose group Hackett made his initial impact on the New York scene in 1937. Admired by trumpet giants from Louis Armstrong to Miles Davis throughout his 40-year career, Hackett was already leading his own ensembles by the time of the recordings that open this album after gaining notoriety through his performance with Benny Goodman in his legendary 1938 Carnegie Hall concert.

Here he joins baritone saxophonist Ernie Caceres and pianist Joe Bushkin, with Carmen Mastren, Sam Shoobe and George Wettling on guitar, bass and drums respectively, all under Marsala's keen leadership for a quartet of rollicking extended pieces filled with dynamic ensemble work and inspired solos. These late 1937 recordings contain the popular standards "California, Here I Come" and "The Sheik of Araby," as well as blues classics "Jazz Me Blues" and "When Did You Leave Heaven" (also covered by heavyweights like Big Bill Broonzy and Bob Dylan).

A Hackett ensemble's participation on a 1938 Paul Whiteman radio broadcast bring us the beautiful Gershwin ballad "Embraceable You" and a stomping take on Kid Ory's "Muskrat Ramble," with Hackett joined by the brilliant Pee Wee Russell on clarinet, arranger/valve trombonist Brad Gowans, the piano/bass/drums team of Dave Bowman, Clyde Newcombe and Andy Picard, and legendary guitarist Eddie Condon -- whose equally legendary "Condon's Mob" included Hackett as an integral member. Two years later Hackett got together with an NBC house band to add his own brief but memorable contribution to the "Body and Soul" legacy (to be extended seven years later with his beautiful solo on Frank Sinatra's unforgettable version).

Listeners will also discover three extremely rare recordings by the immortal pianist Teddy Wilson's 13-piece orchestra, virtually unrecorded in live performances. Recently discovered and to this point the only excellent high audio quality (superb, at that) recordings of this group, these 1939 items feature such masters as tenorman Ben Webster, trumpeters Doc Cheatham and Shorty Baker, altoist/clarinetist Rudy Powell and the sparkling rhythm section of Al Casey, Al Hall and J.C. Heard on guitar, bass and drums. With Wilson's majestic virtuosity front and center, the band was structured for smooth transitions and elegant voicings, employing the rare -- for its time -- two trumpet/two trombone brass section creating a uniquely singing dynamic that was as graceful as its leader's singular artistry and presence.

Powell wrote and arranged the lyrical and intricate "Cocoanut Groove," while Wilson arranged the delightful "Sweet Lorraine" and the romping "Jitterbug Jump;" the former marked by a lovely saxophone quartet and warm ensemble, with beautiful solos by Wilson and Webster; and the tenorman stretching out with an appropriately explosive offering on the latter.

Martin Block, famed for hosting terrific jam sessions (including the aforementioned Joe Marsala excursions) also hosted the two loosely structured, but highly energetic 1939 jams here, led by the spectacular trombone titan Jack Teagarden. Joined by Charlie Shavers on trumpet, Kenneth Hollon on tenor, pianist Bill Miller, guitarist Teddy Bunn, Johnny Williams on bass and the drummer and wildman scat-singer Leo Watson, they tear into two pieces perfect for jamming - Andy Razaf and Fats Waller's "Honeysuckle Rose" and the Harry Warren/Johnny Mercer's then-current hit "Jeepers Creepers." As an added highlight on the latter, Johnny Mercer makes an unusual appearance alongside Teagarden and Watson for a highly spirited vocal trio.

This delightful album closes with three pieces (taken from two separate radio broadcasts) by one of the most popular of the Swing-era big bands, the Glenn Miller Orchestra -- all featuring the leader's right-hand man (and eventual successor after Miller's tragic wartime death) Tex Beneke on tenor sax and vocals. From 1938, Miller's arrangement of "By the Waters of the Minnetonka" follows in the tom-tom driven spirit of Benny Goodman's fabulous Carnegie Hall version of "Sing Sing Sing." The 1940 broadcast gives us two of Miller's most iconic pieces, "Tuxedo Junction" and "In the Mood." Although less jazz-oriented than the band would become after Hackett joined shortly after this broadcast, the exuberant sense of swing and joy that made the Miller orchestra so wildly popular is fully apparent throughout.

Of this latest essential release, co-produced by Loren Schoenberg and Ken Druker, with the superb original recordings raised to perfection through the restoration and mastering wizardry of Doug Pomeroy, Schoenberg says: "To be able to share never-before-heard music created by great American artists such as Teddy Wilson and Bobby Hackett is such a thrill -- just like an old wine, they improve with age! So much of the music of the Era was played in the musical equivalent of capital letters; these performances are such a joy to hear from bands that played with the lower-case letters too; so relaxed and flowing."

Friday, December 08, 2017



Ron Carter, for almost seven decades, the clever and sympathetic double bass player from Ferndale, Michigan, has been considered one of the most important, most creative and brilliant representatives of his profession and as the most recorded bass player in jazz history with over 2,221 albums on which he has performed. With his philosophy of absolute professionalism and reliability, he rose to become a model for entire generations of jazz musicians. Jazz bassists seem almost perfectly made for festive occasions. They exude elegance, nobility, discretion and prudence, reconcile and bring together. The diplomats of jazz. Consequently, what could be more fitting than to issue the new CD of the Golden Striker Trio on the occasion of Ron Carter's 80th birthday, recorded in the beautiful Theaterstübchen in Kassel, Germany in late October 2016? A gift for the many fans of the bass player, but also for himself. Because this trio has been one of Carter's favorite band line-ups since the beginning of the new millennium, despite or perhaps due to some changes. Perhaps the most serious resulted from the loss of the pianist Mulgrew Miller, who died suddenly at the age of only 57 years in 2013. In his place, Donald Vega now sits on the piano stool and plays with guitarist Russell Malone. From the universe of limitless music, Ron Carter has long since returned home to the songs of the Great American Songbook and his own originals. Hear Mr. Carter and his trio perform at their best on this special recording. Enjoy the birthday party! Track List: Laverne Walk;Candle Light; Golden Striker; Samba de Orfeu; Eddie s Theme; A Nice Song; and My Funny Valentine.


Herbie Mann revolutionized the use of the flute in jazz. His legacy is revered for pushing the boundaries (like Miles Davis did) blending jazz, rock, funk, soul, and pop. This is the first collection to feature rare single edits of Herbie’s hits including “Philly Dog,” “A Man and A Woman,” and “Memphis Underground.” The CD also includes the hits “Hijack” and “Superman.” Featured vocalists include Tamiko Jones, Carmen McRae, Cissy Houston and Little Milton. Nine tracks are making their CD debut. 


For the very first time you can now get your hands on a Definitive Collection of the Funk sensation that was The Ohio Players. Robinsongs are proud to be the first label to combine the Capitol, Westbound, Mercury, Arista & Boardwalk repertoire to make this unique compilation, but we did not stop there, we have also included material from Band members: Junie Morrison, Sugarfoot & Shadow (Billy Beck, Clarence Willis & Diamond) to give you a total career overview of this exceptional Funk Band. This package also includes a 28-page colour booklet, that includes an essay by Christian John Wikane a New York based music journalist, with contributions by the band's drummer and architect of the Ohio Players beat James "Diamond" Williams. Robinsongs have divided the package in three parts "The Early Years", "The Golden Years" & "The Later & Solo Years", the early years kicks the package off with two tracks from the Capitol Records album "The Observations In Time" where we can see the direction that the Band is heading, onto Westbound where the Band recorded their breakthrough single 'Funky Worm', a R&B #1 which featured Junie as the voice of Granny, other standout Westbound tracks are 'Pleasure', 'Pain' & 'Ecstasy', DISC ONE finishes with two cuts from their first Mercury album "Skin Tight" including the hit 'Jive Turkey'. DISC TWO kicks off with arguably the band's biggest hit 'Fire' which went to #1 in the R&B chart and the Album went to #1 in the Billboard album chart, three other #1 singles feature on this disc 'Sweet Sticky Thing', 'Love Rollercoaster' and 'Who'd She Coo' which was also the Bands only UK chart single. 



Knitting Factory Records is proud to release the next installment of the long-awaited vinyl reissues from the FELA KUTI catalog. The inimitable Erykah Badu personally selected the seven albums featured in this fourth box set, which have been remastered from their original vinyl pressings. The artwork for each album has been meticulously recreated from original album artwork, alongside vintage vinyl label artwork. This box set includes: • 7 LPs, Yellow Fever (1976), No Agreement (1977), JJD (1977), VIP (1979), Coffin for Head of State (1980), Army Arrangement (1984), and Underground System (1992). • 20-page full-color booklet featuring: seven personal essays written by Erykah Badu, seven in-depth commentaries by veteran music journalist and Afrobeat historian, Chris May; song lyrics; and never before published photos of Fela Kuti • 16x24” Poster designed by Nigerian artist Lemi Ghariokwu, the creative force behind 26 of Fela Kuti‘s album covers


Saxophonist Winston 'Mankunku' Ngozi's 1968 masterpiece Yakhal'inkomo stands in the front rank of global jazz recordings. A certified jazz classic in South Africa, it has sold hundreds of thousands of copies and has never been out of print. But like so many other crucial South African jazz LPs, it was never released outside the country, and went unheard at the time by the wider world. This reissue is the first time that this truly essential jazz recording has been properly available outside South Africa. Mankunku's masterwork is one of those rare recordings whose audience saw at once that it embodied the spirit of the age. The title, 'Yakhal'inkomo', refers to the bellow made by a bull just before it is sacrificed, and the mourning cries of its fellow cattle as they see it struck down. For South African listeners, the reference was understood as a cry against the violence and brutality of the times, and an act of mourning for all those who were suffering under the barbarity of apartheid. Mankunku's horn spoke eloquently and profoundly for and to an oppressed people, and like Coltrane's A Love Supreme, the album became the musical touchstone for a generation. From today's historical vantage point, Yakhal'inkomo appears as not just an indispensable lost element of the international jazz canon, but as one of the towering cultural documents of its time. Fully licensed, and packaged with a new sleeve note by Francis Gooding and prevoiusly unpublished photographs from the Basil Breakey archive, this trail-blazing release on Jazzman allows Mankunku's classic work to gain its deserved place on the international stage.


Toronto-based songwriter, vocalist, producer, and multi-disciplinary artist Maylee Todd is best known for music that incorporates elements of disco, funk, soul, electronic, and experimental sounds. Her previous two albums Choose Your Own Adventure (2010) and Escapology (2013) brought her on tour across North America, Europe and Asia, charting worldwide, and establishing her as a breakout Canadian indie artist. Her third studio album Acts of Love sees Maylee wholly embracing technology and taking on the role of producer, arranger, and multi-instrumentalist, recording and playing the bulk of the music in her home studio. From a sonic standpoint, the new album marks a departure from the harder-edged sounds of her previous work, boasting a more stripped down, synth-based production approach, with hypnotic beats and undeniably poppy hooks. The 17 track album covers a wide range of timely, topical and universal subject matter, including gender bias (From This Moment), addiction (One of These Days), solitude (Lonely), forgiveness (Eye To Eye), polyamory (Goat Wut U Need) and virtual reality (Virtual Life). This record is a bedroom record. I spent the winter writing and learning software, so creating can be limitless, explains the self-professed augmented reality nerd. Acts Of Love is essentially a tale of Maylee's metamorphosis, of constantly mutating and evolving musically, with the ultimate goal being to enlighten listeners on the symbiotic relationship between music, technology, performance art and human nature.


Next year will be the 50th anniversary of Otis Redding topping the charts with his signature song, "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay." Unfortunately the single's success was bittersweet, as Redding tragically passed away in a plane crash just weeks before its release. Leading up to the "Dock Of The Bay" milestone, Rhino will introduce a new vinyl collection that brings together all seven of the iconic soul singer's studio albums. Big O's biggest hits are all here, from "Pain In My Heart" and "These Arms Of Mine" to "Respect" and "Try A Little Tenderness."

The albums included in the collection are: Pain In My Heart (1964), The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads (1965), Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul (1965), The Soul Album (1966), Complete and Unbelievable...The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul (1966), King & Queen - Otis Redding & Carla Thomas (1967), and The Dock of the Bay (1968).

All of the LPs replicate the original packaging, from the sleeve artwork down to small details like the original record labels (Volt and Stax) and catalog numbers, all housed together in a side-loading slipcase. Several of these albums are long out-of-print and back on vinyl in mono for the first time in years.

The music follows Redding's career from his 1964 debut Pain In My Heart up to The Dock of the Bay, which was released in February 1968, just a few months after the singer's untimely death in December 1967. Despite his short career, Redding recorded songs that helped define soul in the Sixties and beyond.

The albums are packed with Top Ten R&B hits: "Chained And Bound," "Mr. Pitiful," "I've Been Loving You Too Long" and his cover of the Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction." Another obvious highlight is "Respect," a song Redding wrote and recorded in 1965, which later become a massive hit for Aretha Franklin. Another essential is "Tramp" from his unforgettable duets album with Carla Thomas, King & Queen. As it happens, that's also the last album the singer would release during his lifetime.

Redding's music career began fatefully in 1962 when an unexpected opportunity to record two songs led to a contract with Stax Records in Memphis. Throughout his career, the singer was backed by the legendary Stax house band: keyboardist Booker T. Jones, guitarist Steve Cropper, bassist Donald "Duck" Dunn, and drummer Al Jackson Jr.

Album Listing

Pain In My Heart
The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads
Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul
The Soul Album
Complete and Unbelievable...The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul
King & Queen - Otis Redding & Carla Thomas
The Dock of the Bay

Jazz Vocalist Jeff Baker's 5th Album "Phrases"

Jeff Baker Phrases After a seven-year hiatus from recording, contemporary jazz vocalist Jeff Baker is preparing to release Phrases, his fifth and most ambitious album to date. The new CD, due from OA2 Records on January 19, marks Baker's debut as a composer, with seven of the album's songs featuring his music and lyrics.

The album takes its title from Baker's use of what he calls "prompts" from favorite works of fiction, poetry, and song, among them texts by Pablo Neruda, J.D. Salinger, and Salvador Plascencia. Those cues could be no more than a line of poetry or a snatch of dialogue, or a real-life verbal exchange that caught his ear.

"The musical side of composing -- creating melodies, reharmonizing music -- has always come pretty easy to me," Baker explains. "But in attempting lyrics, I always felt burdened by not being Joni Mitchell. How could I express myself without sounding trite or silly? I found that if I gave myself prompts, I could create stories around them and find my voice as a lyricist. My aim was to tell stories in which people could hear their own experiences."

The deeply reflective, lushly nuanced music on Phrases is performed by a stellar septet whose front line includes alto saxophonist Steve Wilson and trumpeter Marquis Hill. Protean drummer Brian Blade provides the recording with its ebb, flow, and pulse. Pianist Darrell Grant both plays and serves as musical director and co-producer while Baker's longtime friends Clark Sommers and Geof Bradfield appear on bass and tenor saxophone, respectively. Young guitarist Gregory Uhlmann, a former student of Jeff Parker, is one of the album's stand-outs. The listener can hear how the musicians are drawn to the singer in their inspired, beautifully shaped solos.

Phrases was recorded in Chicago in May 2017 at Vijay Tellis-Nayak's Transient Sound following a live performance at the hip Fulton Street Collective. "Jazz musicians talk all the time about their 'Dream Bands,'" says Baker. "Here I am, getting to record with my actual Dream Band! I wrote this music with these musicians in mind, and I am beyond humbled that they've agreed to be part of this project."
Born in 1979 in Boise, Idaho, Jeff Baker was 13 when the Seattle-spawned grunge rock movement hit. But while his friends were thrilling to Nirvana and Pearl Jam, Jeff was discovering Dizzy Gillespie's Live at the Village Vanguard. "It was the best thing ever," he says. "I learned every song and taught myself to sing with them. Singing jazz, the idea that a vocalist could be an instrumentalist and take the music to different places on a lark, was a real revelation to me. My goal became to be equal and in line with instrumental players."

Jeff's teachers and mentors "made sure I had opportunities to experience the music at the highest levels!" Chet Baker (no relation) was a major discovery for him, as were Mark Murphy and Johnny Hartman. The music of wide-ranging artists such as Sting and Peter Gabriel resonated deeply with him, as did that of Bonnie Raitt (whose "Not Cause I Wanted To" he covers on Phrases) and minimalist master Steve Reich, whose influence can be felt in the moving harmonies, piano ostinato, and streaming eighth notes on "People of Paper."

Jeff Baker Baker attended Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, on a singing scholarship, sang in the jazz and classical choirs, and studied opera and musical theater. With plentiful opportunities to perform, he continued educating himself as a jazz vocalist. Backed by Idaho musicians, he recorded his first album, Baker Sings Chet, largely to raise money to attend graduate school. He never went, but working in the studio, he says, "became kind of my graduate school."

The Chet Baker project, released on Origin Records' OA2 imprint, did well enough to enable Baker to make another record, Monologue, for which Origin head John Bishop hooked him up with versatile Seattle pianist Bill Anschell. It proved to be a fruitful collaboration. Baker and Anschell teamed up on two more acclaimed albums, Shopping for Your Heart (2007) and the gospel-infused Of Things Not Seen (recorded at the same time as Shopping, it was released with re-recorded vocals in 2009).

In 2012 Darrell Grant, a distinguished member of the music faculty at Portland State University, helped Baker land a position at PSU, where the singer was instrumental in building what came to be a renowned jazz vocal program. Baker also co-founded and is director of the PDX Jazz Forward Competition.

"We live in an incredible time for creative, genre-defying music," says Baker. "Artists like Laura Mvula, Becca Stevens, Jacob Collier, The Fellowship Band, and so many others are changing the way we think about jazz and contemporary songwriting. It's a privilege to write and make music at this time. Phrases is my humble contribution to this ever evolving conversation."


Seal And Frank Sinatra Duet On Christmas Single "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town"

Today, British soul legend Seal has released a duet with one of history’s most iconic artists, Frank Sinatra, via UMe. Performing the Christmas classic, “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town,” Seal and Sinatra sing side by side, in perfect harmony, creating a unique, one-off single, just in time for the holidays. The dream collaboration, granted by Frank Sinatra Enterprises, is out today, ahead of Sinatra’s birthday next Tuesday, December 12.

Today, British soul legend Seal has released a duet with one of history’s most iconic artists, Frank Sinatra, via UMe. Performing the Christmas classic, “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town,” Seal and Sinatra sing side by side, in perfect harmony, creating a unique, one-off single, just in time for the holidays. The dream collaboration, granted by Frank Sinatra Enterprises, is out today, ahead of Sinatra’s birthday next Tuesday, December 12.

The dream collaboration, granted by Frank Sinatra Enterprises, is out today, ahead of Sinatra's birthday next Tuesday, December 12. The festive single will be accompanied by an exclusively commissioned video to premiere next week, showcasing both artists at their very best.

Seal said: "To play with Frank's musicians on Standards was quite something, but to perform with the man himself is beyond words."

Tina Sinatra said: "Dad's Christmas recordings are as significant to his vast musical legacy as his signature saloon songs. The new Sinatra and Seal duet of 'Santa Claus Is Coming To Town' is a joyous hoot and 'sings' to the spirit of the season."

Originally written by John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie, the track was first performed in 1934. Over the years it has been covered by more than 200 artists and sold millions of copies, becoming the archetypal Christmas standard known the world over.

This single continues Seal's recent affiliation with Ol' Blue Eyes, following his album Standards, which features legendary pianist Randy Waldman. The album also includes other legends, Chuck Berghofer (bass player with Ella Fitzgerald and Ray Charles) and Greg Fields (drummer with Quincy Jones and Stevie Wonder).

The songs were recorded in the famous Capitol Studios (the very studio where Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole and many others have recorded), and United Studios, which was established by Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra.

It's a natural successor to Seal's series of soul records, made a decade ago which sold more than five million copies around the world. Standards hears Seal's signature, velvety warm vocals bring to life classics made popular by Sinatra (including "Luck Be A Lady," "I've Got You Under My Skin," and "It Was A Very Good Year"), Ella Fitzgerald ("I'm Beginning to See The Light"), and Nina Simone ("I Put A Spell On You"). Elsewhere, there are lush orchestral moments captured on "Smile" (Charlie Chaplin) and the Cole Porter gem, "Love For Sale."

The sound of Seal's new album is also shaped by three renowned collaborators: Grammy®-nominated British producer Nick Patrick (who has worked with luminaries including Tina Turner and Marvin Gaye and enjoyed huge chart success with his pioneering Elvis orchestral albums), multi Grammy®-nominated arranger Chris Walden, and legendary engineer Don Murray.

Columbia/Legacy Recordings Announce Release of Miles Davis & John Coltrane - The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 6 on March 23, 2018

Available in 4CD boxset and digital configurations, Miles Davis & John Coltrane - The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 6 brings together, for the first time in an authorized edition with state-of-the-art production, five mythic concert performances as heard by lucky audiences during the epochal Spring 1960 Jazz At The Philharmonic European Tour.

Showcasing the musical chemistry shared by Miles and Trane, The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 6 offers five of the best recorded shows from that pivotal 1960 tour (Coltrane's last as sideman): two shows from Paris's L'Olympia Theater on Monday, March 21; two shows from the next night at Stockholm's Konserthuset; and one from Copenhagen's Tivolis Koncertsal three days later, on March 24.

The box set was produced by the multi-Grammy winning team of producers Steve Berkowitz, Michael Cuscuna and Richard Seidel. And mastered by multi-Grammy winning Sony Music engineer Mark Wilder. The set is authorized for official release by the Miles Davis Estate, the John Coltrane Estate, and Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings.

Miles Davis and John Coltrane were each implementing their own jazz revolutions at the time these recordings were made and the electrifying sonic frisson produced by the sometimes-competing/sometimes-intertwining musical visions of the artists perplexed contemporary jazz fans--many of whom were just getting acquainted with the recently-released and now iconic Kind of Blue.

"Much happened on that 1960 tour onstage and off, including powerful, emotionally charged performances in which one can hear the swinging, divergent energy of a band, and the unfiltered reactions of the European audiences: the crowd responses are indeed an inherent part of these historic performances," writes Grammy Award®-winning music historian Ashley Kahn in his in-depth revelatory liner notes penned especially for this collection. "The common judgement on this music is that it represents a great jazz ensemble audibly straining to hold itself together...An equally convincing interpretation of the 1960 situation is that Miles and his quintet were redefining what a great band could sound like, and how much music it could contain—at one time, in one concert, even in one tune. It's not that the bandmembers were so much apart, but rather that each were more themselves within the same unit—that divergence could co-exist and make music together."

The  repertoire performed in this collection is a veritable Miles Davis "Greatest Hits" including " 'Round Midnight", "Bye Bye Blackbird", "On Green Dolphin Street", "Walkin' ", "All Of You" and "Oleo", all of which he had made his own and had been performing for some time. As well as more recent additions to the repertoire which were composed by Davis – "So What" and "All Blues" --  both from Kind Of Blue.

The Final Tour is essential listening, an invitation to travel through time to experience the enduring beauty and magic of Miles and Trane at the peak of their collective powers. The ensemble includes Miles Davis (trumpet), John Coltrane (tenor sax), Wynton Kelly (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), Jimmy Cobb (drums), all of whom had been performing together since the Kind Of Blue album.

The Final Tour closes with a rare contemporaneous audio interview with John Coltrane (conducted by Swedish deejay Carl-Erik Lindgren). "Do you feel angry?," asks Lindgren. "No, I don't," says Coltrane. "I was talking to a fellow the other day, and I told him, the reason I play so many sounds, maybe it sounds angry, I'm trying so many things at one time. I haven't sorted them out."

Originally broadcast on European radio in March 1960, these concert recordings have been long sought after and prized by collectors and are now officially available at last as the latest installment in Columbia/Legacy's acclaimed Miles Davis Bootleg Series.

For 12" vinyl collectors and audiophiles, Columbia/Legacy will release The Final Tour: Copenhagen, March 24, 1960 as a single 12" vinyl album.

A 2LP 12" vinyl edition of Miles Davis & John Coltrane - The Final Tour: Paris, March 21, 1960 will be reissued exclusively through Vinyl Me, Please as part of their new VMP Classics subscription featuring the best jazz, blues & soul reissues on 180g black vinyl with exclusive listening notes. Available by signing up at

The first five volumes of The Miles Davis Bootleg Series have enjoyed numerous honors and accolades:

Live in Europe 1967: The Bootleg Series Vol. 1 (released September 2011) was the most acclaimed historic jazz box set of 2011, receiving a "5-star" review from Down Beat magazine, where it was voted Historical Album of the Year in the Down Beat 2012 Readers and Critics Poll.  The album was ranked #1 reissue in the Readers Poll of JazzTimes magazine while the Jazz Journalists Association voted it Best Historical or Boxed Set.  The set peaked at #3 on Billboard's Top Jazz Album Charts.

Miles Davis Quintet – Live In Europe 1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 2 (released January 2013) won the Jazz Journalists Association Historical Record of the Year, voted Historical Album of the Year in the Downbeat Readers and Critics Poll, and #1 reissue in both the Critics and Readers polls of JazzTimes magazine. Like its predecessor, the album also peaked at #3 on Billboard's Top Jazz Album Charts.

MILES AT THE FILLMORE – Miles Davis 1970: The Bootleg Series Vol. 3 (released March 2014) won the Jazz Journalists Association Historical Record of the Year, voted the #1 Historical Album of the Year in the 2014 Downbeat Critics Poll, #3 Historical Album of the Year in the 2014 JazzTimes Critics Poll, and included in Rolling Stone's Best Reissues of 2014 list with a 4.5/5 STAR rating. The set peaked at #1 on Billboard's Top Jazz Album Charts.

MILES DAVIS AT NEWPORT 1955-1975: The Bootleg Series Vol. 4 (released March 2015) was voted the #1 Historical Reissue in the 2015 JazzTimes Critics Poll and won Historical/Reissue/Vault Release in the 2015 JazzTimes Readers Poll. The set was also named in Downbeat's "Best Albums of 2015" list, received 4 Stars in the Historical category and in Downbeat's Critics Poll was the winner in the Historical Album category. The set won the 2016 NAACP Image Award for the Outstanding Jazz Album category.

Miles Davis Quintet: Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series, Vol 5 (released October 2016) was #2 Historical Album of the Year in Downbeat's 65th annual Critic's Poll (August 2017 issue) and #6 Historical Album of the Year in Downbeat's 82nd Readers Poll (December 2017 issue).

Wally Badarou The Unnamed Trilogy, Vol. 1

Wally Badarou's The Unnamed Trilogy Vol.1; a collection of recent solo work presented for the first time as a limited edition vinyl and select digital release. Wally Badarou is a visionary musician who over the years has forged a history that is immensely storied, diverse and creatively rich. He has not only released timeless solo material such as the incredible Echoes LP in 1984 (part of which reached a new generation of music fans when the track Mambo was sampled for Massive Attack's Daydreaming), but has also recorded on classic albums with luminaries such as Grace Jones, Sly & Robbie, Mick Jagger, Fela Kuti, Robert Palmer, Jimmy Cliff, Black Uhuru and Talking Heads to name just a few. Both co-founders of Diskotopia have been huge fans of Mr. Badarou's work since before the label's inception and are elated to present The Unnamed Trilogy Vol.1 to the world at large.

Opening track Fisherman (I - Theme) rolls out with an assured strut that pulls you straight into a surging overflow of digi-funk bubble and laser-precise glide tactics. Infectious as it is fluid in its arrangements, Fisherman (I - Theme) is an excellent example of Wally Badarou's ubiquitous sound; highlighted here through the multi-timbral interlocking grooves that balance both the natural and synthetic elements seamlessly like the flow of ocean tides.

Daiquiri Diaries (Vintage Extended) enters with a striking metallic riff before a poetic electric piano takes the lead over insistent drums, soaring strings and warm pad swells. Only a synthesizer specialist such as Badarou would be able to create comparable transcendental magic from such simplicity, transfixing the listener whilst giving a masterclass in restraint. Make no mistake however, this is late night celestial soul music for Balearic excursions into the outer mind's eye.

The nautical beginnings of Awa develop effortlessly into convivial carnival vibes which could easily soundtrack any number of global gatherings. Combining field recordings of lapping waves, a fluid digital kalimba lead, expertly layered polyrhythmic percussion and sun-soaked flourishes throughout, Awa becomes near meditative in its effortless ebbs and flows.

As The Unnamed Trilogy Vol. 1 comes to its close Higher Still … takes an introspective step to the side giving us a cinematically beautiful allegory for the modern age. Equal moments of reflection coincide with transformative key changes as we can equate our own journeys in life to the arrangement here: At once entered into existence in such a distinct manner to have then gone through irrevocable changes and thusly transformed into a new state of consciousness altogether, we remain Higher Still …



Continuing genius from the legendary Hermeto Pascoal – an album of strongly jazz-based arrangements – done with all the dynamic energy of Hermeto's earlier music, but also maybe tuned a bit towards the Duke Ellington or Gil Evans worlds of tone and color! There's nothing particularly Ellingtonian about Pascoal's music here – but there's a warmth and soul that's very striking – particularly in the way the horns come together, often with a voice that's more unified than on some of his more experimental recordings – soaring together to unlock some really beautiful spirits in the tunes! All the other players are younger, and most tracks feature at least one instrumental soloist – shifting out from the pack and really expanding the chromatic energy of the performance. Titles include "Brasil Universo", "Choro Arabe", "Viva O Gil Evans", "O Som Do Sol", "Apresentacao", "De Cuba Lanchando", and "Piramide". ~ Dusty Groove


Not the complete Detroit soul story, but a set that's even more interesting than that – as the huge package looks at a wealth of lesser-known tracks from the farther reaches of the scene – mostly with a focus on the kinds of underground 60s cuts that made the Motor City so great! A good deal of the work here is from the labels of producer Robert West – who's probably best known for the Lu-Pine label singles, but also worked with other imprints too – a number of which are included here in a package that goes out of its way to present tracks that go way past the usual Motown-styled modes! There's a good deal of group soul work here, and many of the numbers are from the earlier part of the decade, and show a soul scene that still had plenty of grit, despite the later famous Detroit production policy. Also, many of the tracks are presented in a way that features two tracks or more by a single artist in a row – as if you're flipping over both sides of a single – and the box has a huge booklet that really details all the music too! There's 86 tracks in all – including some unissued numbers from the 60s – and the package features work by Ed Robinson, Sax Kari, The Conquerors, The Falcons, Marv Johnson, Tornados, Delores Maxwell, Don Juan & The Vulcans, The Minor Chords, The Rayber Voices, The Knight Hawks, The Fourmost, The Corvells, Gene Martin, Mack Rice, Eddie Floyd, Betty Lavette, Tina Marvel, Just Brothers, Eddie King, The Precisions, Tony & Tyrone, and many others! You might know a few of these tracks – but you'll also find plenty more to discover. ~ Dusty Groove


Volume 5 of Craig Charles' Funk & Soul Club compilations is something of a milestone - so let me take you through just some of the highlights of this latest trunk of funk which also includes some 100% exclusive tracks not available anywhere else!. The Traffic have a knack of rendering well known sounds into a re-grooved grooves - and their contribution is a crispy, deep fried instrumental version of the Rick James classic Super Freak! The Andy Tolman Cartel make musical time travel a reality - because when you listen to You What! you're transported back to the early 70's and chasing crooks down alleyways because you're in a TV cop show! The recently departed Charles Bradley - the screaming eagle of soul, was a man who had it tougher than most. He spent decades as James Brown impersonator, a homeless person on the unforgiving streets of New York City before signing Daptone Records aged 62. Included here is his beautiful track Change For The World. Tanika Charles gorgeous Endless Chain proves that Canada's soul scene is a firing as anywhere else right now. Stir into the mix The Niteshifters' slice of NY style delicious disco Show Me What You've Got and a new exclusive Body by Kylie Auldist, we have all your disco demands covered. Carleen Anderson is a genuine legend, James Brown said She's not just good, she's phenomenal and Begin Again from her recent remarkable solo album Cage Street Memorial, is a beautiful gospel and jazz tinged slice of acoustic alchemy that will sooth your soul. Also includes are the gritty organ grooves from The Scone Cash Players, The Filthy Six and legend Brian Auger, rocking rhythm & soul from The Hawkmen, ultra rare afro funk from Ginger Johnson & His African Messengers, neo Northern from Nicole Willis, stonking rap & soul from The Allergies and Lack Of Afro too.


Hammond B-3 organ legend Dr. Lonnie Smith has announced a January 12 release for All in My Mind, a spirited live trio album that the NEA Jazz Master recorded during his 75th birthday celebration at the Jazz Standard in New York City this past summer. The album is the follow-up to his acclaimed 2016 release Evolution, which marked Smith’s return to Blue Note Records where he first made a name for himself with a run of classic soul jazz albums between 1968-70. Hear the new track “Up Jumped Spring” on the playlist Dr. Lonnie Smith: The Finest which features Smith’s greatest Blue Note tracks as a leader and sideman, and can be streamed on Apple Music or Spotify. Smith will return to the Jazz Standard to celebrate the album's release from January 11-14.

At 75 years old Smith still reigns as a master of innovation and experimentation. He may have been away from Blue Note for 46 years, but he perfectly fits in with the current mission of label president Don Was to present the future movements of jazz as well as honoring those who forged the tradition. “Dr. Lonnie Smith returns to the Blue Note label with an album that reveals the enduring appeal of organ soul,” raved The Wall Street Journal in a 2016 review of Evolution, adding that the album “showcases a variety of organ-soul stylings [and] demonstrates the versatility and currency of the style.”

A connoisseur of groove and a consummate showman, Smith wanted to record All in My Mind in a live setting because, as he says, “It’s so hard to capture what I’m feeling at the moment in the studio. Hearing me live is catching me playing in the moment. It’s a good vibe. It’s a loving situation.”

“My group is a brotherhood, a dedicated family,” Smith says of his trio with guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg and drummer Johnathan Blake. “They are the heartbeat of the music. They know what I’m trying to do, and they enhance what I play. I play in the moment all the time, and they adjust and are there for me.”

All in My Mind opens with a powerful rendering of Wayne Shorter’s “JuJu” from the saxophonist’s 1965 Blue Note album of the same name. Smith also takes Paul Simon’s hit “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” for a 10-minute joyride with drummer Joe Dyson taking a turn behind the kit, and reworks his own vintage composition “All in My Mind” which features the amazing vocal range and spirit of Alicia Olatuja.

Smith reflects, “You play life, you tell your story. I know who I am, and that means so much.” As for his return to Blue Note, he singles out Don Was who produced Evolution and All in My Mind. “I’ve worked with producers who don’t understand the musicians they’re working with. But Don wants me to be myself, he understands and respects creativity. It’s a reminder of the old days when Frank Wolff used to be the same.”

Chris Dave and the Drumhedz Announce Blue Note Records Debut out January 26th

Today, Chris Dave and the Drumhedz announce the release of their debut self-titled album, out January 26th via Blue Note Records. Led by drummer, composer, and bandleader Chris Dave, the album features Anderson .Paak, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Bilal, SiR, Anna Wise, and dozens more. The album pre-order launches with the first single “Destiny n Stereo (feat. Elzhi, Phonte Coleman & Eric Roberson),” which is now available to download or stream. NPR Music recently praised the track's “head-nod beat reminiscent of Dave's rhythm lodestar, the revered producer J Dilla.” Stream the track via Soundcloud: Chris Dave has drummed for everyone from Adele to Bieber and Dolly to D’Angelo; Questlove once described Chris as his “worst nightmare” and Rolling Stone named him one of the 100 Greatest Drummers of All Time. The Drumhedz’ debut LP showcases a family of musicians whose credits coil like ivy around nearly every pillar of modern sound. It's a place without genre, where elements of funk, soul, gospel, hip-hop and jazz mix until they're an indistinguishable surging mass of solid groove. It's the album the Drumhedz founder has been building toward his entire life. Chris first reached for the sticks at 3, hoping to hit skins for his brothers' funk group. He was denied, but found his second chance at church, initially on percussion. By the time Chris hit middle school, he was drumming for Houston choirs backing singers like Kim Burrell and Yolanda Adams. He attended the revered High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, then received a full ride to Howard University, but dropped out to join Mint Condition. After that the work started pouring in, playing sessions with Lionel Richie, Mary J., and Kenny Garrett. In studios, on tour and in private, he was perfecting his style. Chris' need to absorb  all he heard paid off – from 2009 to 2012, he worked on three Grammy-winning albums across three genres: Maxwell's BLACKsummer'snight, Adele's 21, and the Robert Glasper Experiment's Black Radio. In the personnel credits for those LPs, you'll find the foundation of the Drumhedz. There are nearly 50 Drumhedz on this record, spanning core crew like Pino Palladino (bass), Isaiah Sharkey (guitar), Cleo "Pookie" Sample (keys), Sir Darryl Farris (vocals) and Keyon Harrold (horn), to old familiars like James Poyser (the Roots), Stokley Williams (Mint Condition) and Shafiq Husayn (Sa-Ra), to fresh guests like Anderson .Paak, Bilal, DJ Jazzy Jeff and Phonte Coleman. With all their otherworldly ability, the Drumhedz are who they are because of connection. At the end of the day, they're the cats who came together. And because  they did, you might be a Drumhed too. Tracklisting:1. Rocks Crying2. Universal Language [ft. KRNDN, Sy Smith, D.Rose]3. Dat Feelin [ft. Sir, Tiffany Gouche, Keyon Harrold]4. Black Hole [ft. Anderson .Paak]5. 2n16. Spread Her Wings [ft. Bilal, Tweet]7. Whatever8. Sensitive Granite [ft. Kendra Foster]9. Cosmic Intercourse [ft. Stokley Williams, Casey Benjamin]10. Atlanta, Texas [ft. Goapele and Shafiq Husayn]11. Destiny n Stereo [ft. Elzhi, Phonte Coleman, Eric Roberson]12. Clear View [ft. Anderson .Paak, Sir]13. Job Well Done [ft. Anna Wise, Sir]14. Lady Jane
15. Trippy Tipsy


Johnny Mathis 68-Disc Set ‘The Voice Of Romance: The Columbia Original Album Collection’

Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, is set to release The Voice of Romance: The Columbia Original Album Collection, the definitive Johnny Mathis career-spanning box set on December 8th. The 68-disc set comes as a part of the continued celebration of the enduring musical achievements of Johnny Mathis (who first signed with Columbia Records in 1955.) Legacy has worked closely with Mathis on the curation of his Columbia catalog, pouring through the label’s deep archive of studio and live material, restoring and remastering tracks for digital release. Within this vast career-spanning boxset, Legacy Recordings has included 62 Columbia albums that have been remastered (25 of which are available on CD for the very first time), two previously unreleased albums, a 2-disc collection featuring 40 previously unreleased songs as well as Johnny Mathis Sings The Great New American Songbook.

Signed to Columbia Records in the mid-1950’s, Johnny Mathis was one of the very first musical artists to embrace the album concept and record fully-realized thematically and sonically coherent collections of songs. His 1958 release, Johnny’s Greatest Hits inaugurated the ongoing “greatest hits” anthology phenomenon becoming one of the most popular albums of all time after spending an unprecedented 490 continuous weeks (almost ten years) on the Billboard Top Albums Chart. To date, Johnny Mathis has had 3 songs inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, achieved 50 hits on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary Chart, and ranks as the #6 all-time album artist in the history of Billboard’s pop album charts. He has received 5 Grammy Nominations, and in 2003 he was given the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Recording Arts and Science.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

QWEST TV Founded by Music Legend Quincy Jones Announces December 15, 2017 Launch Date

Qwest TV, the world's first subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) platform dedicated to jazz and jazz-inspired music forms founded by music legend Quincy Jones in collaboration with French jazz impresario and television producer Reza Ackbaraly, announced today its official global launch date set for December 15, 2017. The announcement comes just two months following a successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign in Fall 2017 that raised nearly $170,000 USD, nearly double the platform's target goal.

First announced at Montreux Jazz Festival in July 2017, Qwest TV will feature over 100 curated concerts, documentaries, interviews and archives of premium jazz and related eclectic music original content, through a responsive platform available for access on computers, mobile and tablet devices. Subscriptions are available in Standard (SD) or Premium (HD/4K) formats, with pricing starting at $7.49 USD per month. All subscription tiers are ad-free. Customers can subscribe at

Initial content available on launch date will include content featuring artists such as Aretha Franklin, B.B. King, Anderson .Paak, Bobby McFerrin, Robert Glasper, Jacob Collier, Sun Ra, Al Jarreau, Maceo Parker, Chick Corea, Gregory Porter, Macy Gray, Wayne Shorter, George Benson, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Pharoah Sanders, Elvin Jones, Milton Nascimento, and many more. A variety of new original content will be added on a monthly basis. 

Visit for a complete list of launch content.

With support from musicians such as Questlove, Erykah Badu, Gilles Peterson, Marcus Miller, Gregory Porter, Kamasi Washington, Chucho Valdes, Zakir Hussain and many more, Qwest TV's objective is to increase the popularity of jazz, highlighting its influence on other types of music from hip-hop to electronic music, introducing new talent, and bringing to light its major role in the evolution of society to engage the next generation.

"I have witnessed first-hand the power of jazz - and all of its off-spring from the blues and R&B to pop, rock and hip-hop, to tear down walls and bring the world together. I believe that a hundred years from now, when people look back at the 20th century, they will view Bird, Miles and Dizzy as our Mozarts, Bachs, Chopins and Tchaikovskys," says Quincy Jones, Qwest TV Co-founder. "It's my hope that Qwest TV will serve to carry forth and build on the great legacy that is jazz for many generations to come."

Each program will be accompanied by informative liner notes written by journalists and jazz experts, and subscribers will also be guided by playlists created every month by guest curators (ranging from music experts, producers, record label owners as well as famous musicians).

"At Qwest TV, jazz and jazz-inspired music are going to be at the root of everything we do, but we also want to highlight their influence on culture and music in general, the connections between different musical genres, and how jazz is constantly evolving and keeping up with the times," says Reza Ackbaraly, Qwest TV co-founder.

The December 15 launch will be celebrated with a special live concert in Paris featuring artists such as Jacob Collier, Cheick Tidiane Seck, Moh Kouyaté, Magic Malik, Mederic Collignon (performing a special Quincy Jones tribute), Sylvain Luc, and Omar Sosa. The concert will be livestreamed through and available for Video on Demand playback following the livestream, an example of prime original content Qwest TV will produce.

Created in October 2017 after several years in the making, Qwest TV, the world's first streaming-video service celebrating jazz and jazz-inspired music forms, is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA, and Paris, France. Supported by a first-class team of artists, producers, venues and festivals, Qwest TV offers its subscribers around the world a carefully curated selection of high-definition, 100% legal films and videos.



Deemed a "triple threat, musician, producer, and writer" by United Press International, Samir Zarif aka FKAjazz has taken the latter half of 2017 by storm, first by releasing his groundbreaking sophomore album under his new moniker, FKAjazz and now with the release of "Let It Snow (Lovers' Version)" a single release for the long winter season to come. "It's time to cozy up," he says. Jonathan Widran of Jazziz Magazine writes, "NYC based saxophonist Samir Zarif lays the dynamic groundwork for the possibilities of what jazz is for his generation and provides a vision for what the cherished American art form can be moving forward. With a freewheeling energy driven by the still simmering melting pot of influences that drive his musical passion – traditional jazz, R&B and hip-hop – [his music] is the culmination of a multi-faceted journey that transcends easy definitions. It’s always evolving with a sense of grooving and improvisational wonder and discovery." By all means, this is a beautifully unexpected version of "Let It Snow" which effortlessly holds a place on every holiday playlist. From it's smooth-groove R&B feel to the masterful saxophone performance, FKAjazz's "Let It Snow" is a must-listen throughout the cold months ahead. As Christian Wissmuller of JazzEd Magazine put it "[FKAjazz is] moving jazz forward even further into new and exciting territories, incorporating elements of hip hop, traditional jazz, R&B, and other musical forms. This single release of "Let It Snow" coupled with the release of "Stereotype Threat" (released Sept 2017), proves that FKAjazz is on a mission to take us all on an epic musical journey.


The fourth album of the progressive jazz-rock group from Napoli, Italy - SLIVOVITZ on MoonJune Records. Recorded live in Milan, Italy, in May of 2016, "LiveR" showcases the eccentric Italian maestros at their collective best – playful, daring and just having fun! Some of their most potent material to date (primarily from their heralded 2011 release, "Bani Ahead" and 2016's delectable "All You Can Eat") is revisited in truly refreshing style: uninhibited, lively, but still with their decidedly tight synchronicity and intuitive interplay as a unit. Brilliant individual moments abound, with many songs extending well beyond their previously-established studio confines: affording soloists the opportunity to really step out and shine, while harmonic and rhythmic potentials are explored with playful delight by an always-adventurous rhythm section, steadily smoldering in the background. While many live albums may come across as merely a rehash or an attempted recapturing of some previous musical magic, from the opening frame it's apparent that Slivovitz is completely engaged in the material -- showcasing both their collective and individual brilliance and ambition, while continuing to push the bounds of each song's structural and harmonic blueprints. This album roars with intensity, while serving as a testimony to the intrepidity and unfettered spirit of adventure which make this band one of progressive music's most unique, innovative collective entities. 


A really old school trio setting – one that has a loose, open, freely exploratory vibe that really takes us back to the loft jazz generation – as the musicians work in very creative territory that really shows their individual spirits, yet still also come together strongly as a whole! Joe McPhee is great on tenor and trumpet – and really reminds us of those tremendous textures and tones he started developing in the late 70s – and the rest of the trio features Pascal Niggenkemper on bass and Stale Liavik Solberg on drums – both younger musicians, but equally creative in the setting. Titles include "i", "A", and "Zero Supreme Love" – the last of which is dedicated to John Coltrane. ~ Dusty Groove


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