Coming in September on Jazz Village is Live at l’Olympia by Ahmad Jamal & Yusef Lateef!
This set documents an historic concert that took place in Paris on June 27, 2012. The great Ahmad Jamal, enjoying a return to the jazz charts thanks to his recent releases on Jazz Village, began by playing selections from his album Blue Moon. Then the pianist was joined on stage by the equally legendary Yusef Lateef, who had played with Jamal in the glory days of the Atlantic label. These two artists channeled the past and reinvented the future as they worked their musical magic. The album features two audio discs and a DVD of the complete concert.
Our Throwback Thursday this week: Culture Musical Club of Zanzibar’s Shime(2009)!
Culture Musical Club began life as part of the youth organization of the Afro Shirazi Party during Zanzibar’s struggle for independence back in 1956. Today, Culture Musical Club is not only the largest, but also one of the most prolific and successful orchestras of Zanzibar as they present taarab music. In addition to innumerable performances in Stone Town, villages of Zanzibar and on Tanzania mainland, this group has toured internationally with outstanding success and has won over audiences in France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, the Arab Emirates and Reunion. They perform new compositions on a regular basis and have developed a distinct and uniquely Swahili style.
Songlines Top of The World Chicago Reader 20 Favorite International Releases 2010
"Several beguiling, popular Zanzibari styles are present…“Muziki Ni Kazi Yetu,” a pungwa song (possession music), is an elegant, soothing bit of exoticism, while “Rejea Tena Chuoni” features mughani-style vocal improvisation imparting a universally resonant message: ‘Go back to school.’” - Billboard
"A strong rhythmic pulse throbs through each piece, but Culture Musical Club retains a measured calm; this isn’t wild club music…it’s unlikely that Culture Musical Club won’t suck you in with their hypnotic sound." - eMusic
Each one of French-Brazilian Márcio Faraco’s songs is exemplary in its finesse and fragile balance between gentleness and seriousness. His distinctive style is free of pathos but has traces of his illustrious influences, João Gilberto, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinícius de Moraes.
On the cover of his most recent album, Border-Free (Jazz Village), explosive Cuban pianist Chucho Valdes wears an enormous feathered Native American headdress—a reference to a tune of his called “Afro-Comanche,” which honors Comanches deported by Spanish soldiers in the late 18th and early 19th centuries from what would later become the southwestern U.S., many of whom ended up in Cuba (via Mexico and Spain) and integrated into the island’s community. The message is clear: people, like music, aren’t contained or defined by geography. Few musicians have embodied that idea as thoroughly as Valdes, who cofounded influential Cuban jazz-fusion group Irakere in 1973; with his protean talents, he’s obliterated the boundaries between Cuban tradition and jazz tradition. The name of his current group is of course a hat tip to Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, and though the original tunes nod to Latin music (propulsive clave-based polyrhythms, ubiquitous percussion breakdowns, et cetera), they usually follow the durable “theme followed by improvisation” structure that’s endured in hard bop for six decades. (The band’s previous album is called Chucho’s Steps, a Coltrane reference.) “Bebo,” which Valdes wrote to memorialize his brilliant piano-playing father, sounds like a jazz standard with a clave beat; it’s also one of three tracks to feature the fiery saxophone of Branford Marsalis. Other pieces reach elsewhere for ideas. “Abdel” explores Gnawa music; “Pilar,” which opens as an extended duet with bassist Angel Gaston Joya Perellada, weaves in bits of two pieces Valdes’s mother loved, Miles Davis’s “Blue in Green” and Bach’s Prelude in D Minor; and “Caridad Amaro,” written for his grandmother, borrows from Rachmaninoff. —Peter Margasak”
World Village has forged itself a reputation for excellence on the international musical scene in just a few short years. Seeking out talents from all around the world, carefully designed covers and booklets: these are the key values of the label, which is run by four producers working between France, the USA, Spain and the UK, who pursue an ambitious signing policy.
Jazz Village, the newest label in the Harmonia Mundi family, allows audiences to experience the best of current jazz music, from Europe to the Americas, from traditional to modern, through urban soul and new sound crossbreeds. On the menu: a dozen yearly releases featuring musical veterans, young idols and bright emerging talents.