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.
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”
Since that night in 2007 when she brought the WKC house down, Catherine Russell’s renown as one of the foremost interpreters and explorers of mid-20th century American music has skyrocketed. A Grammy Award winner, she regularly plays Lincoln Center and hundreds of other major venues and festivals worldwide, has made two appearances on NPR’s “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross, appeared on “Piano Jazz” with Marian McPartland, and has garnered rave reviews and awards both in France and at home. “Cat” will be backed by Matt Munisteri on guitar, Mark Shane, piano, and Tal Ronen, bass.”
9/21 - Monterey Jazz Festival - Monterey, CA 9/25 - SFJAZZ - San Francisco, CA 9/30 - Jazz Standard - New York, NY 10/1 - The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts - DC 10/3 - Old Lyme Inn's Side Door - Old Lyme, CT 10/4 - Montpelier Arts Center/ M-NCPPC - Laurel, MD 10/7 - Wellfleet Preservation Hall - Wellfleet, MA 10/8 - Scullers Jazz - Boston, MA
"This isn’t strictly indie, I know, but it does feature indie’s Damon Albarn and it is fantastic, irrespective of genre barriers. It’s not the pair’s first encounter, of course, with Albarn and former Fela Kuti drummer Allen joining forces for the groups The Good, The Bad and The Queen and Rocket Juice and the Moon. This time, the Blur frontman appears on the Afrobeat pioneer’s forthcoming album entitled Film of Life. This beautifully rhythmic track was written in tribute to African refugees who arrived on the Italian island of Lampedusa."
"…The Son of a Bluesman‘s title track lays it out all on the table. It’s got urban grit, soulful lead guitar work, a Hammond organ that swallows the empty space and a tale of James Peterson’s death and Lucky’s redemption. He may want to cover “I Can See Clearly Now”, but he can’t help but play dirty blues now and then….
“Nana Jarnell” is a mostly instrumental slow jam, featuring guitar lines that almost sound like David Gilmour on a blues pilgrimage. And that “I Can See Clearly Now” cover? There’s nothing adult contemporary about it this time. Peterson took the song for a Mississippi dip, dried it off, then took it into the city for a night of dancing. His cover of Bobby Bland’s “I Pity the Fool” starts off an easy swaying waltz in 12-bars. Then the horns enter and Peterson’s leads begin to burn holes in the carpet…
With The Son of a Bluesman, Lucky Peterson keeps on rolling. He continues to bang together the soulful funk of what he wants to do and the hard blues of what’s been in him since the beginning. Neither side really wins out, which means we all get to enjoy another rich collection of Lucky Peterson recordings.”
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.