Jul 05

Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis – Big Band Holidays (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:01:36 minutes | 1,21 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download  – Source: HDTracks | Label: Blue Engine Records

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis holiday album featuring special guests, Cécile Mclorin Salvant, René Marie and Gregory Porter.

Put some swing in your holiday season with Big Band Holidays from the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis! The first holiday album ever released by DownBeat Readers Poll’s Best Big Band of 2013 & 2014, Big Band Holidays features original big band arrangements of timeless favorites including Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, We Three Kings, and White Christmas. Nine-time GRAMMY Award winner and Pulitzer Prize winner Wynton Marsalis and the JLCO are joined by special guest vocalists Cécile McLorin Salvant, Gregory Porter, and René Marie on what’s sure to become a holiday classic.

01 – Jingle Bells
02 – Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (feat. Cécile Mclorin Salvant)
03 – White Christmas
04 – Zat You, Santa Claus? (feat. René Marie)
05 – A Cradle In Bethlehem (feat. Gregory Porter)
06 – We Three Kings
07 – What Child Is This? (feat. Cécile Mclorin Salvant)
08 – Merry Christmas Baby (feat. Gregory Porter)
09 – It’s Easy To Blame The Weather (feat. Cécile Mclorin Salvant)
10 – I’ll Be Home For Christmas (feat. René Marie)
11 – Good Morning Blues (feat. Cécile Mclorin Salvant)
12 – Band Introductions

Sound Engineer: David Robinson. Recording Engineer: James Nichols.
Mixed by: Todd Whitelock. Mastered by: Mark Wilder at Battery Studios, NYC 2015.

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Jul 05

Jamil Sheriff Trio – Places Like This (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 38:40 minutes | 615 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Bandcamp | Artwork: Frontcover| © New Jazz Records

Jamil is known throughout the UK Jazz scene for his lyrical and rhythmic approach to original music, and this latest project is no exception. Carefully developed through-composed elements are interwoven with freer improvisations and swinging solos, showing Sheriff to be an artist with a unique identity. His approach brings together a mixture of influences as he endeavors to find common and genuine ground between a wide ranges of styles. He is a passionate ambassador of creative arts grown in the North of England, and invests much time, as an educator (Head of Jazz at Leeds College of Music) and performer, supporting the development of regional scene.

1. The Contortionist 05:40
2. Blueish 04:52
3. Miss Mae 05:08
4. The New One 08:00
5. Crazy Happy 05:16
6. TP1 07:43
7. Matchstick Man 01:57

Jamil Sheriff – piano
Dave Walsh – drums
Pete Turner – bass

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Jul 05

Jeff Bradshaw – Home: One Special Night At The Kimmel Center (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 1:18:47 minutes | 893 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Digital booklet | Label: Shanachie Entertainment

Acclaimed trombonist Jeff Bradshaw came “home” to The Kimmel Center for a once-in-a-lifetime gathering of great artists from the worlds of R&B, Jazz and Gospel; the resulting concert, presented in all its glory here, delivers electrifying performances by Jeff, Robert Glasper, Marsha Ambrosius, Black Thought of The Roots, Will Downing, Kim Burrell, Bilal, Kenny Lattimore, Tweet, Eric Roberson, Take 6, Najee and Trombone Shorty, all backed by a 20 piece orchestra.

Jeff Bradshaw is an award winning trombone player, recording artist and bandleader who has performed and recorded with Jill Scott, Jay Z, Michael Jackson, The Roots, Marsha Ambrosius and many more. Jeff has been at the center of the Neo soul movement that emerged out of Philadelphia, becoming an important influencer of that eclectic scene. Like recent best sellers by Robert Glasper, his two acclaimed solo albums have delivered a unique fusion of R&B, Jazz and Gospel.

For Home, which is co produced by Robert Glasper, Bradshaw brought together a stellar lineup of great vocalists and musicians backed by a killer 20 piece band at Philadelphia s premiere arts venue, The Kimmel Center, for a once in a lifetime performance recorded in front of a rapturous sold out audience. Highlights include Kim Burrell s stunning 9 minute performance of Love, Marsha Ambrosius emotional rendition of a previously unrecorded original song, and Bilal s intense version of the Enchantment s classic Where Do We Go From Here. The album includes a bonus cut studio version of All Time Love featuring Tweet, Robert Glasper and Eric Roberson.

01 – Open Your Eyes (Intro)
02 – All Time Love
03 – I Do Sincerely
04 – Love
05 – N.O. Groove
06 – Break You Off
07 – All This Love
08 – Where Do We Go From Here
09 – My Forever
10 – Beyond The Stars
11 – What Must I Do
12 – For Grover
13 – The World Is A Ghetto (Outro)
14 – All Time Love (Studio Version)

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Jul 05

Joe Chambers – Landscapes (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/48 kHz | Time – 59:56 minutes | 681 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: AcousticSounds | Artwork: Front cover | © Savant

Ever since Joe Chambers made his recording debut on Freddie Hubbard’s classic LP, Breaking Point! he’s remained a nearly peerless jazz figure in terms of consummate musicianship. His career throughout the 1960s established Chambers as both a noteworthy hard-bop and avant-garde jazz drummer and as an intriguing composer, particularly through his partnership with vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson. Chambers released his debut LP, The Almoravid in 1974 for Muse Records. After recording several other releases for the Denon, Candid and Blue Note labels, Chambers reconnected with Muse’s Joe Fields in 2005 and released The Outlaw in 2006. Here on his newest disc Chambers reflects all of his well-honed talents as superb multi-instrumentalist, composer and bandleader.

Joe Chambers has always been one hell of a compelling artist – first famously as a drummer on important 60s modern sessions, but over the years also a tremendous leader, and a multi-instrumentalist whose work in a variety of settings never sounds gimmicky or forced at all! That quality really comes through here – as the record’s only a trio date, with Rick Germanson on piano and Ira Coleman on bass – yet Chambers runs through a huge range of moods on instruments that include drums, congas, bongos, vibes, marimba, and piano – sometimes played with overdubs that allow Joe to expand the sound in especially nice ways on some of the more Latin-styled tracks. Joe plays solo piano on the title “Landscapes”, and other trio tracks include “Samba De Marcatu”, “pas De Trois”, “Ecaroh”, “The Outlaw”, and “Havana”.

01 – Epistrophy
02 – The Outlaw
03 – Never Let Me Go
04 – Havana
05 – Samba de Maracatu
06 – Pas de Trois
07 – Airegin
08 – Ecaroh
09 – Underground (Railroad) System
10 – Landscapes

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Jul 04

Joey Alexander – Countdown (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 01:01:11 minutes | 603 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Artwork: Front cover | © Motéma – MustHaveJazz – Membran

The sensational child prodigy jazz pianist’s second studio album. Joey Alexander’s jaw-dropping ability and beyond-his-years artistry brought him to some of the grandest stages, from performing at the GRAMMYs and the White House, to appearing on the TODAY Show and 60 Minutes. Just over a year removed from his debut, the same maturity and dedication to his craft that made him a phenomenon is evident in his remarkable evolution on his sophomore release, COUNTDOWN. Now stepping forward as a composer, while still paying tribute to the jazz greats, Joey is poised to continue his ascent to becoming one of the biggest names in jazz.

A couple of weeks ago the jazz pianist Joey Alexander turned 13. Given the unusual arc of his young career, it shouldn’t be a surprise that he celebrated onstage with his trio, at the Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival. After the performance, he was presented with a cake in the shape of a grand piano, and thousands in the crowd sang “Happy Birthday,” basking in a moment that Joey himself seemed to take in stride. His debut album, “My Favorite Things,” earned him two Grammy nominations and an invitation to the awards, where he played a trio number (during a pre-telecast) and a solo piano piece. The tune that he performed solo — bringing Taylor Swift and the Weeknd to their feet — was “City Lights”, an original composition. It opens his second album, “Countdown”. Set over a mid-tempo vamp in Latin rhythm, “City Lights” is Joey’s attempt to capture the bustling energy of New York, where he has lived with his parents since moving from Indonesia two years ago. You can hear the influence of Chick Corea in the track, and possible echoes of an effervescent Latin-jazz pianist like Michel Camilo.

01 – City Lights
02 – Sunday Waltz
03 – Countdown
04 – Smile
05 – Maiden Voyage
06 – Criss Cross
07 – Chelsea Bridge
08 – For Wee Folks
09 – Soul Dreamer

Joey Alexander – piano
Larry Grenadier – bass
Ulysses Owens Jr. – drums
Chris Potter – sax on “5”

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Jul 04

John Scofield – Country For Old Men (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 1:02:37 minutes | 1,37 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Artwork: Digital booklet | © Impulse Select

John Scofield goes country! With the help of drummer Bill Stewart, organist & pianist Larry Goldings, and bassist Steve Swallow, Scofield renders 12 classic country tunes through the prism of vigorous modern jazz. Country icons including Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton and George Jones are hereby reinterpreted by Scofield by focusing strongly on the melody of each song, accentuating his playing with a noticeable twang, which lends the music the requisite bucolic sensibility.

Following last year’s Grammy-winning Past Present, the improvisationally wily but sociably funky jazz guitarist John Scofield now presents a tribute to the country songs of American icons including Hank Williams, Merle Haggard and Dolly Parton, with pianist/organist Larry Goldings, bassist Steve Swallow, and drummer Bill Stewart pitching in. Williams’ I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry quickly becomes a fast bebop bass-walk, but Scofield always keeps his long, zig-zagging solo within earshot of the tune. Parton’s Jolene begins as a dark and dramatic theme statement, and takes on the elemental rhythmic insistence of the classic John Coltrane quartet, while a fine account of Shania Twain’s You’re Still the One exhibits a tenderness caressed by Scofield’s signature tonal creativity. Occasionally there’s a disconnect between the convivial lilt of some of these tunes and the jazz grooves, but Scofield at full jazz-improv pelt is always something to behold.

01 – Mr Fool
02 – I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry
03 – Bartender’s Blues
04 – Wildwood Flower
05 – Wayfaring Stranger
06 – Mama Tried
07 – Jolene
08 – Faded Love
09 – Just A Girl I Used To Know
10 – Red River Valley
11 – You’re Still The One
12 – I’m An Old Cowhand

John Scofield – guitar, ukulele on “12”
Larry Goldings – piano, Hammond organ
Steve Swallow – bass
Bill Stewart – drums

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Jul 04

James Lloyd – Here We Go (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 46:24 minutes | 554 MB | Genre: Jazz
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Front cover | Label: Shanachie Entertainment
Recorded: Tune Inn Recording Studios, Canfield, Ohio

Hitmaker James Lloyd has written, produced and played on more than 30 Top 10 Smooth Jazz radio hits. As a founding member of the legendary Pieces Of A Dream, James has been the heart and soul of that Smooth Urban Jazz super-group for more than 20 years.
Renowned for his brilliant keyboard stylings and soulful compositions, James has produced #1 hits for the likes of Walter Beasley, Najee, Eric Darius, Gerald Albright, and of course, Pieces of A Dream. And now he is about to perform the same magic under his own name.
The first single, the spirited “Play It Forward,” is already climbing up the Smooth Jazz charts, soon to be followed by a funky “No Holds Barred,” featuring the Grammy-nominated saxophonist Gerald Albright. Other highlights include Smooth Jazz superstar and Grammy-winner Najee on the soulful “Moving Right Along,” the sensuous ballad “Granted Wish” and much more.

Keyboard maestro James Lloyd has been the heart, body and soul of Pieces Of A Dream since its inception almost forty years ago. Now he is breaking new ground with the album ‘Here We Go’ that was released March 17 on the enduringly excellent Shanachie label. By age sixteen Lloyd had worked with Joe Williams and Count Basie while less than a year later he was touring and recording with Grover Washington Jr. The rest, as they say, is history and he continues to demonstrate the sublime touch he retains for contemporary jazz that is sometimes smooth but always edgy.
The wonderfully foot stomping title cut is, in both name and mood, the ideal number with which to launch this, his solo debut CD yet it is a mark of the man that an A-Lister such as Lloyd should consider inviting not one but two guest performers to the project.
The first to step up is every sax-player’s saxophonist, Najee, who adds his magic to the deliciously mid tempo ‘Moving Right Along’. It is an absolute shoo in for my top twenty smooth jazz tracks of the year and later the invariably superb Gerald Albright teams with Lloyd for the big, ballsy and totally infectious ‘No Holds Barred’. In fact James first met Gerald when Pieces Of A Dream were opening for Anita Baker and Albright was in her backing band. Here, years later, they are at the very top of their respective games.
Lloyd takes a jazzy turn with the tongue in cheek ‘Y-Town, Y-Not?’ that celebrates the city of Youngstown Ohio, the place where he and his wife now call home. The Youngstown connection continues all the way to the outrageously ‘in the pocket’ ‘Within Reach’ that was co-written by local musician Marcellus Hayes while elsewhere the full-on happy vibe of ‘Play It Forward’ proves to be an unadulterated delight.
Lloyd eases down the tempo and finds a killer groove with the spine tingling ‘Granted Wish’. Written for his wife and almost ten years in the making it is a tune with which Lloyd strikes pure gold and he keeps the mood relaxed for ‘Almost There’ that was composed by former Pieces Of A Dream keyboard player Cherie Mitchell. Later, as he pays his respects to the undisputed ‘Queen Of Hip Hop Soul’, the wonderful Mary J. Blige’, he conjures up a bluesy, swinging, R & B treat in a way that only he can.
Talking of paying his respects, Lloyd brings down the curtain on ‘Here We Go’ with the funk drenched ‘For The Duke In Me’ which tips a hat to the late great George Duke. It is a fitting end to a stupendous collection that even at this early stage must be regarded as being up there with the best of 2015.

1 Here We Go 04:16
2 Moving Right Along 04:18
3 Play It Forward 04:09
4 Granted Wish 04:34
5 No Holds Barred 04:03
6 Almost There 04:09
7 Y-Town, Y-Not? 06:54
8 Within Reach 04:28
9 Much O’Blige’d 04:21
10 For The Duke In Me 05:12

James Kieth Lloyd – Piano, Keyboards, Programming
Gerald Albright – Saxophone
Randall Bowland – Guitar
Marcellus Hayes – Keyboards, Programming
Robert “Boots” Pickard – Keyboards, Programming
Kevin Ricard – Percussion

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Jul 03

Jaco Pastorius – Jaco Pastorius (1976) [Japanese SACD 1999 #ESGA 501]
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 41:45 minutes | Scans included | 1,69 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 773 MB
Genre: Jazz

Jaco Pastorius was a meteor who blazed on to the scene in the 1970s, only to flame out tragically in the 1980s. With a brilliantly fleet technique and fertile melodic imagination, Pastorius made his fretless electric bass leap out from the depths of the rhythm section into the front line with fluid machine-gun-like passages that demanded attention. He also sported a strutting, dancing, flamboyant performing style and posed a further triple-threat as a talented composer, arranger and producer. He and Stanley Clarke were the towering influences on their instrument in the 1970s.

It’s impossible to hear Jaco Pastorious’ debut album today as it sounded when it was first released in 1976. The opening track — his transcription for fretless electric bass of the bebop standard “Donna Lee” — was a manifesto of virtuosity; the next track, the funk-soul celebration “Come On, Come Over” was a poke in the eye to jazz snobs and a love letter to the R&B greats of the previous decade (two of whom, Sam & Dave, sing on that track); “Continuum” was a spacey, chorus-drenched look forward to the years he was about to spend playing with Weather Report. The program continues like that for three-quarters of an hour, each track heading off in a different direction — each one a masterpiece that would have been a proud achievement for any musician. What made Jaco so exceptional was that he was responsible for all of them, and this was his debut album. Beyond his phenomenal bass technique and his surprisingly mature compositional chops (he was 24 when this album was released), there was the breathtaking audacity of his arrangements: “Okonkole Y Trompa” is scored for electric bass, French horn, and percussion, and “Speak Like a Child,” which Pastorious composed in collaboration with pianist Herbie Hancock, features a string arrangement by Pastorious that merits serious attention in its own right. For a man with this sort of kaleidoscopic creativity to remain sane was perhaps too much to ask; his gradual descent into madness and eventual tragic death are now a familiar story, one which makes the bright promise of this glorious debut album all the more bittersweet.

01. Donna Lee
02. Come On, Come Over
03. Continuum
04. Kuru / Speak Like A Child
05. Portrait Of Tracy
06. Opus Focus
07. Okonkole Y Trompa
08. (Used to Be A) Cha-Cha
09. Forgotten Love

SACD Produced by Moto Uehara.
Remastering Engineer: Mark Wilder.

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Jul 03

Jaco Pastorius – JACO Original Soundtrack (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 01:14:58 minutes | 833 MB | Genre: Jazz
Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Front cover | Label: Columbia Records/Legacy

The surprisingly cohesive soundtrack to the 2015 Jaco Pastorius documentary Jaco features tracks the legendary jazz bassist recorded during his short career in the ’70s and ’80s. The first major documentary film about Pastorius, who was born in 1951 and died tragically in 1987 at age 35, Jaco was produced by bassist Robert Trujillo (Suicidal Tendencies, Metallica) and Pastorius’ oldest son, Johnny Pastorius. Jaco details Pastorius’ rise from unknown Florida musician to internationally recognized and innovative jazz superstar. In concordance, we get cuts Pastorius recorded as a solo artist and as a member of the influential fusion outfit Weather Report. Fittingly, Trujillo and Pastorius cull tracks off the bassist’s two major solo studio albums, 1976’s Jaco Pastorius and 1981’s Word of Mouth, including “Come on, Come Over,” “Continuum,” and “Crisis.” Elsewhere, we get a handful of major Weather Report sides, including the synth-heavy “River People” and the funky Pastorius feature “Teen Town.” Along the way, we also get several tracks Pastorius recorded for other artists, including a live version of “The Dry Cleaner from Des Moines” with Joni Mitchell and “All American Alien Boy” off Ian Hunter’s 1978 studio album. Bringing Pastorius’ influence full circle, Trujillo also includes several brand-new recordings, including a cover of “Come on, Come Over” by his own band Mass Mental, as well as a cover of “Continuum” by Mexican guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela. While there is certainly room for longer, more exhaustive Pastorius anthologies, Jaco succeeds in providing a listenable — and one feels lovingly heartfelt — overview of the bassist’s career. –AllMusic Review by Matt Collar

1 Come On, Come Over 03:53
2 Continuum 04:34
3 River People (Live) 04:52
4 Teen Town 02:53
5 Portrait of Tracy 02:22
6 The Dry Cleaner from Des Moines (Live) 04:30
7 All American Alien Boy 07:09
8 Liberty City 11:59
9 Okonkole y Trompa 04:24
10 Barbary Coast 03:08
11 Crisis 05:21
12 Longing 05:20
13 Nineteen Eighty Seven 03:13
14 Shine 02:53
15 Continuum 04:25
16 Come On, Come Over 04:11

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Jul 03

Jason Mraz – Yes! (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 51:46 minutes | 1,11 GB | Genre: Pop
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | Front cover | © Atlantic Records

Jason Mraz’s fifth studio release, “YES!” sees the San Diego-based troubadour teaming up with his longtime friends and collaborators, Raining Jane, for a purely acoustic and more intimate sound than heard on his previous releases. “YES!,” produced by Mraz along with Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, First Aid Kit, Rilo Kiley), was recorded in rural Omaha, Nebraska and inland Oceanside, California. While somewhat intimate and esoteric, “YES!” still remains a Mraz-like pop album and features classical instruments, cello, sitar and vintage guitars and sings about universal themes of love, faith, healing, environmental stewardship and inner peace.

The exclamation point that punctuates its title suggests Jason Mraz may be a little enthusiastic on Yes! but that’s a feint, hiding how this 2014 record is the next logical step on the singer/songwriter’s road of seduction. Gone is the celebrated wordplay, a self-conscious maturation that was perhaps inevitable, but also absent are the smooth soul flourishes of 2012’s Love Is a Four Letter Word. Those slow grooves underscored how Mraz embraced his role as a middlebrow make-out king in the wake of the success of “I’m Yours,” but Yes! feels like a truer follow-up to that 2009 hit than the 2012 LP because it emphasizes Jason Mraz the sensitive singer/songwriter with an acoustic guitar slung across his shoulders. He flirts with rhythms floating up from the Caribbean, he covers Boyz II Men’s “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday,” he cops a bit of the Lumineers’ big-beat folk stomp, and he strums a ukulele — but these are all mild, complementary accents to a sun-kissed collection of romantic songs. Mraz doesn’t avoid amorous clichés so much as he shamelessly embraces each and every one, addressing songs to a lover who is also his best friend and a “beautiful thing,” celebrating long drives and quiet times with the one he loves. Such subjects are a clear indication that Yes! is not a record fueled by the heady rush of love at first sight; it’s an album designed to soundtrack a long getaway weekend for a couple already in love.

01 – Rise
02 – Love Someone
03 – Hello, You Beautiful Thing
04 – Long Drive
05 – Everywhere
06 – Best Friend
07 – Quiet
08 – Out Of My Hands
09 – It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday
10 – 3 Things
11 – You Can Rely On Me
12 – Back To The Earth
13 – A World With You
14 – Shine

Jason Mraz – vocals, guitar
Raining Jane – rock-folk band

Producers: Jason Mraz, Mike Mogis, Chris Keup and Stewart Myers

Please Note: Tracks 1, 2, 7, 11 are 44k recordings mastered to 96/24.

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