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BLUE NOTE

Kenny Dorham

Afro-Cuban - Remastered Vinyl Edition

    This mid 50s Blue Note album was one of the first jazz recordings to fuse jazz and the Latin sounds of Cuba. If the line-up of players doesn't seduce you (Hank Mobley, Cecil Payne, Horace Silver, Jay Jay Johnson, Oscar Pettiford, Art Blakey, Carlos 'Potato' Valdes and of course Dorham himself), then the music will!

    Blue Note President Don Was says, “Two years ago, we began remastering the jewels of the Blue Note catalogue in hi-def resolutions of 96k and 192k. In order to develop a guiding artistic philosophy for this delicate endeavor, we donned our lab coats, ran dozens of sonic experiments and carefully referenced every generation of our reissues. Ultimately, we decided that our goal would be to protect the original intentions of the artists, producers and engineers who made these records and that, in the case of pre-digital-era albums, these intentions were best represented by the sound and feel of their first-edition vinyl releases. Working with a team of dedicated and groovy engineers, we found a sound that both captured the feel of the original records while maintaining the depth and transparency of the master tapes... the new remasters are really cool!

    While these new versions will become available in digital hi-def, CD and Mastered for iTunes formats, the allure of vinyl records is WAY too potent to ignore. This year, Blue Note - along with our friends at Universal Music Enterprises - is launching a major 75th Anniversary vinyl Initiative that is dedicated to the proposition that our catalogue should be readily available, featuring high quality pressings and authentic reproductions of Blue Note's iconic packaging. Although this program begins in celebration of Blue Note's 75th Anniversary, our catalog runs so deep that we will faithfully be reissuing five albums a month for many years to come!”

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    LP includes MP3 Download Code.

    CD Info: Rudy Van Gelder edition.

    Shop favourites (2016 end-of-year chart high-rollers) Gogo Penguin return for their latest outing on legendary jazz label, Blue Note. The thing about Gogo penguin is, they're a jazz band, but without all the things you'd associate with a jazz band. The beards are as few as their years, and the chin-stroking is not only minimal, but actively discouraged. Their last outing (the stunning 'Man Made Object') mixed the subtle downtempo percussion and slowly unfurling progressions of traditional jazz with tender, minimalistic electronics and ambient textures reminiscent of modern-classical contemporaries liberally littered around the Erased Tapes roster.

    Whilst their compositions are completely instrumental, there seems to be a wealth of outside influence making itself known through the phrasing and keys used. While 2015 / 2016 were in no way dream years for society in general, it was clear that there was a playfulness in their delivery of songs like 'Quiet Mind' (incidentally, this particular piece reminded me of the other 'Penguin' band, no bad thing).

    As soon as we finish the frenetic buzzing and claustrophobic atmospheres of 'Prayer', it becomes clear that the rather torrid world climate has indeed osmosed into their compositions, swapping out the languid bobbing atmospheres of yesteryear for a highly charged, powerfully visceral sound experience. While the melodic counterpoints are as ever, impeccably realised (and perfectly accentuated by Turner's mindblowing skin-smacking), the euphoric peak is often hidden behind a flurry of call-response dialogue, the peak only being reached through an intentionally laboured conversational swell.

    While throughout the album, the simmering malaise invariably breaks through into a grand and sweeping relief, it is in pieces like 'A Hundred Moons' that we get the full-force of their compositional genius, breaking through the residual gloom with airy, tropical percussion and a cleansing palate of major-key lifts and twinkling plucks. Without waxing lyrical about every song in turn, there really isn't much more that can be said, you'll just have to listen to it yourself. Truth of the matter is, Gogo Penguin are one of a kind, and continue to pioneer their own spellbinding brand of electronic jazz. 


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Gogo Penguin continue to redefine what 'jazz' is to a lot of people (myself included). Continuing to skilfully eschew staid progressions and inject an electronic ambiguity into wilfully beautiful compositions, GGP remain as groundbreaking yet listenable as ever. Essential.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    2xColoured LP Info: Limited red coloured vinyl in a gatefold sleeve.

    2xColoured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

    2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

    Ltd CD Info: "Mintpack" CD edition.

    "The Source" is the Nigerian drummer's first album for Blue Note, one of the most prestigious names in jazz and a label that has opened its sphere of activity considerably wider since its renaissance in the eighties. Perhaps more than any other title in the catalogue, "The Source" represents the label's classic era at the same time as it symbolizes Blue Note's innovative present. The album achieves this by means of a sound-aesthetic that has total integrity, the result of a scrupulous transcribing of the music using a technology that is exclusively analogue, and doing so according to the precepts of the virtuous philosophy inherited from the label's founders, Alfred Lion and Marx Margulis. Piccadilly regulars should be well aware of the talents of Tony Allen by now. Pretty much the most prolific musician of the afro-beat scene still alive today! 77 years old and this guy keeps on ticking - or motoring rather, as his excessive, flamboyant, but totally in-the-pocket drumming demonstrates. Like all true jazz men, his personality comes through in his performance and through the course of "The Source" we find him backed up by a more than accomplished set of musicians - skirting around trad and spiritual jazz with inspired passages and lavish arrangement. Top, top stuff indeed.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Afrobeat legend Tony Allen returns for his newest mindblowing outing, at the ripe old age of 77, and still pulling the hits out of the bag. This man is a true legend, and 'The Source' reminds us why.

    Tony Allen

    A Tribute To Art Blakey And The Jazz Messengers

    Blue Note come correct with a brand new release from legendary Nigerian drummer Tony Allen's, A Tribute to Art Blakey And The Jazz Messengers. The 4 titles featured in the EP - "Moanin’", "The Drum Thunder Suite", "Night In Tunisia", "Politely" - provide a preview of his forthcoming first album for Blue Note (currently scheduled for release in autumn 2017) on which Tony Allen pays tribute to his longstanding idol, American jazz drummer Art Blakey. The EP's four titles and the other tracks that make up the album were recorded over three days in Paris at the Midilive studios, the former facility of the Vogue label. The sessions were done in live conditions that saw Tony Allen and his 8-piece band together in the same room, with the sound channelled through 12 separate mikes onto 2" tape via a Sony MCI-JH24 analogue multi-track recorder.

    GRAMMY-winning band Robert Glasper Experiment release their new album ArtScience. The eclectic album finds the Experiment getting down to its essence, with each of the band members—keyboardist Robert Glasper, saxophonist Casey Benjamin, bassist Derrick Hodge, and drummer Mark Colenburg—delivering the vocals and sharing in the production and songwriting on the album. On ArtScience, the Experiment sounds like a bit of everything that's vibrant and challenging and great about music woven into a billowing fabric of jazz, funk, soul, rock, hip-hop, blues, disco, electronic, and pop. 

    It’s been an astonishing couple of years for GoGo Penguin, the UK trio of drummer Rob Turner, double bassist Nick Blacka and pianist Chris Illingworth. Their trademark mash-up of minimalist piano themes, deeply propulsive bass lines and electronica-inspired drums has seen their 2014 album 'v2.0' shortlisted for the Mercury Prize. Drawing on a heady brew of influences from Brian Eno, John Cage, Massive Attack and Aphex Twin, GoGo Penguin has created a brave new sound that is wholly their own.

    Now signed to iconic jazz label Blue Note Records the trio release their new album. 'Man Made Object is the sound of a band confidently pursuing their own path. “The title is partly inspired by my fascination with ideas of robotics, transhumanism and human augmentation,” says pianist Illingworth, a statement that begs for elaboration. “We’re recreating electronic music on acoustic instruments. It’s like a man-made object that has become humanized and it seemed like a good album title, one that also means something different to each of us, and hopefully to each listener.”

    Indeed, although they're predominately an acoustic piano trio, GoGo Penguin’s music draws from many areas of contemporary electronic music, one where you can hear arcade game bleeps, glitchy breakbeats, hypnotic Aphex-style melodies, grinding bass lines and a rumbling low-end. It has been described as “acoustic electronica”, a term which perfectly sums up their modus operandi. “Many of the songs on this album started out as electronic compositions that I made on sequencing software like Logic or Ableton,” says drummer Turner. “I’ll then play it to the band and we’ll find ways of replicating it acoustically.”

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: Manchester has always been known as an innovative city. Here, we push things forward. Bringing jazz's traditional formula kicking and screaming into our time & space are MCR trio GoGo Penguin: a group that'll appeal to millennials, jazz vets and broad-minded young folk alike. Freely accepting (and utilizing) the influence of contemporary technology, before revisiting ideas as an acoustic, piano-led 'band'; ‘Man Made Object’ sees the melancholic, contemplative and sublime moods of the jazz cannon thoroughly explored with sophistication and musicality throughout. Much of the album references the forward thinking emotion of early Boards Of Canada, or the electro-acoustic free jazz of Kieran Hebden; but through detailed, clean recording, deft, sympathetic production and ultra-tight arrangements it feels and sounds like we're live, in front of a proper band, in their very element of proficiency. Seeing musicians this 'in the pocket' and symbiotically, rhythmically connected is rare, and breath-taking to say the least.     

    Jose James

    While You Were Sleeping

    José James deliver his fifth studio album and the second for legendary jazz label Blue Note. The album follows his critically-acclaimed 'No Beginning No End' LP, which hit shelves at the top of 2013. The project, recorded in Brooklyn, marks the start of a new chapter for James, who continues to push past the confines of genre in order to deliver an edgier product that compliments an already well-seasoned catalogue with the exploration and reinterpretation of classic rock and soul.

    Williams, Kris Bowers, Solomon Dorsey and Richard Spaven lay the foundation for James’ journey through the innovative and often immediately recognizable sounds established by some of the biggest icons in rock and R&B, including Jimi Hendrix and Al Green. Venturing into new territory with the same cool he applies to the jazz standard, José James breathes new life into all of the material he touches. He keeps the good news coming with a handful of spring tour dates that will take him to a few major cities ahead of the project’s upcoming release.

    Albert Ammons

    Boogie Woogie Stomp

      THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2014 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

      2 track 12" on Blue Note

      Limited to 200 copies.

      John Coltrane

      Blue Train - Remastered Vinyl Edition

      "Blue Train" is John Coltrane's only collection of sides as a principal artist for Blue Note. The album is packed with sonic evidence of Coltrane's innate leadership abilities. He not only addresses the tunes at hand, but also simultaneously reinvents himself as a multifaceted interpreter of both hard bop as well as sensitive balladry - touching upon all forms in between. The personnel on "Blue Train" is arguably as impressive as what they're playing. Joining Coltrane (tenor sax) are Lee Morgan (trumpet), Curtis Fuller (trombone), Kenny Drew (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), and Philly Joe Jones (drums). The triple horn arrangements incorporate an additional sonic density that remains a trademark unique to both this band and album. Of particular note is Fuller's even-toned trombone, which bops throughout the title track as well as the frenetic "Moments Notice". Other solos include Paul Chambers' subtly understated riffs on "Blue Train" as well as the high energy and impact from contributions by Lee Morgan and Kenny Drew during "Locomotion". The track likewise features some brief but vital contributions from Philly Joe Jones - whose efforts throughout the record stand among his personal best. Of the five pieces that comprise the original "Blue Train", the Jerome Kern / Johnny Mercer ballad "I'm Old Fashioned" is the only standard; in terms of unadulterated sentiment, this version is arguably untouchable. Fuller's rich tones and Drew's tastefully executed solos cleanly wrap around Jones' steadily languid rhythms. Without reservation, "Blue Train" can easily be considered in and among the most important and influential entries not only of John Coltrane's career, but of the entire genre of jazz music as well.

      Blue Note President Don Was says, “Two years ago, we began remastering the jewels of the Blue Note catalogue in hi-def resolutions of 96k and 192k. In order to develop a guiding artistic philosophy for this delicate endeavor, we donned our lab coats, ran dozens of sonic experiments and carefully referenced every generation of our reissues. Ultimately, we decided that our goal would be to protect the original intentions of the artists, producers and engineers who made these records and that, in the case of pre-digital-era albums, these intentions were best represented by the sound and feel of their first-edition vinyl releases. Working with a team of dedicated and groovy engineers, we found a sound that both captured the feel of the original records while maintaining the depth and transparency of the master tapes... the new remasters are really cool!

      While these new versions will become available in digital hi-def, CD and Mastered for iTunes formats, the allure of vinyl records is WAY too potent to ignore. This year, Blue Note - along with our friends at Universal Music Enterprises - is launching a major 75th Anniversary vinyl Initiative that is dedicated to the proposition that our catalogue should be readily available, featuring high quality pressings and authentic reproductions of Blue Note's iconic packaging. Although this program begins in celebration of Blue Note's 75th Anniversary, our catalog runs so deep that we will faithfully be reissuing five albums a month for many years to come!”

      STAFF COMMENTS

      David says: John Coltrane is obviously most famous for 'A Love Supreme'. I've listened to it a couple of times and would politely describe it as,'difficult'. 'Blue Train', for me anyway, is a much better starting point, feel free to send in enraged emails to the contrary, I'm here all week.

      St Germain

      Tourist - Remastered Edition

      Long before the likes of Daft Punk and Air, Ludovic Navarre, better known as St Germain was breaking new ground as one of the original French dance artists. "Tourist", first released in April 2000, is his now legendary Blue Note debut album that went on to sell over 2.8 million copies worldwide. For the first time "Tourist" is now available fully remastered. The critically acclaimed electronic / jazz fusion album is a perfectly formed deep-house voyage, taking the listener through blends of jazz, blues, Latin and hip-hop."'Tourist" is a must have for any dance or jazz music collection. The album transcends the ages and sounds as relevant and fresh today as it did on release, rightly staking a claim as a true modern classic. Includes the brilliant single "Rose Rouge".

      This 1969 session was recorded in Memphis, and has the southern flavour of grits, biscuits, collared greens, ribs and gravy added to McDuff's usual funky jazz plate. The Hammond maestro leaves the low end notes to a separate bass player, who lays down a really bubbling funky groove, which, along with the tight drumming, underpins some great keyboard, guitar and horns.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      LP Info: US import reissue with authentic replica gatefold sleeve artwork.

      This is the fifth part in the Blue Note's "Trip" series and the second that German jazz collective Jazzanova have compiled. As previously the selection features a great mix of classic tracks alongside current artist's songs, with everything from extended jazz instrumentals and soul-jazz gems to gentle bossa and cool 'pop' included. You'll all be familiar with classics like Bob Dorough's "Three Is A Magic Number", Marlena Shaw's "Save The Children", J Dilla's mix of Brother Jack McDuff's "Oblighetto" and Gary Bartz' "Carnaval De L'Espirit", but how about checking undiscovered cuts by The Waters, Djavan, Gene Dunlap and Janet Lawson.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      2xCD Info: Double mix CD contains all tracks from both "Scrambled" and "Mashed" LP compilations.

      Inner Circle & The Fatman Rhythm Section

      Heavyweight Dub / Killer Dub

      The late 70s were boom years for dub, with hundreds of albums issued between 1975 and the end of the decade. It was a time when Inner Circle were also riding high, being even more popular than Bob Marley & The Wailers in Jamaica. In 1978 they weighed in with "Heavyweight Dub" and "Killer Dub", which were companion albums to lead singer Jacob Miller's solo outings "Wanted" and "Killer Miller", both from the more rootsy end of the vocalist's output. This CD brings both sets together for a remastered reissue.

      Fantastic 1960 set from alto sax modernist with stonkin' line that included, Walter Bishop Jr (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), Blue Mitchell (trumpet) and Art Taylor (drums).

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      LP Info: US import reissue with original sleeve artwork.

      Recorded slap-dab in the middle of the decade, "Places And Spaces" represents a high water mark level for 1970s jazz-funk, and is another Mizell Brothers-produced winner. Includes the Larry Mizell-penned anthems "Change (Makes You Want To Hustle)" and "Wind Parade" plus classics like "(Fallin' Like) Dominoes" and the title track itself. Essential!

      Donald Byrd

      Street Lady

      The 1973 follow-up to "Black Byrd" has Donald and genius jazz-funk producer Larry Mizell really hitting their stride together to come up trumps with this magic album, a career highlight for both musicians. Includes the classic "Lansana's Priestess". 'Street Lady' features the legendary rhythm section of David T. Walker (guitar), Chuck Rainey (bass) and Harvey Mason (drums), who were among the most requested studio musicians of the day.




      In keeping with its distinctive legacy of one foot in the past, one foot in the future, Blue Note open up their extensive vaults to a range of modern producers. More than simply a remix album, on "Blue Note Revisited" we find an aristically and geographically diverse crop of the best DJ / producers reinterpreting, reconstructing and re-contextualizing for today an assortment of gems from Blue Note's catalogue. Whether it's J Dilla, La Funk Mob or DJ Cam's hip hop treatment's of Brother Jack McDuff and Donald Byrd, DJ Spinna and Kenny Dope's house twists on Byrd and Bobby Hutcherson, Jazzanova or Bugz In The Attic's broken beat stylings on Eddie Gale and Gene Harris, Madlib, 4Hero, Osunlade and Kyoto Jazz Massive sticking close to the originals, or Herbert's avant-electro approach to Michael Petruciani, we find in all these creations the past, present and future conversing.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      2xLP Info: LP comes in gatefold sleeve.

      Various Artists

      Untinted - Sources For Madlib's Shades Of Blue

        Madlib had a very busy 2003, releasing records under various guises and having many fingers in different pies. The standout of that year though was his "Shades Of Blue" album, where he received unfettered access to the massive Blue Note archive to reinterpret and remix several label classics and obscure hits. "Untinted - Sources For Madlib's Shades Of Blue" is a bargain price collection that contains the original source material for Madlib's ambitious project, and is perfect for those not willing to dig through the crates to find all those old LPs. Includes original unmixed tracks by Gene Harris, Donald Byrd, Reuben Wilson, Ronnie Foster, Herbie Hancock, Bobbi Humphrey, Horace Silver etc.

        Something of a jazz 'supergroup' Scolohofo unites the talents of John Scofield on guitar, Dave Holland on bass, Al Foster on drums and Joe Lovano on tenor and soprano sax. This new Blue Note recording is a rarity for these sort of 'all-star' collaborations - rarely do musicians of this calibre organically form a group that operates as a collective as they do here, each member contributes equally to the proceedings as both a composer and co-arranger and you can really hear the difference with a genuine 'group' sound.

        Following her Blue Note debut, "Blacks And Blues" came the even more successful 1974 LP "Satin Doll", dedicated to the birth of her child Ricci Lynn and the death of Duke Ellington who she'd played with before getting a record contract. Again this a fantastic jazz-funk LP, with Larry Mizell arranging and co-producing and Humphrey letting fly with the flute.

        Vibesman Bobby Hutcherson takes centre stage here for the first album to be recorded with him as leader, taking the likes of Joe Chambers and Freddie Hubbard along. Although part of the jazz mainstream today, in 1965 when this LP was recorded he was on the cutting edge of experimentation, as can be witnessed in tracks like "Les Noirs Marchent" and "Dialogue".

        Various Artists

        Blue Funk

          Includes ace funky jazz tracks from Grant Green, Jack McDuff, Big John Patton, Lou Donaldson etc.


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