Eagle Vision will be releasing the much praised Sophie Huber-directed Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes on DVD, Blu-ray and digitally on 6 September, Universal have announced. Blue Note celebrates its 80th anniversary in 2019.
Seb Rochford has released details of fascinating experimental album NDYA by Kutcha Butcha.
The Pulled by Magnets drummer-composer has written, played, produced and mixed everything on the album and it is the first of four limited edition releases this year. Listen to tracks above. Kutcha Butcha, or “half baked bread,” is a phrase sometimes used in India for mixed race children.
Music Declares Emergency, a new group of artists and music companies, has been launched to highlight the climate emergency and work collectively towards a greener industry. Over 1,000 artists, music companies and organisations, and industry workers, have already signed up to the group’s aim of a carbon neutral music scene. Artists are encouraged to take steps such as having a “Green Rider” and greening their merchandise. Festivals, promoters and labels are asked to nominate someone responsible for greening their activity and put in place an environmental policy and action plan, including ditching plastic and cutting waste. EFG London Jazz Festival, Universal Music UK, Kings Place, the Galway Jazz Festival and Nitin Sawhney are among those signing up. For more on Music Declares Emergency, and to sign up, visit www.musicdeclares.net.
A RIFF THAT NILE RODGERS WOULD BE PROUD OF (OR COULD NOT EXIST WITHOUT HIM) from funky guitarist Cory Wong’sMotivational Music for The Syncopated Soul out on 2 August. The album features guitarist Charlie Hunter, pianist Jon Batiste, guitarist Tom Misch, singer-songwriter Caleb Hawley, singer Emily Browning Birdman on screen drummer Nate Smith and Antwaun Stanley. Be warned, you will be playing ‘Cosmic Sans’ all day.
LOOKING AHEAD TO HIS DEBUT Only 18, pianist Matthew Whitaker is something special. He releases the Brian Bacchus-produced Now Hear This via the Resilience Music Alliance label in August. First thing I thought when listening to him was a proximity to the Ahmad Jamal sound in his bright voicings and percussive touch (Jamal’s ‘Tranquility’ is on the album) but he has been compared to other players notably McCoy Tyner and Herbie Hancock. The point in all this is he sounds a major player already. In the live version above listen to ‘Emotions,’ one of the pieces featured on the album.
Whitaker, who also plays Hammond organ and Moog on the record, is the first blind undergraduate student to join Julliard's jazz programme, becoming a student at the famous New York conservatoire this autumn, appears with guitarist Dave Stryker, bassist Yunior Terry, drummer Ulysses Owens Jr., and percussionist Sammy Figueroa + guest slots from keyboardist Marc Cary and flautist Gabrielle Garo are slotted in. Tracks on the album include originals, the Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil song ‘Black Butterfly’ and Eddie Harris’ ‘Freedom Jazz Dance.’
A big deal in Germany with his trio Martin Tingvall switches to solo piano once again with The Rocket. Pretty easy listening to be fair, too much so. Tingvall and his accessible compositional touch draws on space themes in the titling of many of the tracks, the lilt of Swedish folk traditions and the language of contemporary Eurojazz and have a certain inescapable charisma as well as tunefulness. Personally I prefer his trio, still too underknown in the UK, which has a lot more drama to it than the Ludovico Einaudi-like easy going trajectories here. The surprising thing is how little jazz vocabulary Tingvall chooses to use here. Disappointing.
In their sixtieth year Ronnie’s has pulled off another plum booking with the rare visit by one of the greatest saxophonists, with a two-night visit by the hippie jazz legend Charles Lloyd on 1-2 August now confirmed. I cannot think of the last time the Forest Flower icon played any UK club because usually he confines his visits to big concert halls. Interesting band, a quintet that includes guitar hotshot Julian Lage, he is bringing with him too. Here’s the link for more details and tickets.