Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Tribe Called Quest Documentary To Hit Theaters Starting In July

Michael Rapaport will be hitting the road this summer with his documentary on hip-hop legends A Tribe Called Quest, Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest. The roll out across the country starts July 8 in New York City and Los Angeles.

Click Here read more and check for a release date in your city

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ambrose Akinmusire :: When The Heart Emerges Glistening

By the time the lone standard "What's New?" arrives with a wink, 11 tracks into trumpeter-composer Ambrose Akinmusire's tour de force Blue Note debut, When The Heart Emerges Glistening, the song's title has become a rhetorical question. Co-produced by Akinmusire and his label mate and mentor Jason Moran, the album's 12 songs (10 of which were composed by Akinmusire) feature the 28-year-old trumpeter's young quintet (tenor saxophonist Walter Smith III, pianist Gerald Clayton, bassist Harish Raghavan, and drummer Justin Brown), a close-knit group of longtime friends and frequent collaborators that breathes a remarkable collective identity. The New York Times wrote that the quintet "seems destined for much wider recognition," and described their unique sound as "limber, straight-ahead jazz with mystery and pop instincts that gets around most of the old, pervasive mainstream influences, both of trumpet playing and bandleading."

"Akinmusire's forceful outing is as noteworthy for the strength of the overall concept as for the individual accomplishments of its leader, head-turning as they are. 4 stars."
-- DownBeat

"Limber, straight-ahead jazz with mystery and pop instincts that gets around most of the old, pervasive mainstream influences, both of trumpet playing and bandleading."
-- The New York Times

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Gretchen Parlato :: The Lost and Found

Gretchen Parlato's 2009 breakthrough, In a Dream, signaled the arrival of one of this generation's most inventive modern jazz singers. The recording garnered international acclaim being voted onto year-end, "best-of" polls for Jazz Times,The Boston Globe, The Village Voice and NPR among others. Billboard Magazine hailed it as "the most alluring jazz vocal album of 2009" while The New York Times declared, "Ms. Parlato, a jazz singer of deep musical instincts and an appealingly effervescent style." To this day, In A Dream charts among the 200 topselling jazz albums at retail and digital service providers around the world. Now with the release of her 2011 follow-up, The Lost and Found, Parlato demonstrates that she has staying power. Co-produced by Parlato and her longtime musical collaborator Robert Glasper, the 15-track collection arrives with immediate weight and intensity, exposing a vast dynamic range in the young singer's repertoire. Original compositions, including "Winter Wind", "Circling" and the title track,prove Parlato to be a flourishing lyricist and composer. When paired alongside interpretations of material ranging from Simply Red's classic "Holding Back The Years" to Mary J. Blige's quiet storm gem "All That I Can Say" to the `60s Wayne Shorter jazz standard "Juju" (refitted with her own lyrics), it's easy to anticipate Parlato's continued upward trajectory. The Lost And Found shows all the signs of becoming the first breakout jazz album of 2011.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

BBE :: The Beat Generation 10th Anniversary Collection

Over the course of nine albums in the 2000s for their producer-led Beat Generation series, BBE adopted an unusual stance. “Do what you want,” their artists were told for probably the first time in their careers. The label’s enormously liberal approach was the antithesis of stiff major record label A&R practices, their forward thinking rewarded handsomely by a truly diverse set of albums from some of the world’s most capable hip-hop architects. Among those picked to contribute were Golden Era greats (Marley Marl; Jazzy Jeff); acclaimed DJ/producers whose work habitually blurred genre lines (King Britt; DJ Spinna; Madlib); and those whose regular gigs didn’t afford them the creative freedom they craved (

No-one made better use of the brief than Jay Dee, whose inspired Welcome 2 Detroit showed that despite all the techno and soul that seeped into and out of the Motor City there was still room to be influenced by the Carpenters and Sergio Mendes. Pete Rock, the hip-hop producer’s producer, filled his rapturously received PeteStrumentals disc with classic sample-led tracks packed with drama and finesse. DJ Jazzy Jeff’s The Magnificent celebrated the slew of Philly talent at his A Touch Of Jazz studios, Jill Scott guesting on an exalted Roy Ayers cover in finale. Then there was veteran cellist and arranger Larry Gold, on hiatus from adding strings to hits like Brandy and Monica’s ‘The Boy Is Mine’, who called upon fellow seasoned pros McFadden and Whitehead and Bunny Sigler for his piece of the puzzle.

This fine anniversary collection was compiled and mixed by DJ Spinna & Mr Thing.