Check out the hottest Japanese jazz import coming from one-half of the nujazz/broken beat collective Kyoto Jazz Massive (KJM). Kyoto Jazz Sextet is the lastest brainchild of Shuya Okino, who along with his brother Yoshihiro Okino formed Kyoto Jazz Massive (KJM) to become two of the most sought after DJs/producers/remixers throughout the 90s and into the 2000s.
While brother Yoshihiro Okino kept himself busy DJing and running his record label and store Especial Records, his brother Shuya Okino kept himself busy producing this fantastic Kyoto Jazz Sextet album “Mission.” Shuya pulled together several of Japan’s finest musicians to turn out this massive recording for the Blue Note Japan label. Our North American friends may not have heard about this fine jazz release due to it being a Japanese only release (at the moment) as well as the promotional material language barrier on the Internet. But take one listen to “Mission” and the jazz will tear down any and all barriers. Since it’s a Japanese import we might have to pay a little extra for it but that’s ok too. This album is worth every extra penny spent!
“Mission” recalls the genius of 60s Blue Note when greats like Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Lee Morgan and Freddie Hubbard brought a fluid hard-bop balance to the label. The Kyoto Jazz Sextet is not so focused on playing straight covers of the Blue Note classics they chose to record, but rather playing them in a refreshing mode that pays the utmost respect to the greats, the compositions and the Blue Note label. They handle the material exquisitely and with care. All we can hope for now is a North American Blue Note release but preview the album below and you just might end up paying the extra import price for this fine recording. Basically it’s a cooker and it’s pretty irresistible!
ALBUM OUT NOW!
“a calmer, gentler approach, but also loaded with simmering passion” – Okayplayer
“A star for his R&B and hip-hop work, Robert Glasper here applies his elegant jazz skills with an all-acoustic trio to an inviting tracklist that was mostly written to be sung… eloquent improv from the pianist and his long-time jazz trio of bassist Vicente Archer and drummer Damion Reid… a warm, musical and humane Glasper venture.” – The Guardian
Ten years after making his Blue Note debut—and following two GRAMMY-winning volumes of his critically and commercially successful R&B-oriented Black Radio albums — Robert Glasper has returned to his acclaimed acoustic jazz trio on Covered. Glasper, bassist Vicente Archer and drummer Damion Reid — who form the original trio featured on Glasper’s first two Blue Note albums: Canvas (2005) and In My Element (2007) — reconvened at the legendary Capitol Studios in Hollywood, California in December to record the album in front of an intimate live audience.
The set list features songs by hip-hop and R&B stars like Kendrick Lamar, Jhené Aiko, John Legend, Musiq Soulchild, and Bilal alongside the jazz standard “Stella By Starlight.” Displaying his trademark eclecticism, Glasper also includes tunes by Radiohead and Joni Mitchell, along with a stirring collaboration with legendary singer/activist Harry Belafonte. The Glasper originals on the album include a re-working of “I Don’t Even Care,” a bonus track from Black Radio 2 that featured Macy Gray and Jean Grae.
Covered is available on CD and as a 2 LP Vinyl Set.
Robert Glasper North American Tour Dates:
June 17 – El Rey Theatre – Los Angeles, CA
June 19-20 – SFJAZZ – San Francisco, CA
June 23 – Jane Mallett Theatre – Toronto, ONT
June 24-27 – Blue Note Jazz Club – New York, NY
June 28 – Montreal Jazz Festival – Montreal, QB
July 5 – Essence Festival – New Orleans, LA
August 15 – Chastain Park Amphitheatre – Atlanta, GA
What do you get when the best of both worlds joins forces for an inspiring new footwear project? Classic footwear is what you get! DQM has collaborated with Vans to produce a very special project with the iconic Blue Note Records. Releasing this Spring and Summer, the project includes two separate, consecutive footwear releases accompanied by a film featuring Don Was, the renowned musician/ producer President of Blue Note Records, and the legendary skateboarder and jazz-inspired contemporary musician Ray Barbee. Read More at DQM and check out the film below.
November will see the worldwide release of Blue Note: Uncompromising Expression, the first official illustrated history of Blue Note Records, authored by Richard Havers and including forewords by Wayne Shorter, Robert Glasper and Blue Note Records President Don Was. Commemorating the 75th anniversary of Blue Note Records, the beautiful 400-page hardcover book celebrates over seven decades of extraordinary music, and Blue Note’s ongoing commitment to “Uncompromising Expression,” the tenet set forth by founder Alfred Lion, a German immigrant who came to America to pursue his dreams and love of music. Tracing the evolution of jazz from the boogie woogie and hot jazz of the 1930s, through bebop, hard-bop, the avant-garde and fusion, to the eclectic mix Blue Note releases today, the book also narrates a complex social history from the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany to the developments in music and technology in the late 20th century.
Featuring classic album artwork, unseen contact sheets, rare ephemera from the Blue Note Archives, commentary from some of the biggest names in jazz today, and feature reviews of seventy-five key albums, this is the definitive book on the legendary label.
Blue Note: Uncompromising Expression available for pre-order now.
Blue Note – A Story Of Modern Jazz is one of my favorite documentaries. I remember getting this documentary on VHS as part of a “free with purchase” promotion at Borders Books & Music. It was circa 1997 and when I had purchased a Blue Note CD the VHS was a freebie. I was mainly after Horace Silver’s Song For My Father on CD. At the time of purchase I had no idea that I was taking home what turned out to be this priceless documentary about the history of one of the greatest jazz record labels in the world, Blue Note Records.
Everything about this documentary fascinated me. I fell more and more in love with the music, the artists, the cover art and the history of the label every time I watched it. The archival footage is just amazing. Another piece to the fascinating Blue Note story is the Blue Note cover art. The cover art is just as famous as the music and it has it’s own history. This wonderful documentary has since been released on DVD and I have yet to replace my trusty dusty VHS even though it’s worth every penny and should be added to any serious jazz documentary collection. But in the meantime we can all enjoy this full length youtube stream.
This video was created in 2009 by a producer named Bante. The video is a promo for Bellavista Social Pub in Siena, Italy and is easily one of our favorite videos to share. Pays homage to one of the greatest jazz record labels in music history. That would be Blue Note Records. The Finest in Jazz Since 1939.
Visit The Official Website of Blue Note Records.