Blues & Jazz
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To mark the tenth anniversary of the release of I'm New Here , the thirteenth - and last - studio album from the legendary US musician, poet and author Gil Scott-Heron, XL Recordings will release a unique reinterpretation of the album by acclaimed US jazz musician Makaya McCraven. Titled We're New Again, the album will be released on 7th February 2020; exactly a decade after the release of Scott-Heron's original Richard Russell-produced recording. It's set to follow in the footsteps of Jamie xx's highly acclaimed 2011 remix album We're New Here and will be McCraven's first release of 2020, following the huge global acclaim heaped upon his 2018 album Universal Beings. One of the most vital new voices in modern jazz, McCraven is described by the New York Times as a Chicago-based drummer, producer and beat maker, [who] has quietly become one of the best arguments for jazz's vitality.
Robert Cray has been bridging the lines between blues, soul and R&B for the past four decades, with five Grammy wins and over 20 acclaimed albums. His latest album, That's What I Heard, was recorded at the iconic Capitol Records studios and produced by Steve Jordan (Sheryl Crow, Josh Groban, Keith Richards, Boz Scaggs). The music is a varied sonic blend of blues, soul, boogaloo and gospel. Guest artists include Ray Parker Jr and Steve Perry.
Like their acclaimed ECM release Small Town of 2017 which The Guardian called "wistful and mesmerizing... tonally ingenious and haunting" Epistrophy by guitarist Bill Frisell and bassist Thomas Morgan was recorded at New York City's Village Vanguard. The new album once again captures the rare empathy these two players achieve together in this intimate environment. There are further poetic takes on pieces from the duo's beloved Americana songbook ("All in Fun," "Red River Valley," "Save the Last Dance for Me"), as well as another intense version of a composition by Paul Motian ("Mumbo Jumbo"), an artist whom both the guitarist and bassist knew well. Frisell and Morgan communicate the essence of Billy Strayhorn's "Lush Life" and the Frank Sinatra hit "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning," so much so that the famous words seem to hang in the air even without a singer. At the center of the album is a pair of pieces by Thelonious Monk: the funky, angular "Epistrophy" and the ruminative ballad "Pannonica." And as with "Goldfinger" on Small Town, Frisell and Morgan offer a glowing duo interpretation of a melody-rich John Barry title tune from a James Bond film "You Only Live Twice."
Big Bad Blues, as the title suggests, focuses on Gibbons' lifelong love of the blues and rock & roll, showcasing the blues-influenced vocals and guitar licks that have together served as the foundation for his numerous hits over the past five decades. The album features 11 tracks balancing some classic covers like 'Rollin' and Tumblin,'' and 'Standing Around Crying' along with some of Billy's signature new blues originals.
Redemption is Joe Bonamassa's 13th solo studio album and third in a row of all original material and sees him at his most ambitious and diverse yet as he continues to redefine and push the barriers of blues-rock. It features a collection of 12 exhilarating songs that reflect the re-birth that he is currently going through. You see the real shades of light and dark, for every trip into the tender depths of emotion there are some glorious hip shaking moments of joy and all the while accompanied by supreme musicianship and Bonamassa’s masterful and rich guitar playing. With 20 #1 Blues Albums on the Billboard Chart, Joe is an unrivaled guitar prowess and a once in a lifetime artist that has an insatiable desire to push himself to his best potential on every level. 2LP is 180g black vinyl and includes a download card.