The Week in Jazz is your roundup of new and noteworthy stories from the jazz world. It’s a one-stop destination for the music news you need to know. Let’s take it from the top.
Ryan Blotnick Releases Official Score for Netflix Documentary Knock Down the House: Guitarist Ryan Blotnick has released a remixed version of his original score for the Netflix documentary Knock Down the House. The documentary is directed by his brother Robin and sister-in-law Rachel Lears, and it revolves around the primary campaigns of four progressive Democrats who ran for Congress in the 2018 midterm elections. The soundtrack album was remixed with producer Tyler Wood and features members of Grizzly Bear, Glass Ghost, The Band’s Visit, plus Lou Reed’s former musical director Jane Scarpantoni. It is available for download HERE.
Ronnie Scott’s Creates 60th Anniversary Whisky: Famed London jazz club Ronnie Scott’s has created Ronnie’s Scotch, a limited edition 12-year-old blended whiskey commemorating its 60th anniversary. The whiskey was crafted in Scotland and blended by Iain Fortreath of Tomintoul Distillery, in conjunction with the Ronnie Scott’s All Stars. It will be limited to a run of just over 100 bottles; it will not be mailed out and must be collected from the club.
Project Brings Together 23 Artists from 17 Different Countries to Create New Album: Same Sky, out August 23, is the result of a first-of-its-kind global music project that brought together 23 artists from 17 different countries at Studio La Fabrique in the South of France to create a new album of originals. The project began via an online platform, Beyond Music, set up by the Swiss non-profit Beyond Foundation, supporting projects uniting cultures through music. “I believe that the Beyond project … goes completely contrary to what the trends are right now in the world,” says Larry Klein, who served as the album’s producer and artistic director. Watch a video about the making of Same Sky via the player below.
Taylor McFerrin Announces New Album: Producer/composer/pianist/DJ/vocalist Taylor McFerrin has announced his album Love’s Last Chance, and released the first single “Now That You Need Me.” Love’s Last Chance is McFerrin’s first full-length album since his 2014 debut Early Riser, and his first album with his own voice in it. “Over the years, I’d learned how to convey myself well through my instrumentals,” says McFerrin, who’s the son of legendary vocalist Bobby McFerrin. “But singing brings me closer than ever to being able to share everything that’s going on inside of me.” Love’s Last Chance is to be released on August 16. Listen to “Now That You Need Me” via the player below.
The Gig: Live Music & More
Flying Lotus Announced North American Tour Dates: Musician/producer Flying Lotus – who released his sixth album, Flamagra, on May 24 via Warp Records – has announced the dates of his new, immersive 3D North American tour. The tour is scheduled to kick off in Portland, Oregon, on August 10 and will span across 34 dates in such cities as New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago and more. For more information, click HERE.
Crosscurrents Trio Announces New Album and European Tour: The Crosscurrents Trio, made up of bassist Dave Holland, tabla player Zakir Hussain and reedsman Chris Potter, will release their debut album, Good Hope, on October 11 via Edition Records. “This project has been a source of inspiration and growth for all of us in the Crosscurrents Trio,” explains Holland via a press release. “We’re happy to have captured on this recording some of the joy and sense of adventure and risk-taking that we feel when we play together.” The trio has also announced an 18-tour of Europe, currently set to kick off on October 23 at the Enjoy Jazz Festival in Heidelberg, Germany, and end on November 17 at the London Jazz Festival in the U.K.
New Release Cheat Sheet
Little Steven and The Interstellar Jazz Renegades, Lilyhammer: The Score (Wicked Cool/UMe)
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Steven Van Zandt, a.k.a. Little Steven of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, reveals a different side of his creative personality in the two-volume collection of his score for Netflix’s groundbreaking first original series Lilyhammer. Arriving five years after the show ended, Lilyhammer: The Score features Van Zandt alongside The Interstellar Jazz Renegades – a loose collective of some of New York City’s finest musicians. Volume one features the ‘50s era New York songs Van Zandt wrote for the show (which he also starred in, co-wrote and co-produced); volume two is a more eclectic affair, featuring Norwegian folk music, rock, Latin jazz and more.
Sounds of Liberation, Unreleased (Dogtown)
A rare live recording of Sounds of Liberation, a genre-defying group of Philadelphia musicians made up of Byard Lancaster, Khan Jamal, Monnette Sudler, Omar Hill, Dwight James, Rashid Salim and Billy Mills, is getting its first vinyl release. The aptly titled Unreleased (Columbia University 1973) documents the seven-piece band’s recording at Columbia captured a year after their sole album, New Horizons. The recording, thought to have been lost, was mastered from original tapes by Dogtown Records and comes with liner notes by group members.
Victor Gould, Thoughts Become Things (Blue Room)
Pianist Victor Gould has firmly established himself as a new musical force to be reckoned with by making waves in the New York jazz scene and through his first two albums as a leader. On his third full-length outing, Thoughts Become Things, he illustrates the concept of people’s manifestations of their own future and how thoughts mold people’s realities, drawing on both the rich, involved ensemble sound of his 2016 debut Clockwork as well as the more piano-centric one of his sophomore Earthlings from 2018. A stellar ensemble including Jeremy Pelt, Godwin Louis, Dayna Stephens, Anne Drummond, Vicente Archer and Rodney Green helps him bring this mesmerizing vision to life.
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