John Legend, Jools Holland, Kurt Elling & More: New Release Cheat Sheet

If you’re looking for some great new music to discover this weekend, look no further than our weekly New Release Cheat Sheet. 


New Songs and Videos

John Legend and Nat “King” Cole, “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)”

John Legend’s virtual duet with Nat “King” Cole on the holiday classic, “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)” is the new single from Capitol Records’ upcoming release, A Sentimental Christmas With Nat “King” Cole and Friends: Cole Classics Reimagined. The album will be released on October 29 and was inspired by the “unforgettable” duet performance by Natalie Cole and her father to create a beautiful collection of duets of holiday classics by weaving restored Nat “King” Cole vocal recordings with new arrangements and contemporary vocalists. Pre-order A Sentimental Christmas With Nat “King” Cole here.


The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong All Stars, “Black and Blue” feat. Common

“Black and Blue” is a new single from A Gift to Pops, a tribute full-length by an ensemble largely comprised of Crescent City musicians paying tribute to the great Louis Armstrong. The project is co-produced by Wycliffe Gordon, Nicholas Payton and Jackie Harris and features liner notes by the late great jazz impresario George Wein. This version of “Black and Blue” features famed rapper Common addressing racial consciousness and prejudice over an R&B-flavored arrangement of the famous Fats Waller compositions, which Armstrong performed and recorded several times. A Gift to Pops is out on October 15 via Verve Records and you can pre-order it HERE.


Jools Holland, “Do the Boogie” feat. Moussa T

Celebrated musician/bandleader/television host Jools Holland will release a star-studded new album on November 19 via Warner Music. PIANOLA. PIANO & FRIENDS is a loving tribute to the black and white keys and a celebration of the community and conviviality it inspires, featuring an inspired program, seven tracks of which are Holland originals. The album announcement coincides with the release of its first single, “Do the Boogie,” featuring club music producer Mousse T and Holland’s own horn section, Rhythm & Blues. Also featured on the LP are Lang Lang, Herbie Hancock, Tom Jones, Gregory Porter and many more. Pre-order PIANOLA. PIANO & FRIENDS here.


New Albums

Craig Taborn, Shadow Plays (ECM)

Craig Taborn is set to release his first album as a leader in a decade, during which he appeared in acclaimed ensembles large and small, and refined and developed his approach to piano playing. His forthcoming ECM record, Shadow Plays, documents a live recital of free improvisation from the Mozart-Saal of the Wiener Konzerthaus in Austria, exploring sounds and silences, swirling colors, densities and forms, creating new music with both poetic imagination and an iron grip on his material. Order it here.


Hiromi, Silver Lining Suite (Concord Jazz)

Hiromi’s Silver Lining Suite is a tremulous, breathtaking blend of jazz, invention and classical composition, inspired by the trying times of the pandemic. “The morning will come,” she states via a press release. “The sun will rise again. That’s why I kept writing music. It shows my emotional journey through the pandemic.” The project pairs her virtuosic and emotive piano with a string quartet assembled by violinist Tatsuo Nishie, concertmaster of the New Japan Philharmonic. Order it here.


Kurt Elling feat. Charlie Hunter, SuperBlue (Edition)

Kurt Elling brings the groove on his funky, backbeat-driven collaboration with guitarist Charlie Hunter and two Butcher Brown members, drummer Corey Fonville and bassist/keyboardist DJ Harrison. SuperBlue is described as a torrent of boisterous funk, indelible beats and all-too-current lyrics and JAZZIZ’s Shaun Brady described it as “a mirror-image companion piece to Elling’s [GRAMMY-winning] Secrets Are the Best Stories.” Order SuperBlue here.

Click here to find out about more albums released this month (October 2021) that you need to know about.

Like this article?  Get more when you subscribe.

Join Our Newsletter
Join thousands of other jazz enthusiasts and get new music, artists, album, events and more delivered to your inbox.

The Authoritative Voice in Jazz