If you’re looking for some great new music to discover this weekend, look no further than our weekly New Release Cheat Sheet. This week, we bring you the first single from Afrobeat giant Tony Allen’s first posthumous record, the premiere of a live performance of one of the tracks from Philippe Lemm Trio’s forthcoming album, music from Charles Lloyd’s sixth album with The Marvels and more.
New Songs and Videos
The Philippe Lemm Trio, “Kalief” [Song Premiere]
First Steps is drummer Philippe Lemm’s forthcoming album with his longtime trio with bassist Jeff Kock and the much-missed pianist Angelo Di Loreto, who passed away in October last year. Out March 26 via Outside in Music, the LP is thematically centered around the bandleader’s background in dance and demostrates the trio’s unique and dynamic voice on such tracks as “Kalief,” its second single, written for Kalief Browder, a young African American man held at Rikers Island without trial between 2010 and 2013. “This song is my homage to Kalief and to remind myself to live with more compassion and empathy,” says Lemm. You can watch the band’s performance of “Kalief” at the Blue Note via the player below.
Paul Bedal, “Cerulean Stars”
Chicago-based pianist Paul Bedal has developed a unique sound and style influenced by an eclectic variety of music. Classical leanings and jazz formalism intersect with the post-freedom aesthetic of Chicago’s storied avant-garde on his new album. Out today (March 12) via BACE, Cerulean Stars features him with Nick Mazzarella, Matt Ulery and Charles Rumback, blending their diverse experiences with liberating energy into his compositions, including the title track, which opens up in brooding mystery before gradually opening up into a full-blooded swinger. “It started out as more of a piano piece,” Bedal says, “and then I kind of fleshed it out for the group.” Order Cerulean Stars here.
Tony Allen, “Cosmosis” feat. Skepta and Ben Okiri
Blue Note Records has announced There Is No End, the first posthumous release from the legendary Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen, who passed away last year at 79. The album features guest rappers and singers, including Sampa The Great, Danny Brown, Lava La Rue and more. The announcement comes with the release of its first single, “Cosmosis” featuring Skepta and Ben Okiri. The song came together just as Allen, Damon Albarn and Nigerian-British rapper Skepta had finished tracking their collaboration, “How Far?” for the Gorillaz 2020 album Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez. There Is No End will be released on April 30, on the one-year anniversary of Allen’s death.
Charles Lloyd & The Marvels, Tone Poet (Blue Note)
Tone Poem is saxophone legend Charles Lloyd’s sixth album as a bandleader for Blue Note since his return to the label in 2015, and his first album with The Marvels not to feature vocalists. Its nine-track set includes new Lloyd originals alongside pieces by Ornette Coleman, Thelonious Monk, Leonard Cohen, Gabor Szabo and Bola de Nieve. In addition, Tone Poem will be the first new release to be featured as part of Blue Note’s acclaimed Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Series. Order it here.
Logan Richardson, AfroFuturism (Whirlwind)
AfroFuturism is a synthesis of saxophonist/producer/composer Logan Richardson’s deep engagement with Black American improvised music, his open-minded embrace of the contemporary sounds of the global diaspora and his keen gaze towards the future. It is an audacious statement, epic in its scope and featuring the latest iteration of his Blues People band. “I always feel strongly about all my projects, but this one was so fluid in the way we produced it and the way the different voices came together,” Richardson summarizes. “It feels like something truly special.” Order AfroFuturism here.
Miguel Zenón, Law Years: The Music of Ornette Coleman (Miel)
With Law Years, saxophonist Miguel Zenón commemorates Ornette Coleman and his enduring influence on the world of creative music. Recorded in May 2019 after a residency at Bird’s Eye Jazz Club in Basel, Switzerland, Law Years features Zenón alongside an international quartet. Together, they display remarkable synergy and intensity, as they perform music by the great free jazz pioneer, who would have turned 91 years old on March 9. Order Law Years: The Music of Ornette Coleman here.
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