Friday, April 03, 2020

Kay-Gees - Keep On Bumpin & Masterplan / Find A Friend / Kilowatt (bonus tracks)

Three full funky albums – and bonus tracks too! First up is Keep On Bumpin & Masterplan – the Kay-Gees' funkiest record ever – a set that's harder and sharper than anything else they'd ever record in years to come! Grabbing this one up is like finding a lost Kool & The Gang album from the early years – which is no surprise, since Ronald Bell of the group produced, and wrote a lot of the songs with the group – maybe acting as their mentor, and definitely giving the young group a great showcase for their boundless energy, and tight skills in the groove department! 

The band are incredibly tight – with lots of hard drums, choppy guitar, and the rolling party feel that made Kool & The Gang so great during their best years – captured here with a similarly raw production style. There's some great horns that blast in and out, sounding very off-beat at the best moments – like the classic "Who's the Man With the Master Plan", sampled by YZ many years ago – or other funky cuts like "Ain't No Time", "Get Down", and "You've Got to Keep on Bumpin". 

On Find A Friend, the Kay-Gee's are getting a little disco, but they also manage to lay down some nice funky tracks – in the best Kool & The Gang tradition of their early work! Ronald Bell of Kool & Gang is still working with the group – and he wrote a lot of material and also performs on the LP – which might be part of the album's strength – although the group have clearly got a very strong legacy on their own! The record shows signs of the direction that Kool & The Gang were taking at the time, with a move towards electric keyboards instead of raw funky guitars – but like Kool's work from the period, the use of these keyboards is nicely restrained, and adds some good jazzy elements to the sound, to create a more sophisticated style of funk. Cuts include "Waiting At The Bus Stop", "Mr. Nothin", "STP", "Be Real", "Keep On Saying", "Acknowledgement", and a number of versions of "Find A Friend". 

On Kilowatt, The Kay-Gees are burning bright – in that razor-sharp approach to funk that made the group one of the best of their generation – able to strongly step on the dancefloor, but without losing any of the rawness of their funky 45 years! The balance is a bit like Fatback at their best – and that group is maybe one of the few we'd match next to the Kay-Gees at this point – and although the basslines are up a bit more than before, they never hit any sort of too-cliched or overdone modes, as in some of the other big funk groups of the period. Guitars riff mightily, lyrics are plenty catchy, and the rest of the instrumentation is right on the money – on cuts that include their "Kay-Gee's Theme Song", plus "Fat Daddy", "Celestial Vibrations", "Space Disco", and "Kilowatt/Invasion". CD features bonus tracks – "Hustle Wit Every Muscle", "Cheek To Cheek (12" mix)", "Kilowatt (12" mix)", and "Kilowatt (12" ext)". ~ Dusty Groove

New Music Releases: Carla Bley / Andy Sheppard / Steve Swallow, Khruangbin & Leon Bridges, Boogaloo Communicators

Carla Bley / Andy Sheppard / Steve Swallow - Life Goes On

Beautiful sounds from pianist Carla Bley – a musician who just keeps on blowing us away as the decades move on – and that's saying a hell of a lot, given how many years she's been making music! There's a really special quality to this record – a warmth and maybe just a slight touch of humor, but not in the overdone way of some of Carla's records from the 80s – much more subtle, and mixed with occasional currents of darkness – all handled with this understated sense of personality that perfectly showcases all three members of the group – Bley on piano, Steve Swallow on bass, and Andy Sheppard on tenor and soprano saxes. Swallow maybe sounds more wonderful here than we've heard in years – the record is a great reminder of how many great contributions he can make to music – and titles include the longer cycles of songs "Life Goes On", "Copycat", and "Beautiful Telephones (parts 1 to 3)". ~ Dusty Groove

Khruangbin & Leon Bridges - Texas Sun

Khruangbin get a great new sound here – thanks to the vocals and acoustic guitar of Leon Bridges, who bring a whole new dimension to their music! The title and cover of the record are very well-put – as there's this open space to the record that's a bit different than previous outings by Khruangbin – still that aesthetic that lingers somewhere south, down near the border – but maybe more relaxed and letting itself flow down the road to some territory that's all its own – the marvelous vocals of Leon Bridges at the wheel, with the rest of the group well-tuned to make the journey with a warm dose of mellow soul. Titles include "Midnight", "C-Side", "Conversation", and "Texas Sun". ~ Dusty Groove

Boogaloo Communicators - Carpe Diem

A really fantastic little quartet – one who play an old school version of soul jazz that's jamming, groovy, and completely outta sight! These guys have a sound that makes you feel like you've just found some Hammond combo album on a tiny label from back in the day – long tracks that are filled with great solos on organ and guitar, driven by tight drums and congas – with a mode that's soulful and slightly psychedelic – reminding us of our favorite records by artists like Ivan Boogaloo Joe Jones, Cal Green, or Charles Kynard – all references that we don't use lightly! Titles include "Ms Persuasive", "Sin Ti", "Zumbambala", and "Wee Lee". ~ Dusty Groove

Dee Dee Bridgewater - Dee Dee Bridgewater (1976) / Just Family / Bad For Me / Dee Dee Bridgewater (1980)

Four great albums from Dee Dee Bridgewatwer – a hell of a jazz singer, and also a great soul talent too! 

First up is a self-titled set from 1976 – Dee Dee Bridgewater's first album as a soul singer – recorded a few years after she first broke on the scene as a righteous jazz vocalist on hip early 70s classics! The sound here is different than the material Bridgewater started with, but still plenty great from a soul perspective – tightly-crafted, sophisticated work that features both uptempo and mellow cuts – in a mode that's quite similar to the Columbia work of Marlena Shaw – another former jazz vocalist who made a 70s shift to soul. Production is by Gene Page, Jerry Wexler, and Stephen Scheaffer – and the set was recorded in a variety of different setting that spin out over the course of the tracks. We're most partial to the mellow cuts – which trip along with some great spacey edges – and titles include a great version of "He's Gone", plus "My Prayer", "You Saved Me", "Goin Through The Motions", "It Ain't Easy", and "Every Man Wants Another Man's Woman". 

Just Family is a sweet funky fusion album that Dee Dee recorded for Elektra in the late 70s. The set was produced by Stanley Clarke, and has a soul/fusion sound that's not that different than his own work of the time, and which works very well with Dee Dee's sweet vocal approach. Players include Bobby Lyle, Ronnie Foster, George Duke, and other strong 70s fusion players – and overall, the record's probably Dee Dee's best non straight jazz album of the 70s. Tracks include "Sweet Rain", "Open Up Your Eyes", "Just Family", "Melody Maker", and "Children Are The Spirit (Of The World)". 

Bad For Me is one of Dee Dee Bridgewater's standout sets as a soul singer in the 70s – a mode that's quite different than the sound of Bridgewater you may know from her mostly-jazz career – but one that gets plenty of sharp help from the great George Duke! Duke produced the set – and really knows how to balance Dee Dee's jazz roots with some of the modern soul impulses of the set – letting her really soar on some mellower moments, while hewing to the groove on the more upbeat cuts – which may well be some of the strongest on the album. Throughout it all, Bridgewater is a model of care and class – very different than most mainstream R&B singers of the time – and titles include "Streetsinger", "For the Girls", "Love Won't Let Me Go", "Back Of Your Mind", and "Is This What The Feeling Gets". 

Last up is the second self-titled Dee Dee Bridgewater album, from 1980 – recorded during a brief break from jazz at the end of the 70s, and done with some sweetly grooving from Thom Bell! The sound here's a bit like that of some of the later Philly International work from the same stretch – a maturing style that still has a bit of the earlier groove in place, yet which also takes on a more sophisticated approach, especially on the mellower cuts and ballads. In a way, the format's a bit like that used for Jean Carn or Phyllis Hyman at the time – and like those singers, Dee Dee seems to work best here when she's got a nice gentle groove to bring out the jazzier inflections in her voice! Titles include "When You're In Love", "That's The Way Love Should Feel", "Give In To Love", "Lonely Disco Dancer", "One In A Million Guy", and "Jody (Whoever You Are)". ~ Dusty Groove

Thursday, April 02, 2020

Matt Monro 'Stranger In Paradise - The Lost New York Sessions'

Frank Sinatra and London's East End boy made good, Matt Monro, had a fair bit in common. Aside from their vocal similarities, both endured very tough working-class upbringings (Monro was born in Shoreditch, London), both were best buddies of Sammy Davis Jr., both were activists for black musicians' rights and both had an appreciation for well-tailored, handmade suits. It was no wonder Sinatra wanted to sign Matt Monro to his Reprise label; Monro's recorded legacy has sold in excess of 150 million records and his recordings have become the hallmark of vocal quality; impeccably selected songs delivered with an elegance that was second to none. On March 13, Capitol/UMe will release Stranger In Paradise – The Lost New York Sessions, a much-anticipated double CD showcasing Monro's estimable talent. 

Entitled 'The Lost New York Sessions,' the tapes were housed in the Capitol vaults in Los Angeles and were impromptu arrangements that Monro originally intended for release. However, Monro's musical director took the tapes, changed the arrangements and added brass and strings for a more produced version. These revised versions appear on his 1967 Capitol album, Invitation To Broadway and his original versions were never released. Disc 1 features 16 tracks released for the first time in their original, undubbed form – the way Monro had originally recorded them.

Behind-the-scenes with Disc 1: The Lost New York Sessions 
The full glare of American media was soon to fall on Matt Monro as the lad from Shoreditch followed in the footsteps of his boyhood idol, Frank Sinatra, when he joined the Capitol Records roster. Expectations were high given Monro's enormous talent, and he went on to take his place among the list of artists that comprise the great vocal tradition of Capitol.
By November 1966, Monro had already recorded two albums at the Capitol Tower studio in Hollywood but the label wanted more. Knowing that Monro had a three-week residency at the Persian Room at the Plaza Hotel that month, they saw the opportunity to record yet another album, this time at their New York studios located at 151 West 46th Street, just around the corner from Times Square and the theatre district. It seemed an apt choice for a possible album release of Broadway songs.

For the sessions in New York though, instead of an orchestra or ready-made arrangements accompanying Monro, they chose the songs and did all the arrangements as they went along – head arrangements, as they are known. The band was made up of just five musicians - a pianist, bassist, drummer and two guitarists, who both played a mixture of electric and acoustic guitars.

The majority of the recordings made over the week were from relatively new musicals, many running in Broadway theatres at the time of the recording, aside from "Stranger In Paradise," which dated from the early 1950s. Seeing as Monro was there, musical director Dave Cavanaugh took the opportunity to lay down a couple of tracks written by Richard Ahlert for possible single release, which had no Broadway show connections.
That, thought Monro, was that. He'd thoroughly enjoyed the sessions and looked forward to hearing the album.

However, unbeknown to him, Cavanaugh had decided that he preferred Monro with a bigger sound after all, so he took the tapes back to Hollywood and engaged Sid Feller and Billy May to write brass and string scores for 14 of the songs, leaving "Beautiful Beautiful World" (a song attempted just once before being disregarded) and the last track to be recorded, "What Makes it Happen," on the shelf. The rest is Invitation To Broadway history. With Stranger In Paradise – The Lost New York Sessions, Capitol/UMe is releasing the album Monro believed was the one he recorded.

Stranger In Paradise – The Lost New York Sessions takes listeners on a journey, from the opening bars of the unmistakable title track, originally popularized by Tony Bennett, through "Look For Small Pleasures," "I'll Only Miss Her When I Think Of Her," the sublime, Latin-flecked "The Sweetest Sounds," "Put On A Happy Face" (originally from the musical Bye Bye Birdie) and the haunting melody of Jerry Brock's "Sunrise, Sunset" with lyrics by Sheldon Harnick.

To complement these special recordings, Disc 2 is a newly curated best-of featuring the British singer's unrivaled gifts to the music world. In addition to "From Russia With Love" and "Born Free," the 27 recordings selected are considered his greatest and include the timeless favorites "Wednesday's Child;" Monro's last hit single and 1973 Top 30 hit, "And You Smiled;" and "The Music Played," the English language version of his platinum selling No 1 Spanish hit single "Alguien Canto." The compilation also includes "This Is The Life," featured in a Siemen's commercial in 2011; "We're Gonna Change the World;" "On Days Like These;" and "If I Never Sing Another Song" – all important additions as they have been missing from more recent collections. His version of "When I Look In Your Eyes," from the musical Dr Doolittle, was buried in the Capitol vaults for many years after a publishing dispute, while the lesser-known "Two People" comes from the East End lad's silver screen debut, Satan's Harvest, which starred George Montgomery and Tippi Hedren.

Matt Monro was always 'the Singer's Singer,' one of a select number of popular vocalists admired equally by the public and by his fellow performers, including Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Karen Carpenter, Scott Walker and Paul McCartney. Monro was a performer equally at home prowling the stage at the Royal Albert Hall or the London nightclub Talk Of The Town as he was enjoying an impromptu sing-song down at his East End local. Throughout his career he stayed true to his roots, yet he would conquer both the UK and the US, working with such illustrious names as John Barry, Quincy Jones, George Martin, Nelson Riddle, Billy May, Ted Heath, Mantovani, Michel Legrand, Robert Farnon, Henry Mancini and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.  He would also deliver three of the greatest cinematic theme songs of the 1960s – "From Russia With Love" (the very first vocal Bond theme), "Born Free" and "On Days Like These," which memorably appears in the The Italian Job and is a recording of perfect grace and style.

When he began recording for Capitol Records in 1966, Monro's consummate talent assured him his place among the famous label's enduring legacy of male vocalists, a rich heritage that has stood the test of time. During this period, Monro constantly toured the US and performed legendary Vegas shows at the Freemont Hotel, the Tropicana, the Sands and at the Sahara with Jack Benny. His American television appearances read like a who's who of entertainment greats, including Johnny Carson, Merv Griffin, Pat Boone, Gypsy Rose Lee, Nelson Riddle, Liberace, Dick Cavett - and The Ed Sullivan Show a staggering four times. In the UK he was a constant TV presence, a household favorite who regularly topped 'Britain's Favorite Vocalist' polls.

Although his death in 1985 at 54 from a terminal illness was a tragic loss to the music world, 35 years on Matt Monro's music resounds as strongly as ever. He has influenced generations of singers and continues to do so.

New Music Releases: Jeremy Cunningham, Daniel Bingert, Torbjorn Zetterberg & Den Stora Fragen

Jeremy Cunningham - Weather Up There

The first full length set we've heard from drummer Jeremy Cunningham – and a set that's bound to set him on a fantastic legacy of recordings for years to come! The album is both very personal and politically powerful – put together by Cunningham in response to the loss of his brother during a home invasion – and delivered with a mix of modes, instruments, and collaborational effort that's very much in the best spirit of the inventive recordings on the International Anthem label! Cunningham doesn't just drum – he's also the leader of a larger, shifting lineup of musicians – also playing electric piano and percussion, working with a unique "drum choir" that also includes Makaya McCraven, Mike Reed, and Mikel Patrick Avery – and opening things up for the guitar of Jeff Parker, bass of Matt Ulery, saxes and keyboards of Josh Johnson, and bass and keyboards of Paul Bryan. And if that's not enough, the record also features contributions from Ben LaMar Gay on vocals, Jaimie Branch on trumpet, and Tomeka Reid on cello – all very sympathetic partners to Jeremy's mix of instrumentation, production elements, and other unique details. Titles include "1985", "Return These Tides", "The Weather Up There", "It's Nothing", "Elegy", "Sleep", "The Breaks", and "All I Know". ~ Dusty Groove

Daniel Bingert - Berit In Space

A tremendous achievement in jazz from Daniel Bingert – the kind of record that would be in everyone's collection, had it been issued back in 1959 – but a set that's every bit as essential all these decades later! Binger's the composer, and has kind of a postwar modern sensibility about his music – that mix of core elements and individual voices that made Mingus so great when he was at his best – except Daniel's also got more of an ear for modal rhythms, of the sort that remind us a bit of the inspirations on the European scene during the Saba/MPS generation, taken forward with some of the fresher, completely visionary ideas that we've always loved from the Moserobie label! The group's a sextet with some key Moserobie members in the line up – Jonas Kullhammar on alto, Karl Olandersson on trumpet, Per Texas Johansson on tenor, Charlie Malmberg on piano, Moussa Fadera on drums, and the mighty Torbjorn Zetterberg on bass – whose energy alone is enough to guide the album. Titles include "City Sirens", "Cinco De Mayo", "Henry & Bernard", "Notredame", "Lost Keys", "Gil Bill", and "Kaya Boca". ~ Dusty Groove.

Torbjorn Zetterberg & Den Stora Fragen - Are You Happy

Torbjorn Zetterberg has always been a hell of a bassist – but in recent years, he really seems to be exploding as a greater jazz visionary – working with a group like this in a range of explosive new ideas we never would have expected just a few years ago! The music is often incredibly dense – Zetterberg's bass in the lineup, but also part of a rich array of sounds from Susana Santos Silva on trumpet, Mats Aleklint on trombone, Jonas Kullhammar on tenor and alto, Alberto Pinto on clarinet and baritone, Jon Falt on drums, Alexander Zethson on Hammond and Fender Rhodes, and Lars Skoglund on drums – mostly players that have worked together often over the years, and who beautifully interpret the stunning arrangements and compositions by Zetterberg. There's definitely plenty of outside moments on the record, but as with much Moserobie material, things also swing at times too – a balance between freedom and structure that matches the balance between group and individual on the album. Titles include "Drommusik", "Meningen Med Vad", "Oraklet I Finnaker", "Plingplongpiano", and "Nytt Hopp Over Atlanten". ~ Dusty Groove

New Music Releases: J. Felix, The Eighties Ladies, Piotr Damasiewicz & Power Of The Horns Ensemble

J. Felix - Whole Again Hooligan 

A mighty nice second set from J Felix – even tighter, sharper, and funkier than his first – and done with a great blend of old school instrumentation and warmly cosmic energy! The keyboards are often in the lead – over basslines and rhythms that have plenty of 80s boogie in the mix – but the real charm of the set might be the vocals, which are served up by a quartet of different singers – each on a few tracks of their own, and really helping give the grooves a great sense of focus! Vocals are by Afua, Andrew Ashong, Emeson, and Jerry Clavier – on titles that include "Mind Up", "Future", "Good Ol Love", "I Remember", "Take Me To The Gutter", "Choppa Fiesta", "Check", and "Whole Again Hooligan". ~ Dusty Groove

The Eighties Ladies - Ladies Of The Eighties (with bonus track)

A legendary project from Roy Ayers – and a record that's almost as in-demand as his classic Ramp album! The Eighties Ladies were a hip vocal quartet, with the soulful Sylvia Striplin on lead – and they work here in a mix of perfect Ayers-styled grooves – often using female harmonies in just the same way as Ramp, but coming across with a style that's a bit more pointed at the clubs, and very much in the same mode as Striplin's classic solo album too! Roy brings plenty of jazzy undercurrents to the set – those sinister shapes and changes that always make his music so great – and Edwin Birdsong's help with arrangements ensure that there's some suitably offbeat twists and turns, which really keeps things interesting. Titles include the classic break "Turned On To You", plus vocal and instrumental versions of "Ladies Of The Eighties", and the tracks "Tell Him", "It's Easy To Move", "I Knew That Love", "He Is Mine Forever", and "Sing Me". CD also features the bonus 7" version of "Turned On To You". ~ Dusty Groove

Piotr Damasiewicz & Power Of The Horns Ensemble - Polska

A fantastically bold breath of life from the contemporary Polish jazz scene – a record that begins with a sublime tribute to the great Billy Harper, then takes off into even more mindblowing territory as things move on! The group's led by trumpeter Piotr Damasiewicz, who created the record as a tribute to some of the best Polish modern jazz giants of decades past – but with a voice that's completely fresh, and very much his own – served up by a killer ensemble that features soaring horns, bold solo moments, and two different bassists holding down the core! The tunes instantly explode with color and life – hitting a rich spirit that marks Piotr as a musician we're going to keep our eye on in coming years – with other musicians who include Maciej Obara on alto, Adam Pindur on soprano, Pawel Niewiadomski on trombone, Gerard Lebik on tenor, and Dominik Wania on piano. Titles include "Billy", "Psalm For William Parker", "Polska I", and "Kleofas". ~ Dusty Groove

New Music Releases: Bastards Of Soul, Jesper Thilo, Ville Herrala

Bastards Of Soul - Spinnin'

A really special sort of record from the Bastards Of Soul – a Texas group, but one who work in this great mix of deep soul and slight southern rock touches – at a level that almost makes this album feel like some lost nugget from the vaults of Capricorn Records! Vocals are by male singer Chadwick Murray – not the lovely lady on the cover – and there's a cool crossover vibe here that takes us back to work by 70s genius talents like Eddie Hinton or Dan Penn, with guitar lines that are strong, but balanced by these warmer organ currents that really underscore the more soulful elements in the music – as do the laidback rhythms on the tunes. Titles include "I've Got The Key", "Funky Ham & Eggs", "Back To The City", "Spinning Out Of Control", "The Way It Should Be", "The Waiting Time", and "Your Love Has Turned My Heart To Bitterness". ~ Dusty Groove

Jesper Thilo - Swing Is The Thing

Jesper Thilo's been one of the strongest tenorists on the Danish scene for many years running – and he's still a hell of a talent here, blowing with the kind of old school imagination of Dexter Gordon or Johnny Griffin on their classic Copenhagen recordings! Yet Thilo's very much his own man – as anyone who's ever loved his records will tell you – and his tenor voice is captured beautifully here, stretching out on a host of mostly older standards – with well-placed accompaniment from a trio that features Soren Kristiansen on piano, Daniel Franck on bass, and Frandcs Rifbjerg on drums – players who never overwhelm Jesper's strong lead, but definitely give him the right sort of groove. Titles include "I Can't Get Started", "Just Friends", "Splanky", "Nature Boy", "Swinging Till The Girls Come Home", and "Woody N You". ~ Dusty Groove

Ville Herrala - Pu

We Jazz Records presents ‘Pu:’, the boundary-breaking solo debut of bass player Ville Herrala, to be released on 21 February 2020. Utilising only the double bass but looking at the instrument from various different perspectives. The end result is an inspired set of 14 miniatures, each pushing the concept forward in a highly personal way. The first single ‘Pu: 12’ presents a rhythmic approach with echoes of from the world of minimal classical music and electronic music. Bowed tracks such as ‘Pu: 2’ offer another perspective, as does the second single ‘Pu: 10’, going back to the essence of the instrument and opening new doors while doing so. Each of the tracks is a compact musical adventure unto its own. The album will be available via We Jazz Records as black and red vinyl versions, CD and digitally. Ville Herrala (b. 1979) is one of the most highly-regarded bass players working in the Finnish scene. He's known from the ranks of such top ensembles as PLOP, Jukka Perko Jazztet, U-Street All Stars, Jukka Eskola Orquesta Bossa and UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra, to name but a few.

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

New Music Releases: Kenny Barron / Dave Holland Trio with Johnathan Blake, Amirtha Kidambi Elder Ones, Super Sonic Family

Kenny Barron / Dave Holland Trio with Johnathan Blake - Without Deception

This isn't the first time that pianist Kenny Barron and bassist Dave Holland have played together – but there's definitely something special about the record that really grabs our ears – and it's not just the excellent work on drums by Johnathan Blake! Barron's at his roundest, most soulful sort of tone – really grabbing the notes out of the air in this wonderful way – and Holland really follows suit too, with this very personal, organic approach that's such a change from some of his more experimental work of years back – and which makes him a stunning part of the group, especially at all those many moments when he and Barron dance around each other's sound with this beautifully resonant vibe. Titles include "Until Then", "Porto Alegre", "Without Deception", "Speed Trap", "Secret Places", "Worry Later", and "Pass It On". ~ Dusty Groove

Amirtha Kidambi Elder Ones - Holy Science

A stunning debut from a really unique New York quartet – a group who explore spiritual jazz territory, but in a mode that's different from anyone else we can think of! The group's led by Amirtha Kidambi – who both sings, and plays harmonium – and creates these loose structures for the rest of the group to explore – a lineup that features Matt Nelson on soprano sax, Brandon Lopez on bass, and Max Jaffe on drums – players who can really improvise along with their leader's sense of inspiration, but never lose direction or the energy of the tunes! There's a strong modal energy to the album, which shifts between players – sometimes coming from the harmonium lines, or the saxophone riffs, or the pulsation of the bass, or even the vocals – as other players then take off in freer moments over the top. The set features two long tracks – "Treta Yuga" and "Kali Yuga". ~ Dusty Groove

Super Sonic Family Vol 1 – The Sound Of The Lowlands

An assortment of work from the contemporary Dutch scene – music that's partly jazz, but which also has lots of 21st Century elements too – although never in a way that falls into any sort of too-easy remix of downtempo modes! Most of these artists use a fair bit of electric instrumentation – usually keyboards, but sometimes drum programs and other – occasionally with modes that seem to take off from the London broken beat generation, but more often in creative, individual styles that really stand out. Titles include "2077" by Legove, "Visions" by Duke Hugh, "Amazone" by Djosa, "Lucid" by Glenn Gadum, "Underdog" by Yannick Hiwat, "Nature Boy" by Ranie Ribeiro, "Dragon King" by Son Swagga, "Evolution Of The New Spirit" by Liquid Spirits, "Before The Fight" by Greyheads, "Town" by Dominic J Marshall, "Nothing Lasts" by Planty Herbs, and "Deo Volente" by Reiner Baas & Ben Van Gelder. ~ Dusty Groove

New Music Releases: Idle Hands, Decoy & Joe McPhee, George Burton

Idle Hands - Solid Moments

There's nothing idle about these hands – as the group have a tightness that makes you think they've been together for years – which is maybe partly the case, as many of the artists are part of the great and ever-growing legacy of the Posi-Tone label! And while the company has given us great albums with single artists in the lead over the years, they've maybe been hitting even more strongly of late with groups of this nature – almost an all-leader effort, but in which all players come together with great sympathy for each other – in a lineup that features Will Bernard on guitar, Behn Gillece on vibes, Sam Dillon on tenor sax, Art Hirahara on piano, Boris Kozlov on bass, and Donald Edwards drums. The album's overflowing with fresh, original material – and titles include "Barreling Through", "Silver Bullet", "Maxwell Street", "Ashes", "Sock's House", "Motion", and "Event Horizon " – plus nice takes of Stevie Wonder's "You And I" and Freddie Hubbard's "Theme For Kareem". ~ Dusty Groove

Decoy & Joe McPhee - AC/DC

The legendary Joe McPhee joins the British Decoy trio – and as with previous records, the results are completely amazing – and a great reminder that McPhee is still one of the most vibrant improvisers on the planet! The group's got a very unusual element in the Hammond B3 of Alexander Hawkins – an instrument you don't often hear in a free jazz setting, and which is used here almost as a reminder of, and contrast to, McPhee's earliest recordings with an organ player – as Hawkins is as open, experimental, and freely improvising as the other members of the group – who include Steve Noble on drums and John Edwards on bass, plus Joe himself on pocket trumpet and alto sax! The album features two long improvisations, both pretty mind blowing – "A/C" and "D/C". ~ Dusty Groove

George Burton - Reciprocity

An album that explodes with life, soul, and energy right from the very first note – a jazz set from keyboardist George Burton, but a record that weaves in lots of different strands along the way – with a sense of imagination that's certain to make Burton's music something to really keep an ear on for years to come! Yet already, this record is more than enough – and grabs us in a way we're not usually grabbed – as George balance his own bold energy on piano and Fender Rhodes with occasional vocals from a female singer, work by Tim Warfield on soprano sax, Chris Hemingway on alto, and Andy Bianco on guitar, and a trio of different drummers who really know when to kick in and propel the album forward! Burton is never content to just lay down a solo, or swing a groove – and there's a larger sonic palette of soul to the record that has to be heard to be understood – yet even the few straighter jazz numbers are pretty amazing too. Imagine the joy you felt when you first heard the early records of Robert Glasper, and you'll get some of the energy this record can deliver – on titles that include "Finding", "Gratitude", "Spirit", "Reciprocity", "Third Prayer", "Finite Space", "Us", "Power", and "Turn". ~ Dusty Groove

New Music Releases: Irreversible Entanglements, Joe Hisaishi, JK Group

Irreversible Entanglements - Who Sent You?

Free jazz collective Irreversible Entanglements will release their new album, Who Sent You?, on March 20th via International Anthem/Don Giovanni. Following “warm and heady” (Stereogum) lead single “No Más,” today they present new track, “Bread Out Of Stone.” The album’s closer, “Bread Out Of Stone” captures Irreversible Entanglements in a rare, simmered mode, coming down from 40 minutes channeling a significant plume of fire. Bass, drums and hand percussion creep as poet/MC Moor Mother whispers down a list of metaphysical magic words – a recipe for how they've been able to use their instruments and implements to "make bread from stone." Irreversible Entanglements is Camae Ayewa (aka Moor Mother), saxophonist Keir Neuringer, trumpeter Aquiles Navarro, bassist Luke Stewart, and drummer Tcheser Holmes. Who Sent You? is the punk-rocking of jazz and the mystification of the avant-garde. This record weaves kinetic soul fusion, dreamy yet harrowing poetry, and intricate rhythms into warmth-giving tapestries that comfort and conceal, confront and coerce all at once.

Joe Hisaishi - Dream Songs: The Essential Joe Hisaishi

Joe Hisaishi, the acclaimed Japanese composer behind some of the world’s best-loved anime films, has announced his new album, Dream Songs: The Essential Joe Hisaishi, will be released on 21 February. On the same day thirty albums from the composer’s extensive catalogue will be released on streaming services worldwide for the first time ever. Joe Hisaishi, described as “The John Williams of Japan” by Pitchfork, is one of Japan’s most beloved and prolific composers. Dream Songs: The Essential Joe Hisaishi celebrates his diverse and distinguished catalogue of compositions spanning Hisaishi’s nearly 40-year career. The new album features 28 compositions, all remastered by Joe Hisaishi, from his film scores and piano works, many of which have not previously been released outside Japan. Dream Songs: The Essential Joe Hisaishi includes the composer’s work for acclaimed filmmakers Hayao Miyazaki and ‘Beat’ Takeshi Kitano, as well as selections from Studio Ghibli classics, and solo piano works. The collection features many compositions which accompany the most famous moments in all of anime including ‘One Summer’s Day’ (from Spirited Away), ‘My Neighbour Totoro’ (from My Neighbour Totoro), ‘Princess Mononoke Suite’ (from Princess Mononoke). Joe Hisaishi has won countless awards for his achievements in composition and film scoring. He is eight-time winner of the Japanese Academy Award for Best Music; he was awarded the Japan Medal of Honour in 2009; and he has composed soundtracks for two Academy Award-winning films, Departures (2008) and Spirited Away (2002). His body of work, comprised of nearly 100 film scores and solo albums, draws inspiration from the canon of American minimal music compositions, experimental electronic music, and European and Japanese classical music. He has scored all but one of Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli films, including three of the top five highest-grossing anime films worldwide. J

JK Group - Seeds

JK Group are a powerhouse nu-jazz band fronted by Melbourne saxophonist Josh Kelly, best known for his work with future soul-jazz collective, 30/70, and being the 2019 PBS Young Elder of Jazz. They sit in the crossover of raw, live jazz and electronic/dance production. At times synth- heavy, effected and soundscapey, while at other times hard hitting groove laden with spiritual jazz overtones and no-holds-barred improvising. Their sound nods respectfully to classic jazz traditions, whilst carving a path that unashamedly looks towards the future, embracing modern influences and production techniques.Their debut release, ‘The Young Ones’ sees Josh Kelly in full flight alongside longtime 30/70 collaborators, Matt Hayes and Ziggy Zeitgeist with keys player/producer Lewis Moody (Z*F*E*X, Sex on Toast).JK Group’s music has appeared recently on La Sape’s celebrated compilation 'Downandaground’ - the album received a 5* review from Melbourne’s own Mike Gurrieri, and has garnered radio play on PBS, RRR, Worldwide FM, NTS and more. The debut LP ‘The Young Ones’ is due out on La Sape March 27th.

New Music: James Brown, Maiara Moraes, Black Market Brass

James Brown - Soul Syndrome

A rare TK Records effort from James Brown – very much in the best uptempo funk mode of the later Polydor years! The groove here is quite similar to those better-known efforts – grooves that are a bit quicker than a few years before, but still played in a core JB funky style – live and lively, with plenty of emphasis on the rhythms! Brown often referred to his style here as disco, but it's a lot more like some of the P-Funk progressions of the period – a mode that's more polished than a grittier funky generation, yet far from smooth club or disco overall. There's plenty of choppy little groovers that make the record great – and titles include the long cut "Rapp Payback", plus "Funky Men", "Smokin & Drinkin", "Stay With Me", and "Mashed Potatoes". ~ Dusty Groove

Maiara Moraes - Cabeca De Vento

Classic choro mixed with contemporary jazz – a beautiful set that offers up a range of lovely lines on flute from Maiara Moraes, who seems to play a few different variations of the instrument on the set! The rest of the group features piano, bass, and drums – plus some added flute and saxes from Josue Dos Santos – and the approach is very strongly jazz, but maybe with just some slight colors and tones borrowed from the older style of Brazilian choro – served up at a level that's got a lot more power, color, and soul than any other effort of this type we can think of! Titles include "Novena", "Bailonga", "Maracatu", "Con Brasil Adentro/Fuga X", and "Caminho De Volta". ~ Dusty Groove

Black Market Brass - Undying Thirst

Beautifully heavy sounds from Black Market Brass – a group who started out with more of a global funk approach, but who emerge here with the intensity of some lost funky soundtrack – all with the sort of edge you might expect from the cover! The style here is really revolutionary – unlike anything else we've ever heard from a group with "brass" in their name – in part because the group has some very cool distortion on the keyboards and guitar, which gives those electric elements a very sinister sound next to the straight ahead fire of the horns – served up with really hard-driving rhythms throughout, in a way that seems to pull together older traditions of Afro Funk, Nola Brass, and even some of the southern college bands – but all with a very 21st Century vision. Titles include "So Who (parts 1 & 2)", "Into The Thick", "War Room", "Cheat & Start A Fight", "Undying Thirst", and "NBT". ~ Dusty Groove

New Music: Serge Gainsbourg, Kassa Overall, The Heliocentrics

Serge Gainsbourg - En Studio Avec Serge Gainsbourg (3CD set)

A treasure trove of rare work from the legendary Serge Gainsbourg – studio outtakes, alternate versions, and lots of other material that stands as a great addition to the catalog of one of the coolest, grooviest French language singers ever! This 3CD set is overflowing with gems – and CD1 brings together rare tracks by Serge himself – some from 45 or LP projects, but presented here in different modes that stand as a wonderful complement to some of the versions you might know – almost like a "part 2" or extended take in some cases. Titles include "Black Trombone (avec intro)", "L'Homme A Tete De Chou (instrumental)", "Sea Sex & Sun (extrait des prises voix", "Chez Les Yeye (prise complete)", "L'Eau A La Bouche (avec intro)", "69 Annee Erotique (instrumental)", and two very long tracks – "Melody (prise complete)" and "Lola Roastaquoouere (instrumental)". CD2 features various interpretations of Serge's songs – many of which were produced by Serge himself, and a few of which even feature vocals by Gainsbourg! The music spans the space of his early Latin and jazzy work, through his slinky sexy 60s and 70s years, to his final burst of great music in the early 80s. Titles include "J'Ai Deja Donne" by Jacques Dutronc, "Les P'Tits Papiers" by Regine, "Les Papillons Noirs" by Michele Arnaud, "Mambo Miam Miam" by Los Goragueros, "Le Sixieme Sens" by Juliette Greco, "L'Oiseau De Paradis" by Zizi Jeanmarie, "Les Petits Boudins" by Dominique Walter, "Le Mal Interieur" by Isabelle Adjani, "Plus Dous Avec Moi" by Charlotte Gainsbourg, and "Le Drapeau Noir" by Mirelle Darc. CD3 features great music that Serge Gainsbourg did for a variety of cinematic projects – music that's every bit as groovy as his own vocal tunes, and which often appear here in instrumental takes that let you focus even more strongly on his great sense of a funky bit and a groove! Titles include "Milena (instrumental)", "L'Eau A La Bouche (avec intro)", "Requiem Pour Un Con (instrumental)", "First Class Ticket (prise alternative)", "Les Chemins De Katmandou (generique)", "Le Village A L'Aube", "Discophoteque (rough mix)", and "Le Physique Et La Figure (version complete)", plus Anna Karina singing "Roller Girl". ~ Dusty Groove

Kassa Overall - I Think I'm Good

We really loved Kassa Overall's debut, but we're completely blown away with this full length set – as the record's got a visionary sound that's completely his own – a really new mix of jazz, soul, and funk that's bound to make Kassa one of the most important talents in years to come! Overall sings and plays drums – the latter of which are used in very open, creative ways – amidst a keyboard-heavy set of instrumentation that also includes work from Sullivan Fortner on piano, Brandee Younger on harp, Aaron Parks on keyboards, Vijay Iyer on Fender Rhodes, Joel Ross on vibes, and Theo Croker on flugelhorn! Kassa finds a way to bring in these guests, and others – but always at a level that never changes the core style too much – so that it's always clear we're always in very personal territory, with a style that's poetic one minute, funky the next, and always extremely beautiful. Titles include "Please Don't Kill Me", "Visible Walls", "Was She Happy", "Sleeping On The Train", "Landline", "Darkness In Mind", and "The Best Of Life". ~ Dusty Groove

The Heliocentrics - Infinity Of Now

A fantastic mix of heady sounds and heavy funk from The Heliocentrics – and a record that continues the vibe of their previous set – in which the team of Malcolm Catto and Jake Ferguson were joined by the lovely vocals of Barbora Patkova! Patkova's presence is just what the group needs to really ground their sound – a female singer up front, but one who's as equally comfortable with distortion, fuzz, and echoey spaces as the two instrumentalists – a trio who continue that unique tradition of psychedelic funk that we first loved in Catto's early work on Mo Wax! Titles include "99% Revolution", "Hanging By A Thread", "Nonsense (part 1)", "Light In The Dark", "People Wake Up", "Burning Wooden Ship", and "Elephant Walk". ~ Dusty Groove

New Music: Jose James, Alex Puddu, Hamilton De Holanda / Daniel Santiago / Edu Ribeiro / Thiago

Jose James - No Beginning No End 2

Really mindblowing work from Jose James – an artist we loved right from his very first record, but one who has us completely over the top with this record – a set that may well push James from the soul underground into firmly classic territory – the sort of space that will have the record standing strong with soul classics from decades back, and for a long time to come! Jose's tremendous vocally, but there's also an extra-special spirit to some of these tunes – one that's still very strongly in the hands of the man himself, even though James opens the door for plenty of guests – a lineup that includes Ledisi, Christian Scott Atunde Adjuah, Aloe Blacc, Lizz Wright, Eric Truffaz, and others – not the kind of guests who overwhelm and take a too-strong turn in the spotlight, but the right sort of addition to the core sound. Titles include a surprisingly great remake of "Just The Way You Are" – plus "Turn Me Up", "I Need Your Love", "Saint James", "Take Me Home", "Oracle", "Feels So Good", "I Found A Love", and "You Know What I Do". ~ Dusty Groove

Alex Puddu - Discotheque

A fantastic album of grooves from the mighty Alex Puddu – and a record that's worth it alone for its guest work from Gene Robinson Jr on a few tracks – a singer whose voice was part of the classic sound of Breakwater! Puddu's groove has really shifted into the jazzy funk of Robinson's old group here – a mode that's as clubby as promised in the title, but which also draws on the richness of some of Alex's other records – which have included strong forays into straighter 70s funk and blacksploitation styles! And the record's not straight disco at all – more the kind of hip, sophisticated funk that would play well on a less-mainstream dancefloor – full of all the best modes that were bubbling up in the late 70s/early 80s underground – almost as if Puddu's giving a nod the world of Joey Negro, but with less uptempo rhythms in the mix. Titles include "Don't Hold Back", "Saturday Night", "Back Against The Wall", "Nightflight", "You Are My Fire", "Be My Lover", and "Release The Catch". ~ Dusty Groove

Hamilton De Holanda / Daniel Santiago / Edu Ribeiro / Thiago - Harmonize

Some of the sharpest jazz work we've heard from Hamilton De Holanda in awhile – a quartet session that has a bit more edge than some of his other records, and which uses his work on bandolim in the lead as a very powerful solo instrument! The group also features Daniel Santiago on guitar, Thiago Espirito Santo on bass, and Edu Ribeiro on drums – and the combination of the two string instruments is great, and produces all these wonderful shades of color and cascades of tone – driven nicely by the rhythms, which have more punch than we might normally expect. Titles include "Samba Blues", "Chama", "Meu Coracao E Seu", "Nasceu O Amor", "Canto Da Sirimea", and "Alo Arlindo". ~ Dusty Groove

New Music Releases: Milton Nascimento, Ivan 'Mamão' Conti, Horace Tapscott Quintet

Milton Nascimento - Último Trem

Following the release of Milton Nascimento’s Maria Maria, Far Out Records presents Nascimento’s 1980 follow up. With the success of Maria Maria in 1976 behind them, Nascimento reunited with his writing partner Fernando Brant in 1980 to produce another ballet, Ultimo Trem (Last Train). This time, they chose to tackle a more contemporarily relevant subject, the impact of the closure of a train line that connected certain towns and cities in the North East of Minas Gerais to the coast. Featuring much of the same all-star line-up as Maria Maria – including legendary Brazilian musicians Naná Vasconcelos, João Donato, Paulinho Jobim and members of Som Imaginário, amongst many others, like Maria Maria, the album holds what Milton himself considers to be the definitive versions of some of his most beloved tracks, including 'Saídas E Bandeiras' and 'Ponte de Areia'. Release date: 18th April 2020 (Record Store Day) | Formats: 2xLP Red Vinyl | Cat no: FARO217.

Ivan 'Mamão' Conti - Poison Fruit

For Record Store Day 2020, Far Out Recordings presents a special 'poisoned vinyl' edition of Ivan 'Mamão' Conti's critically acclaimed Poison Fruit album. The 180g splattered colour LP is accompanied by an exclusive bonus 7” with a previously unreleased track from the original Poison Fruit sessions ‘Katmandu, and ‘Ninho’, a track never before released on vinyl. From an artist in their seventies, you probably wouldn’t expect to hear an album like this. But Brazilian drumming legend Ivan ‘Mamão’ Conti has been experimenting and innovating for the last half a century. As one third of cult Rio jazz-funk trio Azymuth, Mamão was at the root of the group’s ‘samba doido’ (crazy samba) philosophy, which warped the traditional samba compass with jazz influences and space age electronics. Even with his lesser known jovem guarda group The Youngsters, Mamão was experimenting with tapes and delays to create unique, ahead-of-its-time sounds, way back in the sixties. More recently Mamão recorded an album with hip-hop royalty Madlib under the shared moniker ‘Jackson Conti’. With his first album in over twenty years, and the first to be released on vinyl since his 1984 classic The Human Factor, Mamão shares his zany carioca character across eleven tracks of rootsy electronic samba and tripped out jazz, beats and dance music. Featuring Alex Malheiros and Kiko Continentino on a number of tracks, the Azymuth lifeblood runs deep, but venturing into the modern discotheque (as Mamão would call it), Poison Fruit also experiments with sounds more commonly associated with house and techno, with the help of London based producer Daniel Maunick (aka Dokta Venom) and Mamão's son Thiago Maranhão. Take a bite of Mamão’s psychoactive Papaya and join the maestro on a weird and wonderful stroll through the Brazilian jungle. Release date: 18th April 2020 (Record Store Day) | Formats: Vinyl LP + 7”| Cat No: FARO208X

Horace Tapscott Quintet - The Giant Is Awakened

The title of Horace Tapscott’s debut release is apt, if not self-referential, for indeed a giant of West Coast jazz had awakened with this, the pianist/composer/bandleader’s 1969 album for the Flying Dutchman label. Tapscott went on to form two groups crucial to the flowering of modern jazz in the Los Angeles area, the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra (or P.A.P.A.; the name is an homage to Tapscott’s predecessor and peer, Sun Ra), which eventually became part of a larger umbrella organization, Union of God’s Musicians and Artists Ascension (UGMAA). Out of UGMAA came a host of LA-bred musicians, singers, and poets, including Arthur Blythe (who goes by Black Arthur Blythe on this recording), Stanley Crouch (who wrote the original liner notes), David Murray, Butch Morris, Wilber Morris, Jimmy Woods, Nate Morgan, and Sinclair Greenwell, Jr. (a.k.a. Guido Sinclair). And anchoring it all was Tapscott himself; as Kamasi Washington, whose vision of a large, Los Angeles community-based ensemble echoes that of P.A.P.A. and UGMAA, said in 2015: “Horace is one of the most important figures in the foundation of music in L.A., from both a purely musically and socially conscious perspective.” Now, Real Gone Music is proud to present the first-ever LP reissue of The Giant Is Awakened (original copies go for hundreds of dollars), taken from high-resolution audio sources and complete with original gatefold artwork. Neon green vinyl pressing limited to 1000 copies...a foundational document of West Coast modern jazz!

New Music Releases: The Philly All Stars, Little Beaver, Nduduzo Makhathini

The Philly All Stars - Philly Nugget Medley

Presented here are the results of an amazing session that took place in 1981 at Virtue Sound Studios in Philadelphia that featured the cream of the crop of the City of Brotherly Love’s soul/funk pioneers. The Philly All Stars were comprised of charter members of Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff’s spectacular house rhythm section MFSB, featuring Norman Harris on guitar, Lenny Pakula on organ, Ronnie Baker on bass, Earl Young on drums, Larry Washington on congas and producer Vince Montana, Jr. on vibes. Handling the vocals are Joe Freeman, who was the lead singer with Philly soul band The Ethics and later with the disco group Love Committee; Ron Tyson, who was also with Freeman in Love Committee and went on to find fame with The Temptations; and David Simmons, the Philly soul singer who worked with Sister Sledge among others - and whose voice bears an uncanny resemblance to Teddy Pendergrass. The group performs an electrifying medley tying together seven classic slices of soul over a pile-driving funky disco beat that has been remixed for a whole new generation of fans by the musical mix-master oddity known as SanFranDisko.

Little Beaver - Party Down

Willie Hale a.k.a. Little Beaver (so dubbed as a child because of his prominent front teeth) was one of the extraordinarily talented musicians Henry Stone assembled at his Hialeah, FL-based T.K. Records label and its assorted imprints. Among the artists who recorded for Stone were K.C. & the Sunshine Band, Timmy Thomas, Gwen McCrae, Betty Wright, and Benny Latimore...and backing them on a lot of those records was Hale, laying down mellow ‘n’ funky, jazz-influenced licks on his hollow-body Gibson. Hale’s talent was so distinctive that when Stone finally let Hale step out of the studio shadows to record his own album on the Cat imprint, the effects were immediate and long-lasting. Featuring contributions from Thomas, Wright, Latimore, and Jaco Pastorius (under the name Nelson “Jocko” Padron), 1974’s Party Down scored a #2 hit with its title track and has been repeatedly sampled by latter-day rap artists ranging from People Under the Stairs to Jay Z. himself (the “Party Life” track on his American Gangster album). Our Real Gone reissue of this nonstop groove-athon features a fresh remastering by Mike Milchner at SonicVision, and comes in a metallic gold vinyl pressing to honor the gold record Little Beaver has hanging on his wall on the front to 1000 copies!.

Nduduzo Makhathini - Modes of Communication: Letters from the Underworlds

South African pianist & composer Nduduzo Makhathini will release his Blue Note debut Modes of Communication: Letters from the Underworlds on April 3, an expansive album anchored by Nduduzo’s expressive piano in which lyrical, plaintive horns mingle with percussion, pained yelps and urgent lyrics. Watch the album trailer. Nduduzo has also released the inspiriting new track “Beneath the Earth” featuring lead vocals by Msaki along with Nduduzo’s own voice and gently seeking piano, plus a soaring alto saxophone solo by Logan Richardson. A previous single “Yehlisan’uMoya” (Spirit Come Down) features impassioned vocals by Nduduzo’s wife Omagugu.

Peggy Lee Centennial Year Commemorated With 'Ultimate Peggy Lee'

'Ultimate Peggy Lee' Set For April 17 Release From Capitol/UMe Features Previously Unreleased Track Recorded 57 Years Ago

The Peggy Lee Estate has announced Peggy Lee 100, a centennial celebration honoring one of the 20th century's most important musical influences in the world of jazz and popular music.

Throughout 2020, the 100th anniversary of Peggy Lee's birth—May 26, 1920—will be commemorated around the globe with music releases, notable exhibitions, special events, programming and a host of tributes and concerts, including a just-announced Hollywood Bowl tribute concert on August 5, "Miss Peggy Lee at 100 with The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra."

Throughout 2020, the 100th anniversary of Peggy Lee’s birth will be commemorated around the globe with music releases, notable exhibitions, special events, programming and a host of tributes and concerts. Kicking off The Peggy Lee 100 celebration is the release of "Ultimate Peggy Lee," a new collection from Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) available April 17. The 22-track set features her hits, five songs she co-wrote, as well as the previously unreleased “Try A Little Tenderness."

Throughout 2020, the 100th anniversary of Peggy Lee’s birth will be commemorated around the globe with music releases, notable exhibitions, special events, programming and a host of tributes and concerts. Kicking off The Peggy Lee 100 celebration is the release of "Ultimate Peggy Lee," a new collection from Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) available April 17. The 22-track set features her hits, five songs she co-wrote, as well as the previously unreleased “Try A Little Tenderness."

Kicking off The Peggy Lee 100 celebration is the release of Ultimate Peggy Lee, a new collection from Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) available April 17. The 22-track comprehensive set features her hits, five songs she co-wrote, as well as the previously unreleased "Try A Little Tenderness," which makes its world debut 57 years after it was recorded. A full track listing is below.

Born Norma Deloris Egstrom in Jamestown, North Dakota, she was christened Peggy Lee in 1937 by a local North Dakota deejay. A 13-time GRAMMY® Award-nominee, Peggy Lee helped redefine the female singer with her captivating voice, which continues to resonate with audiences of all ages. Her compositions and recordings, including "It's A Good Day," "I Don't Know Enough About You" and "I Love Being Here With You," can be heard today in countless television shows and feature films.

Best known for such songs as "Is That All There Is?," "Fever," "Why Don't You Do Right," and "I'm A Woman," which made her a jazz and pop legend, she recorded over 50 albums and amassed over 100 chart entries. She won the GRAMMY® for Best Contemporary Vocal Performance for her 1969 hit "Is That All There Is?" In 1995, she received the GRAMMY's Lifetime Achievement Award.

Coined "the female Frank Sinatra" by Tony Bennett, Lee did something few of her male counterparts ever attempted: she wrote songs. As one of the foremothers of the singer-songwriter school, Lee ranks among the most successful female singer-songwriters in the annals of American popular music. Over her remarkable seven-decade career, singer, songwriter and composer Peggy Lee wrote over 200 songs and recorded over 1,100 masters.

Her vast and varied catalog of songs have been covered by Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole, Natalie Cole, Bing Crosby, Doris Day, Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, Diana Krall, Queen Latifah, Barry Manilow, Bette Midler, Janelle Monae, Nina Simone, Regina Spektor and Sarah Vaughan.

Ultimate Peggy Lee [CD; digital; 2LP vinyl]
1. I Love Being Here With You
2. Fever
3. Things Are Swingin'
4. I Don't Know Enough About You
5. I'm A Woman
6. Just In Time
7. Hallelujah, I Love Him So
8. Sweet Happy Life
9. Alright, Okay, You Win
10. Too Close For Comfort
11. Why Don't You Do Right (Get Me Some Money Too)
12. It's A Good Day
13. You Deserve
14. Heart
15. Big Spender
16. He's A Tramp
17. I Wanna Be Around
18. Black Coffee
19. I've Got The World On A String
20. The Folks Who Live On The Hill  
21. Is That All There Is?
22. Try A Little Tenderness*
*Previously Unreleased


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