Early next year, the legendary jazz label Blue Note Records is set to release two new albums from two legendary artists, Aaron Neville and Wayne Shorter. Now the label is busy promoting both artists and albums via touring and television. Shorter has even written a new piece composed for Esperanza Spalding, who recently won a 2012 Soul Train Music Award.
Adding to the highly anticipated upcoming 2013 release schedule thus far, the Concord-Telarc division has released an impressive list of some new 2013 releases of their own. But wait: Helping to round out this year’s crop of new releases is one from ArtistShare featuring the Clayton brothers with friends.
Wayne Shorter, new Blue Note album, plus tour equals major excitement
Living legend jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter is making his return to Blue Note Records after 43 years. His new album, Without a Net (to be released Feb. 5, 2013), will feature him in his long-running quartet with Danilo Perez, bassist John Pattucci, and drummer Brian Blade.
Shorter provided his own drawings for the album cover artwork, which only makes this historic release that much more invaluable.
Major city tour dates were announced recently, with concert dates scheduled in New York City at Carnegie Hall and Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles beginning February 1. His performance in LA on February 9 will include a world premiere of Gaia, a newly commissioned work that Shorter composed for Esperanza Spalding and the LA Philharmonic Orchestra.
The quartet will also be featured at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival May 5, and will perform at Chicago’s Symphony Center June 7.
Shorter is entering his 80th year this 2013. He first recorded for the legendary Blue Note label in 1959 at 26 years old.
The new album will feature nine tracks consisting of live recordings from the Wayne Shorter Quartet’s European tour in late 2011. Without a Net will also highlight six new Shorter compositions.
Esperanza Spalding wins Soul Train Music Award
Did you catch the 2012 Soul Train Music Awards on November 25? Esperanza Spalding won an award in the category of Best Contemporary Jazz Artist/Group. Encore presentations will air on December 6 on BET and December 8 and 14 on Centric. The live show was held at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas and was simulcast to BET and Centric.
In addition to having her latest release, Radio Music Society, on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz chart for over 13 weeks at number one, Spalding has enjoyed life in the spotlight while playing with Stevie Wonder for President Obama at the White House. Last year, she became the first jazz musician to win a Best New Artist Grammy.
Concord-Telarc’s new releases in the new year
Concord and Telarc have announced new releases for 2013. Here’s a sampling of what’s to come.
Live from Stern Grove Festival, Pete Escovedo, U.S. release January 15, 2013: A new physical release from legendary timbales player and bandleader Pete Escovedo captures a live show he played last year at Stern Grove Festival, the legendary 75-year-old San Francisco cultural venue and institution. Special guests include trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, guitarist Ray Obiedo, saxophonist Dave Koz, and conga player/vocalist Sheila E. — who happens to be Pete’s daughter.
Conviction, Kendrick Scott Oracle (KSO), release January 29, 2013: Kendrick Scott is one of the notable drummers of his generation. His band’s second recording, Conviction, highlights Scott’s strengths as a drummer, composer and a leader. Scott penned half of the album, and the other compositions included are by Herbie Hancock, Broadcast, Sufjan Stevens and more.
Members of KSO include like-minded individuals Taylor Eigsti, Joe Sanders, John Ellis, Mike Moreno and Kendrick Scott. Derrick Hodge co-produced Conviction, which features guest appearances by singer/songwriter Alan Hampton.
Album name to be determined, Earl Klugh, release March 5, 2013: For over three decades, master guitarist Earl Klugh has been well known as a prodigy and true statesmen of contemporary jazz. Klugh’s highly anticipated Concord debut is a self-produced solo album featuring guest guitarists Bill Frisell, Vince Gill and others to be confirmed.
Aaron Neville TV concert promotes new album
The PBS special featuring Aaron Neville, My True Story, was taped on November 28 at the Brooklyn Bowl. Aaron’s brother, saxophonist Charles Neville, joined him for the concert, among others. The show will air on PBS in March 2013.
The iconic soul/R&B vocalist performed songs from his upcoming doo-wop-inspired album produced by Keith Richards and Don Was, My True Story, which drops on January 22, 2013 from Blue Note Records.
Neville picked all of the songs on My True Story. Song selections include classics from Little Anthony and the Imperials (“Tears on My Pillow”) and the Drifters (“Money Honey,” “Under the Boardwalk,” “This Magic Moment”).
New music by the Clayton Brothers
The Clayton Brothers have teamed up with Wycliffe Gordon and Stefon Harris on a new ArtistShare release, The Gathering: Clayton Brothers, which was released on November 6, 2012.
Dee Dee Bridgewater called the brothers John and Jeff Clayton, “two of the most soulful, swinging siblings on the planet.” I’ve seen them in action. She’s right. Both the bassist and saxophonist, not to mention son/nephew Gerald, are well known to the jazz world for their ability to swing.
A new Clayton brothers release is indeed a family affair, but add in longtime quintet-mates Terell Stafford and Obed Calvaire, who have become part of the Claytons’ extended musical family through years of touring and recording, and then you’ve really got something special.
According to a press release announcing the new ArtistShare release, that family extends even further with the addition of trombonist Wycliffe Gordon and vibraphonist Stefon Harris.
“We realized that we’ve got so many friends in the business that we like playing with,” says John. “Wouldn’t it be fun if we could pair up with a couple of them and create this new Clayton Brothers sound?”
The brothers seized the opportunity to compose new music with their guests in mind. Jeff composed the breezy, down-home “Coupe de Cone” for Gordon after an intensive study of the versatile “bonesman’s” own recordings. “’Coupe de Cone’ is a representation of the elements of Wycliffe that I thought would make him feel comfortable,” Jeff says. “He exhibited great playing in grand fashion, as he always does.”
The fleet, darting lines of “Stefon Fetchin’ It” were John’s idea to showcase Harris’ staggering dexterity. “Watching Stefon play is like watching a ballet dancer,” he says. “And that really is communicated through the music.”
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