New releases

  • Zoe Rahman: Colour of Sound

    7th July 2023

    Gathering together an eight-piece band of outstanding musicians, Zoe Rahman has created The Colour Of Sound: the most ambitious, many-hued, uplifting large-ensemble music of her multi-award winning career.

    Her choice of collaborators reflects her deep engagement with the diversity of contemporary Britain. Starting with the foundational rhythm team of explosive US native Gene Caldarazzo on drums and long-time scene stalwart Alec Dankworth on bass, she’s built up a frontline of players from across the generations of current UK players. Trumpeter Alex Ridout and trombonist Rosie Turton represent the new wave of young empowered female players: flautist Rowland Sutherland and Zoe’s brother Idris Rahman on saxes and clarinet are joined by guest trumpeter Byron Wallen to bring their wealth of diverse musical heritage, their gravitas as long-time scene leaders, and their undimming passion and commitment to the project. The music paints on a wide canvas in vibrant colours.

    Colour Of Sound combines Zoe’s unique and powerful writing with thrilling arrangements and dynamic performances from the whole band to create an album of jazz at it’s highest level that still communicates its message directly to the listener. It’s a splash of colour and a bold statement beautifully realised that is Zoe Rahman’s most compelling work to date.

    Releases July 7, 2023

    Written, arranged and produced by Zoe Rahman
    Recorded at Master Chord Studios
    Engineered by Ronan Phelan, assisted by Michele Catri
    Additional recording at Rokit Studios
    Engineered, edited and co-produced by Idris Rahman
    Mixed by Laurent Dupuy
    Mastered by Caspar Sutton-Jones at Gearbox Records
    Photos by Ilze Kitshoff
    Make-up and hair by Nina Davis

    Order here

  • Meshell Ndegeocello: The Omnichord Real Book

    16th June 2023

    Acclaimed GRAMMY-winning multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello makes her Blue Note Records debut with the June 16 release of The Omnichord Real Book, a visionary and deeply jazz-influenced album that marks the start of a new chapter in her trailblazing career. Following her 2018 covers album Ventriloquism, Meshell returns with an album of new original material that taps into a broad spectrum of her musical roots. The Omnichord Real Book was produced by Josh Johnson and features a wide range of guest artists including Jason Moran, Ambrose Akinmusire, Joel Ross, Jeff Parker, Brandee Younger, Julius Rodriguez, Mark Guiliana, Cory Henry, Joan As Police Woman, Thandiswa, and others.

    The Omnichord Real Book is introduced today by the expansive lead single “Virgo,” the mind-altering 8-minute centerpiece of the album which features Meshell on vocals, key bass, and keyboards, Younger on harp, Rodriguez on Farfisa organ, Chris Bruce on guitar, Jebin Bruni on keyboards, drums by Abe Rounds, Deantoni Parks, and Andrya Ambro, and additional vocals by Kenita Miller and Marsha DeBoe. The Omnichord Real Book is available for pre-order now on Blue Note Store exclusive color vinyl, black vinyl, CD, and digital.

    “It’s a little bit of all of me, my travels, my life,” says Meshell. “My first record I made at 22, and it’s over 30 years from then, so I have a lot of stored information to share.” Reflecting on the impact that the forced stillness of the pandemic lockdown had on her, she says “I must admit it was a beautiful time for me. I got to really sit and reacquaint myself with music. Music is a gift.”

    “This album is about the way we see old things in new ways,” Meshell explains. “Everything moved so quickly when my parents died. Changed my view of everything and myself in the blink of an eye. As I sifted through the remains of their life together, I found my first Real Book, the one my father gave me. I took their records, the ones I grew up hearing, learning, remembering. My mother gifted me with her ache, I carry the melancholy that defined her experience and, in turn, my experience of this thing called life calls me to disappear into my imagination and to hear the music.”

    Meshell first appeared on a Blue Note record a decade ago with her stunning feature on “The Consequences of Jealousy” from Robert Glasper’s GRAMMY-winning 2012 album Black Radio. Two years later she collaborated with Jason Moran on ALL RISE, a vibrant reimagination of Fats Waller’s music where Meshell was both featured vocalist and producer. Reflecting upon time spent with her parents’ record collection during her childhood, Meshell recalls “I loved going through the records and seeing the Blue Note insignia. I stay away from the word ‘Jazz,’ it’s a really heavy word, but I am so moved to be on a label that is about self-expression.”

     Pre order here

  • Nicky Schrire: Nowhere Girl

    9th June 2023


    Blurring the lines between jazz, singer-songwriter and folk traditions, ‘Nowhere Girl’ is the shimmering new quartet album from British/South African/Canadian vocalist and songwriter Nicky Schrire.


    Vocalist and composer Nicky Schrire was born in London and grew up in Cape Town, South Africa. She moved to New York City to attend the Manhattan School of Music and, after nearly five years in the city, returned to Cape Town via London. She relocated to Toronto, Canada in 2020, armed with experience and the desire to forge meaningful musical relationships with like-minded musicians. Nowhere Girl is the result of that wish.

    While Schrire has grappled with identity at times, she does see the upside to having moved around so much, explaining, “The album is called Nowhere Girl because I have lived in so many different places. It is something for which I’m immensely grateful, but it increases a sense of belonging anywhere...and therefore nowhere.”

    Schrire’s appreciation for the international nature of the jazz community means she understands how identity weaves itself into music-a vocal inflection, a specific harmonic progression, certain melodic intervals. “I identify as British and South African, while my love for both jazz and the singer-songwriter genres is a huge part of my musical aesthetic. It’s been challenging to figure out exactly what my sound is, given my heritage is a mixed bag,” Schrire contemplates. Her multi-nationality is reflected in her style of jazz singing, which is clearly shaped by contemporary jazz vocalists from all sides of the pond-Norma Winstone, Gretchen Parlato, Maria Pia De Vito.

    Ten years after her previous release, Schrire teams up with pianist Chris Donnelly, bassist Dan Fortin, and drummer Ernesto Cervini (collectively known as the JUNO-nominated trio Myriad3*).* Guest musicians include saxophonist Tara Davidson, JUNO Award-winning vocalist Laila Biali, and Mozambican guitarist Julio Sigauque. The album is produced by Grammy-nominated producer Oded Lev-Ari (Anat Cohen Tentet), mixed by Brian Montgomery (Maria Schneider), and mastered by Jeff “Fedge” Elliott (The Weather Station). Nowhere Girl is a stellar example of “less is more”, with Schrire’s crystalline voice and signature unaffected delivery at the fore of deftly crafted songs brought to life by a gathering of Canada’s finest jazz musicians.

    This album also serves as something of a travelogue, with songs about the places that have shaped Schrire and her music. Her British heritage is audible in the folk influences of “A Morning” and “Father”. Her South African upbringing is present in “Closer To The Source” (music by the late South African pianist Bheki Mseleku and lyrics by Schrire) and “My Love” (featuring Mozambican guitarist Julio Sigauque). The five years she lived in New York are summarised by “This Train”, and the one month she spent in Paris (successfully sampling croissants instead of attending French language classes) is captured by “In Paris”. There is, fittingly, also a tip of the hat to Canada with Anna McGarrigle’s “Heart Like A Wheel”, which sees Schrire duet with Canadian vocalist and friend, Laila Biali.

    With her previous albums, Schrire garnered comparisons to songwriters and lyricists like Joni Mitchell, Tori Amos, and Mary Chapin Carpenter. Taking this high praise to heart and, in her words, “trying not to buckle under the pressure”, she offers up nine original songs that skillfully balance a reverence for songwriting and storytelling with the spontaneity of improvisation. Schrire elaborates, “I find that a lot of original music composed by jazz vocalists is either light on well-crafted lyrics and thoughtfully constructed melodies, or scant on jazz in the form of improvisation and a spirit of collaboration” She cites songwriters Randy Newman, James Taylor and Shawn Colvin as firm favourites. In fact, she describes the lone duo tune on the record, “Keep It Simple”, as “the musical lovechild of Randy Newman and Mary Poppins’ the Sherman Brothers.”

    Nowhere Girl arrives a decade after Schrire’s last album. “I’ve had ample time to write, reflect, edit, and strive to capture these songs as lean but vibrant vessels,” she says. The result is a collection of 11 songs, expertly crafted and then beautifully performed by a like-minded collective. While she may have wandered in her travels, Nowhere Girl puts Nicky Schrire firmly on course as a songwriter and vocalist with a singular voice.

    Upcoming Performances

    26 June 2023 - 2023 TD Toronto Jazz Festival, Toronto, Canada

    1 August 2023 - Pizza Express Jazz Club, Dean Street, London, United Kingdom

    1.  Nowhere Girl 3.15 (Schrire)

    2.  Traveler 3.52 (Schrire)

    3.  A Morning 4.31 (Schrire)

    4.  Closer To The Source 4.19 (Mseleku, Schrire)

    5.  This Train 4.09 (Schrire)

    6.  Father 5.18 (Schrire)

    7.  In Paris 4.05 (Schrire)

    8.  Heart Like A Wheel 5.26 (McGarrigle)

    9. Love Is For The Birds 3.38 (Schrire)

    10. Keep It Simple 3.58 (Schrire)

    11.  My Love 3.55 (Schrire)

    Nicky Schrire, Voice Chris Donnelly, Piano Dan Fortin, Double Bass Ernesto Cervini, Drums

    Tara Davidson, Alto and Soprano Saxophones (1, 4, 7, 11) Laila Biali, Voice (8)

    Julio Sigauque, Guitar (11)

    Recorded by David Travers-Smith at The Canterbury Music Company, Toronto, Canada Mixed by Brian Montgomery, New York

    Mastered by Jeff “Fedge” Elliott, Toronto, Canada Design by Tim Thornton

    Photos by Matt Griffiths Produced by Oded Lev-Ari

    Nicky acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

    Nicky Schrire website

  • Tania Giannouli: Solo

    8th June 2023

    Tania Giannouli’s music has global appeal. Variously described as complex, lyrical, intoxicating and highly original, she is inspired by many different traditions and influences, resulting in compositions and interdisciplinary projects that span an impressive range of styles.

    A pianist, composer, improviser, bandleader and multi-media artist, Giannouli’s imaginative, eclectic collaborations with international musicians have been heard in the most prestigious venues and festivals in Europe (Jazzfest Berlin, Madrid International Jazz Festival, Enjoy Jazz, Brussels Jazz Festival, Skopje Jazz Festival, Bimhuis, Flagey, November Music, Ars Musica and more).

    In addition to appearing solo, or in trio with her Greek compatriots Andreas Polyzogopoulos (trumpet) and Kyriakos Tapakis (oud), Giannouli is currently collaborating with several highly regarded musicians who defy categorisation: Norwegian trumpeter and vocalist Arve Henriksen (in duo), Italian vocalist Maria Pia De Vito (Book of Lost Songs), Italian percussionist Michele Rabbia, Italian double bass player Daniele Roccato (HEMERA), American trumpeter Amir ElSaffar (guest artist), Swiss pianist Nik Bärtsch (duo) and Korean drummer Sun-Mi Hong (duo).

    Her imagination and explorative musical nature, has led to four unique recording collaborations, all released on New Zealand’s foremost art-music label, Rattle Records: Forest Stories (2012, with Portuguese wind player, Paulo Chagas), Transcendence (2015, featur- ing works composed for her Tania Giannouli Ensemble), Rewa (2018, a critically acclaimed, entirely improvised collaboration with traditional Maori instrumentalist, Rob Thorne) and In Fading Light (2020, a trio with trumpet player Andreas Polyzogopoulos and oud player Kyriakos Tapakis). All four albums received wide international acclaim and were included in numerous ‘Best of’ lists, with *Transcendence *cited as one of the decade’s most important Greek albums.

    Giannouli's next step is the release of an album of solo material, capturing the essence of her solo recitals which invite listeners into her passionate sonic universe – a world which is characterised by extended gestures and an imaginative and seamless blend of improv- isation, classical, and global music. Each concert explores the possibilities of a subtly prepared piano, and she has impressed audiences in Copenhagen (Piano Days), Brussels (Ars Musica Festival & Flagey Piano Days), Ghent (Handelsbeurs), Mannheim (Enjoy Jazz Festival), Wrocław (National Forum of Music), Bergamo (Bergamo Jazz Festival), Trondheim Jazzfest, Prague (Rudolfinum) as well as her hometown, Athens.

    ‘‘…magnificent canvas woven by the compositions of Tania Giannouli… feels like a sea wind which carries off the miasma of a deleterious time…” Le Soir (Belgium)

    The filmic nature of Giannouli’s music means that she is in demand as a collaborator for video, documentaries and film. Synched to moving image, her music has travelled to festivals, museums, galleries and Biennales worldwide. And her concert music has been performed by the Camerata/Armonia Atenea String Orchestra, Dissonart Ensemble, the Athens Youth Orchestra and the Galaxy String Quartet.

    Giannouli is the recipient of many accolades and prizes (including a nomination Deutscher Jazzpreis alongside pianists Tigran Hamasyan and Shai Maestro), and is often invited to speak about her work, educate the next generation and participate as an artist-in- residence in various contexts.

    Available here

  • Jesa: Five Little Birds

    26th May 2023

    Debuting with her single 'Five Little Birds', Bridge The Gap are proud to present Jesa. Based in Paris, this exciting new artist is ready to break into the bubbling European future soul and nu-jazz conversation.

    A singer, songwriter, producer & guitarist, Jesa builds her distinctive sound from a love for Afro-American music and contemporary soul. Training as a jazz musician in Paris led to her developing a deep understanding and affinity with rich harmonic language and rhythmic flavours, a toolbox used to full effect in her songwriting. Her music infuses soulful top lines with elements of jazz fusion and gospel, creating diverse sonic palettes with heavy, percussive grooves, expansive synths and a multi-lingual poetic flare.

    Her debut, independent EP, 'FACES', has been a labor of love for the 24-year old. The project chronicles the ups and downs of young woman navigating relationships, love and personal growth. The songs on the project became a vehicle for Jesa to articulate feelings of loneliness & despair, process toxic relationships & trauma, and deal with the transition from adolescence into adulthood. In many ways, it's a coming of age record with a statement of intent and arrival, and a love letter to sonic influences like Esperanza Spalding, Prince and Lianne La Havas.

    ''Five Little Birds' is a perfect introduction to the sound world of the project. Early tension from mysterious chords is washed away by bright melodies and interaction between bopping basslines and tight percussion. The musicality reflects the duality of Jesa's lyrics, as she is stuck between acceptance and repression of her emotions.

    I was torn between accepting my feelings of love or repressing them. I really wanted to give myself over, but I felt that I would not receive this love from the other. This song is the declaration of a half-lived, half-fantasized love, a reverie that invites the other to fall in love.

    Faces is available here

  • Kósmos: Averno

    19th May 2023

    The jazz world often feels the need to divide ensembles and musicians with language including ‘bandleader’ and ‘sideman’, but Italian trio Kósmos proves they have no use for such terms. Their collective approach to music making and anti-hierarchical trio returns with ‘Averno’, set to release on May 19th.

    Coming together almost a decade ago in their hometown of Naples, Stefano Falcone (piano), Ilaria Capalbo (double bass) and Giuseppe D’Alessandro (drums) share a common love for the introverted, spacious, European sound that they’ve become known for. Their respective careers as solo artists then separated them across the continent, all becoming in demand performers and recording musicians across Italy, Sweden, Portugal and more.

    Their upcoming album follows their 2019 debut ‘Back Home’, a collection of reworkings of legendary pianist Lennie Tristano, released on popular Italian Jazz magazine Jazzit’s own record label. It was through the development of this music that the trio honed their ability to deconstruct musical forms, and build them back into what they describe as a “living organism”.

    Named after a lake in Bacoli, Italy, which in ancient times was believed to be the entrance to the underworld and the reign of Hades, ‘Averno’ is a collection of original compositions united by their melancholic, contemplative, ECM-esque tone. Folk-tinged melodies, dark harmony and mesmeric passages of pulse-less texture provide the listener with hypnotic mental imagery of the album’s namesake.

    Rooted equal parts in jazz tradition and European classical music, each member of the trio contributed compositions to form this body of work. Thoughtfully arranged and highly melodic, the trio’s fearless approach to improvisation and collective approach to music making takes the spotlight. Their sound doesn’t feel piano-centric as is often the nature of trio records; each instrument feels equally represented, with egoless ensemble musicianship and nuanced interplay providing a refined perspective on the traditional trio format.

    Stefano Falcone | Piano Ilaria Capalbo | Double bass Giuseppe D’Alessandro | Drums

    1. Roba'iyyat (Giuseppe D’Alessandro) 
    2. The Narrow Sea (Stefano Falcone)
    3. Largo (Ilaria Capalbo) 
    4. The tale of the night and the madman (Giuseppe D’Alessandro) 
    5. Distances (Ilaria Capalbo)
    6. Hymn (Stefano Falcone) 
    7. Så rinner tiden bort (Olle Adolphson) 

    Background info / Liner Notes:

    Recorded at Artesuono, Cavalicco (UD), Italy on May 21, 2021

    Mixed and mastered by Stefano Amerio

    Artist website here

    Press release provided by JazzFuel


You are on page 1 of 7

Next page