New releases

  • Meshell Ndegeocello: No More Water

    2nd August 2024

    Meshell Ndegeocello has released the inspiriting new single “Love,” the second song to be revealed from her forthcoming Blue Note album No More Water: The Gospel Of James Baldwin, a striking homage to the eminent writer and activist James Baldwin to be released Aug. 2 on his Centennial. Ndegeocello will be marking the album release with a headline performance at the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn Festival on Aug. 2. Ndegeocello performs songs from the new album on an upcoming Tiny Desk Concert coming soon as part of NPR Music’s Black Music Month celebration of Black women artists. Last month saw the release of the album’s opening track “Travel” paired with the searing spoken word piece “Raise The Roof” by poet Staceyann Chin.

     Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.

    —James Baldwin

     No More Water is a visionary work that is at once a musical experience, a church service, a celebration, a testimonial, and a call to action. Ndegeocello has created a prophetic musical odyssey that transcends boundaries and genres, delving headfirst into race, sexuality, religion, and other recurring themes explored in Baldwin’s canon. Following 2023’s The Omnichord Real Book, her acclaimed Blue Note debut which won the inaugural GRAMMY Award for Best Alternative Jazz Album, the multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, and producer renders an immersive and palpable document that is as sagacious, unabashed, and introspective as Baldwin was in life.

     Co-produced by Ndegeocello and guitarist Chris Bruce, No More Water features some of the bassist’s frequent collaborators including Bruce, vocalist Justin Hicks, saxophonist (and Omnichord producer) Josh Johnson, keyboardist Jebin Bruni, and drummer Abe Rounds. Also appearing on various songs are vocalist Kenita-Miller Hicks, keyboardists Jake Sherman and Julius Rodriguez, and Executive Director of the NYCPS Arts Office and trumpeter Paul Thompson. The album also showcases powerful spoken word byvenerated poet Staceyann Chin and Pulitzer Prize-winning author and critic Hilton Als.

    Nearly a decade in the making, the album’s origins began in 2016 during a performance at The Harlem Stage Gatehouse as part of their annual showcase honoring Baldwin. Ndegeocello had delved into Baldwin’s work the year before, including the seminal nonfiction work The Fire Next Time, which she considers “life-changing” and carries with her as a “spiritual text.” Ndegeocello says, “It was just a revelation to me, and it softened my heart in so many ways.”

     “Inspired by Baldwin’s most well-known essay, Ndegeocello’s piece—often staged as a church service—employs music, sermon, text, images, and movement, all of which enter into conversation with Baldwin’s monumental and delicate essay about how black bodies were perceived not only by white Americans but by blacks themselves,” writes Als in the album’s liner notes. “The music you hear in No More Water, is Jimmy talking to Meshell and his words meeting the language of her sounds and then coming out again through a multitude of voices, a multitude of sounds and thoughts that bring Jimmy back and give him—finally—his whole and true self, that which he offered up, time and again, if only we knew then how to listen.”

     No More Water marks a significant moment of self-discovery for Ndegeocello. She adds that Baldwin entered her life at precisely the right time. “It came when I was ready to look in the mirror. I’ve had to play Plantation Lullabies at a few shows. Looking back, I had an interesting perspective, but the dialogue was limited. It was more like a cathartic experience for a young person of color, whereas now I’m going, ‘How can I get us all to love each other? How can I get us all to see this for what it is?’”

    Meshell Ndegeocello website

  • Satoko Fujii and Natsuki Tamura: Aloft

    12th July 2024

    Pianist-composer Satoko Fujii and trumpeter-composer Natsuki Tamura delight in each other’s music on their ninth duo album

    “It seems—in the studio or on the stage—that Fujii and Tamura think as one.”
    – Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

    “a thrilling ride for the listener” – Steve Feeney, Portland Press Herald

    Aloft to be released July 12, 2024 via Libra Records

    Pianist-composer Satoko Fujii and trumpeter Natsuki Tamura have amassed quite a track record as duet partners. On their ninth duo album, Aloft, they once again find new things to say. The creativity level is as high as any of their previous eight albums, along with the assurance and maturity that comes from nearly 30 years of working together. As Fujii says, “I am amazed that we still have so many things to create together!” Tamura is equally enthusiastic about their partnership. “We both continue to explore deeper expressions and new sounds,” he said. “After years of performing together, I feel absolutely secure in a duo with her.”

    Renowned for duo performances that border on the telepathic, Fujii and Tamura went into the studio with no plan except to rely on their trust and experience while improvising. They didn’t talk about the music before they played. “We just decided to play something,” says Fujii. “Natsuki listens to me very carefully and respects my playing so much but he has a very different sensibility and means of expression.” Tamura adds, “We listen carefully to each other, but at the same time we both understand that contrast and surprise are also important.”

    Their differing but complementary approaches to music strike a fine-tuned balance. Tamura doesn’t improvise with a deliberate structure, while Fujii tends to bring structure when she improvises. “I like compositions played like improvised music, and improvised music that sounds like composed music,” notes Fujii. “I would like to erase the border between them.”

    Consequently, the music on Aloft displays empathy and surprise in equal measure, governed by an intuitive balance between freedom and structure that comes from decades of music making. It’s hard to believe tracks such as “Migration” and “Wintering” are entirely improvised. Even though they sound so casual,  they have distinctive beginnings, middles, and conclusions. “Waiting for Dawn” and “Traveling Birds” also evolve in a very unforced way, the music seems to grow on its own. Yet there are times when the unexpected happens and is absorbed into the flow of the events. “On the Flyway” begins with an easy South African groove but grows darker and even absurd when Tamura begins talking through his trumpet. Fujii’s lyric piano inventions contrast with Tamura’s extended technique, but despite wildly different approaches the music is closely coordinated, and they collaborate without compromising their respective personal visions.

    Pianist and composer Satoko Fujii, “an improviser of rumbling intensity and generous restraint” (Giovanni Russonello, New York Times), is one of the most original voices in jazz today. For more than 25 years, she has created a unique, personal music that spans many genres, blending jazz, contemporary classical, rock, and traditional Japanese music into an innovative synthesis instantly recognizable as hers alone. A prolific composer for ensembles of all sizes and a performer who has appeared around the world, she was the recipient of a 2020 Instant Award in Improvised Music, in recognition of her “artistic intelligence, independence, and integrity.”

    Since she burst onto the scene in 1996, Fujii has performed and recorded prolifically. In 2022, she released her 100th album as a leader. On the way to this impressive milestone, she has led some of the most consistently creative ensembles in modern improvised music. Highlights include a piano trio with Mark Dresser and Jim Black (1997-2009), and an electrifying avant-rock quartet featuring drummer Tatsuya Yoshida of The Ruins (2001-2008). In addition to a wide variety of small groups of different instrumentation, Fujii also performs in a duo with trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, with whom she’s recorded nine albums since 1997. She and Tamura are also one half of the international free- jazz quartet Kaze, which has released seven albums since their debut in 2011. Fujii has established herself as one of the world’s leading composers for large jazz ensembles. Fully a quarter of her albums have been with jazz orchestras, prompting Cadence magazine to call her “the Ellington of free jazz.”

    Trumpeter and composer Natsuki Tamura is internationally recognized for a unique musical vocabulary that blends jazz lyricism with extended techniques. In addition to appearing with many of Fujii’s projects and recordings, he is a leader in his own right. 2003 was a breakout year for Tamura as a bandleader, with the release of Hada Hada (Libra), featuring his free jazz-avant rock quartet with Fujii on synthesizer. In 2005, he made a 180-degree turn with the debut of his all-acoustic Gato Libre quartet, focusing on the intersection of European folk music and sound abstraction. Now a trio, their most recent CD is Koneko (Libra), was released in 2020. Writing in the New York City Jazz Record, Tyran Grillo said, “By turns mysterious and whimsical.

    In 1998, Tamura released the first of his unaccompanied trumpet albums, A Song for Jyaki (Leo Lab). He followed it up in 2003 with KoKoKoKe (Polystar/NatSat) and in 2021, he celebrated his 70th birthday with Koki Solo (Libra), which Karl Ackermann in All About Jazz described as “quirky fun in an age of uncertainty.”

    Tamura’s category-defying abilities make him “unquestionably one of the most adventurous trumpet players on the scene today,” said Marc Chenard in Coda.

    Satoko Fujii-Natsuki Tamura – Aloft

    Libra Records – Catalog Number: 102-075 Recorded December 13, 2023 Release date – July 12, 2024

  • Angélique Kidjo: Sunlight To My Soul

    12th July 2024

    Five-time Grammy-winning African music icon collaborates with legendary songwriter Diane Warren, Nigerian afrobeat producer Shizzi and South Africa’s Soweto Gospel Choir on joyful new single!

    The five-time Grammy Award winning singer, songwriter and activist Angélique Kidjo, who celebrated her 40-year career with a triumphant sold-out concert at The Royal Albert Hall in November, returns this month with a brand-new single "Sunlight To My Soul". Released via Parlophone on Friday July 12, the joyful, upbeat track once again sees Kidjo collaborating with some of the biggest names in music. Composed by the most nominated songwriter in Oscar history Diane Warren, Sunlight To My Soul was produced by Nigerian afrobeat star Shizzi (Ed Sheeran, Fireboy DML, Sean Kingston), and features a guest appearance from South Africa’s Soweto Gospel Choir.


    To purchase click here

    Angélique Kidjo is one of the most revered artists in international music today, a creative force with sixteen albums to her name. Time Magazine has called her "Africa's premier diva” and named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world for 2021. The BBC has included her in its list of the continent's 50 most iconic figures, and The Guardian listed her as one of their Top 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World. Forbes Magazine has ranked Angelique as the first woman in their list of the Most Powerful Celebrities in Africa and she was the recipient of the 2023 Polar Music Prize.

    Website: Angélique Kidjo

  • Ippi Roy: Who’s that knocking on my Door

    5th July 2024

    Ippi or Ipshita Roy, is one of the well-known Jazz, Blues and Soul vocalist from New Delhi, India and is currently residing in Dallas, Texas. Ippi started her musical journey in 2009 as the frontwoman for Delhi based blues band Big Bang Blues. She launched herself as a solo artist in 2016, with her debut single ‘Your Love.’ She released her debut six track album, “Love, Life and Melody,” internationally in June 2018. Ippi graduated from the prestigious University of North Texas’ Jazz program and is the recipient of the Paris Rutherford Jazz leadership award and COM merit award. She has played across all major cities in India and is now gaining reputation as a Jazz performer in America**. She has also been a part of several music festivals such as Mahindra Blues Festival, Cotai jazz and Blues festival (Macau), Kasauli Rhythm and Blues, Denton Arts and Jazz festival, Frisco finishers fest among others**. She was nominated for Jack Daniels awards for Best Female Vocalist in 2013. Her work has been well recognized in all major press and media outlets in India such as RollingStone India magazine, Times of India, Hindustan times and more. She is now navigating the Jazz world in the US.

    “Who’s that knocking on my door” is a tune written by Gus Kahn and Seymour Simmons and first recorded in 1927 by Annette Hanshaw. The song is a rhythm changes form, that puts a fun spin on the idea of anticipation of a woman desperately waiting for her lover. It is fast, upbeat and a very catchy and happy song. Ippi fell in love with the track when she explored 1920s Jazz for the first time in 2011 and since then she has been continuing her research on the less known repertoire from the 20s. She was inspired by a gypsy jazz interpretation for this single. It features Alex Hand on Guitars and Nick Woodhouse on Bass.This is the first of many singles she is releasing that showcases her research on the 1920s less known repertoire.

    To purchase click here

    Ippi website click here

  • Mireia Carbonell: La dama d'Aragó

    28th June 2024

    London, UK (28th June 2024). Emerging band Periscopi Invertit released their fifth single “La dama d'Aragó” on the 28th June 2024 offering a new musical perspective to the vibrant London multicultural music scene.

    Periscopi Invertit founder Mireia Carbonell already finished the mastering of her first album and more releases will come soon. The single, “La dama d'Aragó” was recorded between London and Barcelona studios as some of the musicians are based in Catalonia and some in the UK. It features some of the finest performers from the London multicultural music scene and some great Catalan musicians. It was mastered at Sound-Ray Recordings.

    “La dama d'Aragó” is a Catalan folk ballad, from XIV century, rearranged with an original jazz accompaniment blended with an oud and darbuka accompaniment (Mediterranean instruments, from North Africa). A love song that shares some verses from a Greek medieval folk tune that was popular around the Mediterranean basin during the medieval age (at that time, Catalans had an important control of the Mediterranean sea and that was giving them more contact with the other Mediterranean backgrounds). Nowadays, this song belongs to the Catalan musical heritage and it is still live in the Catalan Countries (Catalonia, Valencia and Balearic Islands). Periscopi Invertit created a new arrangement for this romantic folk melody, creating a tapping bass introduction followed by beautiful jazzy piano and oud accompaniment & solos, allowing the song to travel between different epoques.

    Mireia Carbonell is the bandleader, bass player, composer and founder of Periscopi Invertit. Mireia is a London based jazz musician who is passionate about mixing music from different backgrounds with current music styles. She is from Barcelona (Catalonia), and uses her Catalan background to create new sonorities by mixing folk melodies with funk/jazz/latin music styles and Mediterranean rhythms.

    Since arriving in the UK, Mireia has performed as a bass player at numerous musical events including the musical show Millennials at MTFest, Turbine Theater and festivals such as: African Diaspora Better World Festival Wilderness Festival London Eid Festival The British Academy Summer Showcase 2019 Africa OyeJourneys Festival 15th London African Music Festival The big Feastival Rising sounds Festival Village Beach Festival Green Village Festival She has played with artists including Mim Suleiman, Nelson & Friends, Koroleko, Malunga and Berber Difusion and she currently features Amro Salah (Cairo Jazz Festival director) and Ziad Hisham when they are performing with Periscopi Invertit band.

  • Turiya: Bliss

    28th June 2024

    Be transported on an idyllic journey through jazz, R&B, pop, and classical traditions as Turiya, an all-star trio hailing from Boorloo (Perth), Western Australia, releases their anticipated debut album, "Bliss" - out now.

    With plays across Australia on PBS FM, Triple R, 4ZZZ, Radio Adelaide, Cairns FM, Northside Radio, and selected as this week's local feature album on RTRFM, the record draws inspiration from the ethereal harp glissandos and eclectic jazz compositions of American jazz composer and spiritual luminary, Alice Coltrane, inviting listeners to transcend the ordinary for 50 minutes of musical “Bliss”.

    This rare incarnation of a harp trio featuring Michelle Smith on harp, Kate Pass on double bass, and Talya Valenti on drums, will open your mind to how diverse the harp can sound, making it an excellent lead instrument.

    Forming in 2020, Turiya emerged from the harmonious collaboration of three established musicians and close friends. Kate and Talya's musical bond traces back to their days as students at the WA Academy of Performing Arts, while Kate and Michelle's connection spans over a decade.

    "In Hindu philosophy, Turiya represents the true self," says harpist Michelle Smith about their band name. "Our main inspiration, Alice Coltrane, adopted the name 'Turiya,' embodying both a Hindu spiritual leader and an extraordinary jazz harpist."

    Individually, each member of Turiya brings a wealth of experience and accolades to the project.

    Kate Pass, an award-winning bassist currently on scholarship at The New School in New York, leads the Kohesia Ensemble, fusing Persian music with jazz. Her performances span prestigious venues worldwide, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and festivals across continents.

    Talya Valenti, a highly accomplished drummer with nominations from the NLMA and multiple WAM Awards, has toured nationally and internationally with acclaimed acts such as Methyl Ethel, Stella Donnelly and ‘Songs for Freedom’, and has played at major events including Glastonbury Festival and Fuji Rock.

    Michelle Smith, mentored by jazz harpist Deborah Henson-Conant and trained at Berklee College of Music, has captivated audiences across Australia and the USA with her solo harp performances and collaborations with ARIA Award-winners Karnivool and hip-hop artist Mathas.

    "Bliss" emerged from casual improv sessions during the COVID lockdowns, which blossomed into collaborative songwriting, with all three members contributing tracks to the album. Their sold-out debut at the 2021 FringeWorld Festival marked the beginning of their journey, with subsequent performances at RTRFM92.1's Courtyard Club and Fremantle Arts Centre's 'Sunday Music' series.

    "The beauty of this band lies in our diverse influences and musical trajectories," reflects drummer Talya Valenti. "We've borrowed from a spectrum of genres to collaborate and create something unique."

    Bassist Kate Pass adds: "Working with harp brings a new palette of colours to our music. It's inspiring to write specifically for each other and to witness the magic that unfolds when great friends come together."

    In addition to Alice Coltrane, artists like Dorothy Ashby, Robert Glasper, and Shostakovich have left an indelible mark on 'Bliss', shaping its rich and diverse sound.

    New single ‘Solace’ features lyrics and vocals by POW! Negro* and stands as the album's sole vocal track, inspired by Talya's exploration of spoken word and admiration for artists like Aja-Monet and Kassa Overall.

    As Turiya prepares to launch the new album this week at The Rechabite, Perth on July 4, 2024, ultimately, they hope to leave listeners with a sense of peace, beauty, and 'Bliss' – a sublime offering in today’s world.

    ‘Bliss’ by Turiya is out now digitally with vinyl and CDs available for order on Bandcamp.


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