New releases

  • ARTEMIS: In Real Time

    5th May 2023

    Three years after the release of ARTEMIS’ self-titled debut album, the acclaimed ensemble returns with the May 5 release of In Real Time, a marvelous follow-up that highlights the improvisational strength of its members as well as their respective gifts as composers. The album showcases a new lineup of the collective with founding members—pianist and musical director Renee Rosnes, trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, bassist Noriko Ueda, and drummer **Allison Miller—**joined by newcomers Nicole Glover on tenor saxophone and Alexa Tarantino on alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, and flute. The 8-song set presents compelling originals along with choice arrangements of pieces by Lyle Mays (“Slink”) and Wayne Shorter (“Penelope”).

    The album is introduced today with the brightly swinging single “Lights Away From Home,” a piece composed by Ueda which was inspired when the bassist witnessed a meteor shower on a small, isolated island in upstate New York. “I made a sketch of the piece the next morning while sitting on the same rock where I saw the shooting stars, remembering the excitement of the experience,” Ueda recalls. “My aim was to write something with a positive, upbeat vibe.”

    The band’s 2020 debut was met with wide critical acclaim. “Collectively, the sheer force of the group’s ability is staggering,” wrote DownBeat. The Wall Street Journal praised their “ability to move gracefully through various styles and moods and to sound, by turns, authoritative and playful, locked-in or loose-limbed,” adding that “ARTEMIS means to upend expectations, gently and yet with force. Its music comes off like a nuanced argument for a fresh point of view.”

    “The new album is an authentic representation of the collective and the individual,” Miller says. “Our growth as a band is clear from the downbeat. There is a trust that has become more solidified since our first recording and the chemistry is palpable. Simply put, we sound like a band!”

    Artemis Website

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  • Laura Lantano: Returning To Myself

    5th May 2023

    Hard to believe that this stunning album is the debut recording from Laura Lantano. So assured is Laura’s performance, and that of her exceptional companions on this musical journey. In this beautiful and delicate album, pianist Sam Leakand tenor saxophonist **Duncan Eagle**provide the perfect setting to bring the music to life and allow Laura to tell her stories through the power of song.

    In a bold move Laura has chosen to record a set of original compositions, each of which tells its own story of love, heartache and putting the past behind and starting afresh. With each song Laura establishes a rapport with the music and lyrics finding a way to bring these elements together in intricate arrangements that have an ability to communicate in a very personal way.

    Music has always played an important part in Laura’s life from starting to play piano at the age of four to writing her first song at eight. From there on her musical grounding came from playing classical pieces by Bach and Beethoven as a teenager along with developing her interest in song writing.

    Discovering jazz, she would listen to Betty Carter and Carmen McRae as well as learning jazz standards. These early influences would remain with Laura, strengthening her belief that improvisation is important in life and music, and spontaneity should be encouraged in both. This spontaneity can be heard in Laura’s song writing that capture the up and downs of life and the gamut of human emotions. The title track tells of returning home and a new beginning. The bright and optimistic delivery of the lyrics is echoed in Duncan Eagles’s wonderful dialogue with the Laura and Sam Leaks uplifting piano. This uplifting feeling is also a feature of the inspirational ‘All Is Not Lost’, with the contributions of Eagles and Leak lifting Laura’s vocals and the meaning in the lyrics, instilling the belief that one can achieve their dreams.

    The range of emotion brought to the lyric by Laura’s warm and rich voice are further demonstrated on the pensive ballad ‘I’ll Never Fall In Love Again’. Leaks’s piano accompaniment echoes the sentiments of the lyrics, while the tenor saxophone line has a hint of resignation and loneliness. So compelling is Laura’s hushed tones of acceptance along with contrasting defiance that one can feel the emotions of heartache, loss and anger.

    With Returning To Myself, Laura Lantano has produced an album of contemporary songs that draw on life experiences that are easily relatable. A powerful statement from a new breed of singer / songwriter that acknowledges the traditional and finding her own voice in the process.

    Laura Lantano

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  • Laura: Sunset Balcony

    5th May 2023

    Created in her mind on balmy evenings on a sunny balcony in Paris, German vocalist LAURA is proud to present her sophomore album, ‘Sunset Balcony’, set to release on May 5th on GLM Records.

    Pre order here

    Well known within the jazz scene of Stuttgart which she calls home, Laura has already gathered a reputation for herself by attracting the attention of the likes of Quincy Jones, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Jacob Collier. Taken aback by her musicality, her voice, and her charisma, Michael Jackson’s revered producer felt moved to say, “This young woman doesn’t need to worry about her career, she is amazing and I’m sure we will be hearing more from her in the future”.

    Inspired by her fourth floor Parisian apartment, Laura views her balcony as a nexus of safety and freedom, as for her it provides the feeling of being at home whilst being exposed to the outside world. With strong undercurrents of Norah Jones-esque contentment and positivity, the record embraces a number of varied styles and textures with confidence and joy.

    From the country/pop-tinged title track, to the hip-hop influenced ‘Poke Bowl’, blues/funk energy of ‘Johnny the Fly’ and folky mood of ‘Bartender’, the 14 tracks are united by Laura’s universally relatable storytelling and captivating melodies.

    Whilst the core ensemble is a quartet of close friends and long term collaborators (the same team responsible for Laura’s 2021 release ‘Quiet Land’), the album sees welcome additions from some of Germany’s leading instrumentalists including guitar, percussion, horns and strings. Lush orchestral arrangements, comforting soul guitar parts, and passages of playful improvisations from trumpeter Jakob Bänsch and baritone saxophonist Eric Séva open up new textural contexts to showcase the diverse array of styles up Laura’s sleeve.

    ‘Sunset Balcony’ is an album whose music moves toward the future, but along the way nostalgically glances back over its shoulder, into the real and emotional contradictions between melancholy and optimism that we all have to live with now more than ever.

    Laura| Vocals Jens Loh | Bass William Lecompte | Piano, fender rhodes Eckhard Stromer | Drums        

    Artist website

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  • Fiona Ross: Thoughts, Conversations and To Do Lists

    28th April 2023

    Jazz Artist Fiona Ross Captures the Bustle, Profundity and Glamour of the Everyday on New Album Thoughts, Conversations, and To Do Lists

    Jazz singer-songwriter Fiona Ross undertakes the difficulty of capturing the everyday – via both its birds-eye view and its sharp, minute detail – on her new album Thoughts, Conversations and To Do Lists – available on April 28th. 

    She manages to crystallize the racing interior monologue, the standstill of the post-breakup blues, the gentle flow of a thirst for knowledge. She also deftly paints the party atmosphere, the easy camaraderie between friends, and the steadfast desire for truth.

    The album’s opener, “When Will You Leave My Mind,” is a paradoxical song in the sense that it’s sonically full of movement – it has the pace of a cha-cha, a chugging train, a bustling city – while the lyrics capture perfectly the state of stuckness and standstill after a breakup. Replete with a catchy Latin guitar groove, the track makes the internal turmoil palpable with Ross’ syncopated singing, her words moving deftly in and out of the sensual instrumentation as she inquires, “When will you leave my mind/ You’ve spent too long in my mind/ You don’t belong in my mind.” The overall effect, however, is sassiness and steadfastness rather than wilted defeat, and the listener gets the sense that she’s going to solve this – if not right now, then quite soon.

    Thoughts, Conversations and To Do Lists moves from strutting (“I Want To Know More”) to pensive and meandering (like the sax-studded “The Small Things”) to the wild, raucous and adventurous (“When You Walked In The Room”). Ross’ voice soars, strides, and shimmies through “A Single Source of Truth,” about looking for straightforwardness and low-drama in a world of melodrama and fake news. 

    Meanwhile, Trumpet Man” is sexy and undulating, an ode to a sort of renaissance man, with (of course) sublime trumpet accents in all the right places. “The Don’t Stop Just Breathe Ragtime” features wildly fun, almost cartoonish instrumentation with a sense of deep playfulness. And the glittering piano, danceable beats, and groovy guitar on the instrumental “#ThursdayThoughts” at the album’s conclusion replicate a mind racing with ideas and boundless energy. 

    Written, arranged and produced by Ross, the 14-track album is a compendium of several themes reflecting Ross’ day-to-day life. While some songs are busy, with lots going on from every angle, others are more interior and reflective, mirroring Ross’ headspace.  

    “Someone asked me what my new album was about and I explained that it’s just really some of my thoughts, some conversations I’ve had, and my To-Do lists,” Ross recalls. “That kind of stuck, so decided to call it exactly that – Thoughts, Conversations and To Do Lists.” 

    The liner notes on her last two albums were written by Maxine Gordon and Celine Peterson and for this album Fiona has the award winning journalist and author of She Raised Her Voice!: 50 Black Women Who Sang Their Way Into Music History Jordannah Elizabeth who says  ‘Thoughts, Conversations and To Do Lists’ is an incredible album in 2023 that defines Ross’ gifts as a well-honed, recognizable style. As the future draws post-modern life toward and within it, Ross will be heard in a new way; as women in jazz become notable for their compositions and arrangements, as well as her voice. Beyond gender, as a musician and songwriter, the album is a complete culmination of a myriad of viewpoints, thoughtful self-reflection, and collaborative music as she brings together a band that gels and has balanced chemistry. It’s been my honor to write these liner notes as a part of a lineage of women’

    Written, arranged and produced by Fiona Ross

    Vocals and Piano: Fiona Ross

    Guitar: Gibbi BettiniBass: Derek DaleyDrums: Marley DrummondSaxophones and Flute: Loren Hignell

    Trumpets: Dave BoaBacking vocals: Ashaine WhitePercussion: Warren Woodcraft

    Guest appearance on ‘Push Me Around in a Pushchair’: Nancy Richardson

    Recorded at Studio XYZ by Gibbi Bettini. Mixed at Highfield Studio by Elliot Richardson and Warren Woodcraft

    Mastered by Nick Watson at Fluid Mastering

    Front Cover photo by Monika S Jakubowska taken at Jazz Cafe Posk, London.

    Artwork by Chris CunninghamPhotos by Ron Milsom and Tatiana Gorilovsky

    Liner notes by Jordannah Elizabeth

    Thoughts, Conversations and To Do Lists will be available on April 28th and can be pre ordered here

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  • Rickie Lee Jones: Pieces of Treasure

    28th April 2023

    The mood is jazz. The icon is Rickie Lee Jones. The voice just keeps getting better. Rickie Lee Jones’ latest album Pieces of Treasure (BMG Modern) is a reunion with her lifelong friend, legendary producer Russ Titelman, who co-produced Jones’ star-making albums, her 1980 debut Rickie Lee Jones and the seminal Pirates. Available everywhere April 28, on vinyl or streaming, experience the sensual, elegant, groundbreaking spirit that is always Rickie Lee.

    Great jazz never imitates what has already been done. Throughout her career, the Grammy-winning singer songwriter has interpreted an extraordinarily wide range of songs, often on the same album (David Bowie publicly praised her take on “Rebel Rebel”). She has recorded celebrated jazz-leaning albums including Girl at Her Volcano and Pop Pop, but until now, she had never devoted an entire album to the American Songbook.

    “This album is as much about being human, the view of surviving—which means aging, and loving relentlessly— as it is about anything,” says Jones, now 68 with an acclaimed memoir, Last Chance Texaco. “We love ‘til the day we die, love our lives, our families, and finally ourselves.”

    Recorded over five days at Sear Sound in New York City, backed by the quartet of Rob Mounsey on piano, guitarist Russell Malone, bassist David Wong and drummer Mark McLean, Pieces of Treasure— the title a callback to Pirates —is elegantly simple, a deeply emotive set pulled from Jones’ own life and experience. “This is an album Russ masterfully picked players who are exceptional musicians, who listen and respond,” says Jones. “And that’s partly why this sparse thing sounds so totally complete, because everyone responds to each other and builds this perfect room.”

     Hear the first single and opening song “Just in Time” (written by Jule Styne, Betty Comden, Adolph Green), featuring Mike Mainieri on vibraphone. “I am flirting with the microphone, sexy in a kind of “grown-ups in the 1960s” way, like Dean Martin might have been with his sweetheart,” says Jones. “I try to keep tape running every time I am behind the microphone, because you never know? I just slipped in there and started to sing. So, no one is thinking too much. And that’s the way to sneak up on a performance.”

    On April 6, 7 and 8, Rickie Lee Jones will be playing special preview shows at Birdland in New York City, backed by Russell Malone, Rob Mounsey, Mark McClean and Paul Nowinski.

    “This American Songbook recording shows Rickie's artistry in full bloom,” says Titelman. “Her voice has always sounded a bit younger than it ought to (that may be a function of her ability to inhabit the character who is singing the song so masterfully that you believe every word) but on this recording the aging voice sounds even better to me than the youthful one. There's a resonance and warmth in her lower register that wasn't there before. I adore the young Rickie Lee but I love even more the Old Dame.”

    Pieces of Treasure

    Just in Time (Jule Styne, Betty Comden, Adolph Green)

    There Will Never Be Another You (Harry Warren, Mack Gordon) Nature Boy (Eden Ahbez)

    One for My Baby (Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer)

    They Can’t Take That Away from Me (George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin) All the Way (Jimmy Van Heusen, Sammy Cahn)

    Here’s That Rainy Day (Jimmy Van Heusen, Johnny Burke) September Song (Kurt Weill, Maxwell Anderson)

    On the Sunny Side of the Street (Jimmy McHugh, Dorothy Fields) It’s All in the Game (Charles G. Dawes, Carl Sigman)

    Rickie Lee Jones website

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  • Melissa Pipe: Of What Remains

    21st April 2023

    Of What Remains is Montreal baritone saxophonist and bassoonist Melissa Pipe’s first release as a leader. It explores ideas around temporality: the shifting of time, form and being. The pieces form a whole, joining together fragmentation, symbiosis, distillation, evaporation, and transience, while looking at what is left behind, or what remains.

    “The sextet's instrumentation allows me to write in both traditional jazz ensemble configuration (trumpet and saxes with the rhythm section) and in a “chamber jazz” format,” says Pipe about choosing the unique instrumentation and writing for her sextet. “The additional colour, timbre and orchestration possibilities of the bassoon and the bass clarinet are particularly effective in infusing elements of classical and folkloric music into the pieces”.

    Her compositions here range from moody, atmospheric pieces to more traditional styles like a minor blues, but most tend to be on the darker, introspective side. “I write what I hear. Sometimes it starts with a bass line, a progression. Sometimes it’s a melody. The pieces on this album use a variety of jazz and classical compositional devices and techniques, but beyond the theoretical framework that I use to build its structures, harmonies, textures, etc. the most important thing for me is that it has to have soul. It has to be something my ear wants to hear. At times that can be something more modern, and at others something steeped in the jazz tradition: to me it goes beyond genres, it’s all about the soul of the thing.”

    In addition to leading her own group, Pipe also performs regularly with jazz, hip hop, indie, and classical ensembles as a freelancer. She also had the honour of interviewing Yusef Lateef, whose playing and compositional style have greatly influenced her, for an article about his double reed playing which was published in The Double Reed, as well as on Lateef’s website. In 2014, she was invited to perform her arrangements of Charles Mingus pieces for bassoon quartet at the Jazz Standard in NYC alongside Michael Rabinowitz, Paul Hanson and Mark Ortwein, as part of the International Double Reed Society conference.

    Melissa Pipe: baritone sax, bassoon

    Lex French: trumpet

    Philippe Côté: tenor sax, bass clarinet

    Geoff Lapp: piano

    Solon McDade: bass

    Mili Hong, drums

    w/ Michael Sundell, contrabassoon select tracks

    Produced by: Philippe Côté and Melissa Pipe

    Recorded and mixed by: Paul Johnston

    Mastered by: Guy Hébert

    Released April 2023 on ODD SOUND

    Melissa Pipe Website

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