“If Porter weren’t winning over the international jazz club and festival circuit, he’d rise above the din wherever he went.” The folks at NPR made that statement after witnessing Gregory Porter‘s intimate rendition of “Be Good (Lion’s Song)” from his latest album, Be Good. Accompanied by pianist Chip Crawford, the soulful jazz vocalist and songwriter performed this tune at the New York Transit Museum in downtown Brooklyn, where his rich vocals resonated throughout the vintage subway cars housed in the former station.
Watch Gregory Porter’s performance of “Be Good (Lion’s Song)” below.
Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996), aka the First Lady of Song, was one of the greatest jazz scatters and vocalists, if not vocalist, that left her imprint behind. The late jazz pianist and composer Jimmy Rowles once said, “Music comes out of her [Ella Fitzgerald]. When she walks down the street, she leaves notes.” And that’s the truth, Ruth!
One of my favorite performances by Ella was from June 22, 1969, where she was joined by Ed Thigpen on drums, Frank de la Rosa on bass, and Tommy Flanagan on piano for a full scat improv of “One Note Samba.” Her techniques were, and still are, mesmerizing.
Watch Ella Fitzgerald’s “One Note Samba”performance below.
Directed by Amir Bar-Lev, Re:Generation Music Project follows five DJs (DJ Premier, Mark Ronson, Skrillex, Pretty Lights, and The Crystal Method) from different genres “as they remix, recreate, and re-imagine five traditional styles of music.” This cool approach allows them to learn about genres and records they probably would have never took the time to appreciate otherwise.
From the classical sounds of the Berklee Symphony Orchestra to that good ‘ol New Orleans jazz, these DJs create fresh tracks laced with their personal stylings and vocals from artists like Martha Reeves, Nas, Erykah Badu, and Yasiin Bey, in order “to discover how our musical past influences the future.”
After you watch Re:Generation Music Project, head over to their official film page to download the free soundtrack, featuring all the records showcased in the documentary.
Watch ”Re:Generation Music Project” below.
Duration: 1 hr. 22 min. | Year: 2012
Flocking Together: Donald Byrd leads The Jazz Jousters is a 9-track, tribute project saluting the iconic jazz musician Donald Byrd. It showcases a number of producers known as The Jazz Jousters reshaping some of Byrd’s tunes into fresh, head boppin’ joints that manage to keep the original essence of each track.
Stream Flocking Together: Donald Byrd leads The Jazz Jousters below.
In honor of the late great virtuoso trumpeter and composer Donald Byrd, who passed away earlier this month at the age of 80, Gilles Peterson has compiled a two-part tribute mix of some of the legend’s work. Part 1 – The Acoustic Years focuses on his hard bop and soul jazz material, while Part 2 – The Electric Years transitions to his jazz-funk and fusion work.
Stream Part 1: The Acoustic Years below.
1. I’ve Longed & Searched For My Mother
2. Here I Am
6. You’re Next
7. French Spice
8. Christo Redentor
9. Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child
10. Slow Drag
Stream Part 2: The Electric Years below.
1. The Donald Byrd Seven – Kwame – Recorded live in Boston
2. Donald Byrd – Blackbyrd
3. The Blackbyrds – Baby
4. Donald Byrd – Lansana’s Priestess
5. Donald Byrd – Street Lady
6. Donald Byrd – Dance Band
7. Donald Byrd – Wild Life
8. Donald Byrd – (Fallin’ Like) Dominoes (Live)
9. The Blackbyrds – Time Is Moving
10. Donald Byrd – Think Twice
11. Donald Byrd – You & The Music
12. Donald Byrd – Wilford’s Gone
13. Donald Byrd – I Feel Like Loving You Today
14. Donald Byrd – Wind Parade
15. Donald Byrd – Pretty Baby
16. Donald Byrd – Loving You
17. Donald Byrd – Love Has Come Around
18. Konald Byrd – Lansana’s Priestess (Kon Re-Edit)
London-based jazz/soul singer-
Download the acoustic version of “Where Did You Go” for free here.
Watch Shea’s video for “Where Did You Go” below.
Kansas-based pianist Eddie Moore and his quartet, The Outer Circle, released their debut 10-track, jazz LP entitled The Freedom of Expression. Kick back and soak in all the strokes and colors of this musical painting.
The Outer Circle investigates modern influences with those of tradition. Saturated with color, the melodies are lyrics that share my life experiences with the listener. I enjoy using mixed meter in composition to introduce twist and turns to the canvas creating a different mood with every piece that allows the soloist the upmost freedom with line and idea. With original compositions like “Houston Visions” and “Anger Management” this group blends that of the American Idiom with Freedom of Expression.
Kick back and enjoy all the strokes and colors of their audible musical painting.
Stream Eddie Moore and The Outer Circle’s The Freedom of Expression below.
When I first heard Krystle Warren and Solomon Dorsey‘s cover of the 1968 Beatles record, “Blackbird,” I had to pause it midway through and say a quick prayer. I thought the Lord was calling me home because this rendition felt like heaven. The deep, rich resonances from Solomon’s double bass paired with Krystle’s jaw-dropping, husky vocals and hints of scatting will leave you mesmerized.
Watch Krystle Warren and Solomon Dorsey’s rendition of Blackbird below.