Stay Open to the Night

The beauty of true music gems is that they wait patiently for listeners in the cloud to be found and cherished.

I enjoy exercising to Apple Music on my iPhone in search of such buried treasures. Yesterday  my heart struck gold with Charles Lloyd & The Marvels + Lucinda Williams, Vanished Gardens (Released 6/29/18). The divining rod was a Rolling Stone piece about their recent Newport Jazz Festival performance.

CharlesLloyd_VanishedGardens_cover

Vanished Gardens is the second album by Charles Lloyd & The Marvels. I play their first album,  I Long To See You often having  witnessed this nucleus live at Jazz at Lincoln Center in early 2016.

The Marvels consist of Bill Frisell on guitar, Reuben Rodgers, bass, Greg Leisz, pedal steel guitar and Eric Harland, drums.

Struck by the natural co-operation of Charles Lloyd and Lucinda Williams + The Marvels, reveling in their cohesiveness. Smiling further as each track was more eclectic than the previous. Vanished Gardens totally breaks new ground.

As Charles Lloyd says in his video conversation with Lucinda and Don Was,

“Stay Open to the Night”

Day Breaks – Norah Jones

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Coming October 7th, Day Breaks is Norah’s sixth solo album and a kindred spirit to her breakout debut Come Away With Me. It finds her returning to the piano and her roots.The album features Blue Note luminaries including saxophonist Wayne Shorter, organist Dr. Lonnie Smith, and drummer Brian Blade on a 12-song set that presents 9 new originals alongside covers of songs by Horace SilverDuke Ellington and Neil Young.

‘Carry On’ is the first single from Norah’s new album.

Dan Aykroyd Launches Blues Brothers Record Label

This is one Mission from God I support fully! What a public service for dedicated blues enthusiasts like myself. I am pumped to say the least.

Billboard Magazine reports that Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi’s widow Judy are starting Blues Brothers Records through an A&R and distribution arrangement with Blue Note Records.

The new record label is dedicated to development of blues artists. Blue Note Records President Don Was will be handling A&R duties for Blues Brothers Records, Judy Belushi will be the creative director and Blues Brothers manager Eric Gardner will run the administrative side of the label.

I respect the thought process given to the multi-prong distribution strategy. 1) The label’s music will be distributed by Capitol Music Group’s Blue Note Records.

2) Using BluesMobile to help tell, sell and promote the artists and their music. Elwood’s BluesMobile is the syndicated radio show Aykroyd has hosted for 22 years. A radio show I was completely unaware of until today.

3) Once the roster is large enough to produce a revue-style show, the Blues Brothers Records team envisions the artists traveling as a road show to Live Nation’s House of Blues. Aykroyd was one of the founders of the venue.

According to Billboard, still performing with Jim Belushi as the Blues Brothers, Dan Aykroyd hopes the label can generate new audiences for blues and vintage R&B the way Briefcase Full of Blues did in 1978 when it reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with 3 million copies shipped.

Blue Note Jazz Festival, June 1-30, 2014, NYC

What I like about living 90 minutes out from New York City is the constant deluge of great music and entertainment events scheduled throughout the year that I can possibly take advantage of attending. If money and time were non-issues I’d love for us to witness more music performances per year.

 

I have been noticing more NY City regular scheduled week and month long events beginning with the Winter Jazz Fest in January, continuing with the month long Red Bull Music Academy Festival in  May and next:

The Blue Note Jazz Festival returns June 1-30, 2014, for the fourth year, with over 150 premier artists at more than 15 venues throughout New York City.

Featuring: Aretha Franklin, Bobby McFerrin & Questlove, Michael McDonald, Reggie Watts, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Michael Bolton, José James, André Previn & Christian McBride, Ramsey Lewis With Philip Bailey, Marcus Miller, Sérgio Mendes, Monty Alexander, Gato Barbieri, Danilo Pérez-John Patitucci-Brian Blade Trio, and many more.

The Blue Note Jazz Festival helps to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Blue Note Records.

 

 

 

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Rosanne Cash – Tell Heaven

I love when a song creates a spiritual resonance inside the music of our heart. “Tell Heaven” by Rosanne Cash and her husband, John Leventhal is that song. It appears on Rosanne Cash’s new album, The River & The Thread. 

There are times we become disconsolate. I find in the well of deepest despair faith is rewarded as we speak to God and tell heaven of our dilemma. The more we tell heaven a stronger resolve will emerge to help us confront our challenges.

Tell Heaven – Roseanne Cash & John Leventhal

When you’re like a broken bird
Tell heaven
Battered wings against a darkened day
When your worries won’t let you sleep
Tell heaven
When the tears won’t ever go away
If you got no one to love
Tell heaven
There’s no one on the telephone today
When every story falls apart
Tell heaven
Nothing good seems like it’ll come your way
Tell heaven
Tell heaven
With heavy hearts and empty rooms
Tell heaven
You don’t have to know what you will say
The empty sky may never take our burdens
But something good will someday come our way
Tell heaven
Tell heaven
Copyright 2014 Chelcait Music
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No thanks beatsMUSIC, I’ll be staying with Spotify

I have completed my trial evaluation of beatsMUSIC. I am impressed with their interface and “human” curation. But unfortunately I found beatsMUSIC a “Closed” cloud music solution. I am a music technologist who respects innovation and music software development. beatsMUSIC achieves those attributes to a “degree” but it lacks being an extensive “development” platform. beatsMUSIC doesn’t publish an application programming interface that encourages music software development.

I am staying with Spotify because it is an “Open” cloud music platform. Spotify allows me as a subscriber to choose the music application I wish to use to grow my music listening experience. Spotify offers a cloud music architectural platform that embraces music software engineering (music hackathons) to take place on a global scale. We in turn as listeners get the advantage of harnessing those apps and interpreting music from new vantage points. I don’t get those options at all from beatsMUSIC. beatsMUSIC programs my music for me (didn’t radio do that for decades…) or I can build a music playlist, underwhelming options, already available elsewhere if you ask me.

The true competitive advantage Spotify has over beatsMUSIC, Pandora, etc. are the applications Just like on Apple’s iPhone or the Android phone the rich set of applications helps to sophisticate the use of these devices. Spotify like Apple’s iOS is a software platform.

Let’s look at Spotify from the jazz listener point of view. The Spotify Web application has the option App Finder listed under the Apps section. I found two premier Spotify Jazz apps from 2013, Blue Note Record’s Timeline and JazzTimes Magazine and Concord Music Group The StylusThe Blue Note application leverages the Blue Note historical timeline of jazz. You can set various filters for jazz artists by sector (Tradition, Groove, Voices) and instruments.

The Stylus app was developed for JazzTimes and Concord Music Group by a development company known as Neon Roots. Albeit a random app to play with I find it intriguing to discover jazz genres and artists. Give it a spin sometime and see what I mean 😉

Spotify continues to innovate and invent on behalf of the music listener with a technological interest towards what lies next in the cloud music ecosystem.

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Rosanne Cash, The River & The Thread, Blue Note Records

Blue Note Records continues to extend the panorama of their artist portfolio by signing, “Americana” artist Rosanne Cash to the label. I view this signing as a healthy sign that Blue Note Records is widening their artistic purpose as they diversify from their historic role as a “venerable jazz label”.

I first reflected upon the jam band initiative that Blue Note Records was embracing in  July.  I wrote about the significance of the Elvis Costello and The Roots collaboration, Wise Up Ghost, as well as new recordings from Robert Randolph Family Band and Gov’t. Mule forging a new Blue Note product line.

The second phase of Blue Note Record’s distribution strategy is Americana music with Rosanne Cash’s collaboration recording, The River & The Thread leading the way.

Courtesy of Blue Note Records and Rosanne Cash 2013

The River & The Thread, Rosanne Cash’s first album in more than four years, will be released on January 14, 2014 by Blue Note Records. Cash wrote the album’s 11 original songs with her longtime collaborator (and husband) John Leventhal, who also served as producer, arranger and guitarist.

The River & The Thread is sweeping in its breadth, capturing a unique, multi-generational cast of characters – from a Civil War soldier off to fight in Virginia to a New Deal-era farmer in Arkansas to a contemporary Mobile, AL couple. While Cash and Leventhal found inspiration in the many musical styles associated with the South – swampy Delta blues, gospel, Appalachian folk, country and rock, to name a few – this is a completely contemporary collection. Cash’s crystalline voice and Leventhal’s compelling guitar work are at the heart of the album, and they bring in more instrumentation to suit the tone of each particular song – from the delicate orchestral passages of “Night School,” (which nods to Stephen Foster, who also had a deep affection for the South) to the ghostly keyboards of album closer “Money Road.”

She was joined in the studio by a cast of friends and fellow musicians who also have a deep affection for and/or roots in the South, including Cory Chisel, Rodney Crowell (who also co-wrote one song), Amy Helm, Kris Kristofferson, Allison Moorer, John Prine, Derek Trucks, John Paul White (The Civil Wars), Tony Joe White and Gabe Witcher (The Punch Brothers.)

Rosanne Cash and her band will preview some of the new material from The River & The Thread tonight  (Sept. 19) at Nashville’s 3rd and Lindsley as part of the Americana Music Festival.

Rosanne Cash – The River & The Thread – Track Listing

1.      A Feather’s Not A Bird
2.      The Sunken Lands
3.      Etta’s Tune
4.      Modern Blue
5.      Tell Heaven
6.      The Long Way Home
7.      World Of Strange Design
8.      Night School
9.      50,000 Watts
10.    When The Master Calls The Roll
11.    Money Road

I love when multifaceted artists like Rosanne Cash (singer-songwriter, writer and author) take on research pursuits that add to their core values and strengths. On December 5, Cash will begin a three-day residency at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Events will include a concert, a round robin with Leventhal, Crowell, Cory Chisel and Amy Helm and a conversation with Natasha Trethewey, U.S. Poet Laureate. For additional details, visit http://www.loc.gov/today/pr/2013/13-141.html.

I’d love for us to attend this event.

December 5 through 7, 2013, Rosanne Cash Residency

“The Long Way Home: Songs of Travel and Longing”

Rosanne Cash is a major advocate of the arts. She has appeared twice at the International Festival of Arts and Ideas in nearby New Haven, CT. We especially love her appearance on the PBS-TV advertisement for the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City. She has performed 13 acoustic Cash concerts at the Rubin Museum of Art since 2004.

Blue Notes Records Embraces Jam Band Artists

ElvisQuestLove Blue Notes Records is the cornerstone of recording excellence. For seven decades Blue Note has produced award-winning jazz artists for global listening pleasure. Their advertising logo states: “The Finest in Jazz Since 1939”. I see a trend forming that Blue Note Records is investing directly in the jam band genre. Blue Note has signed Gov’t Mule and Robert Randolph and the Family Band to their roster of artists. They will also be releasing a collaboration between Elvis Costello and The Roots later this year. I view this as an encouraging milestone for jam band music and its loyal legion of fans. It is significant that jam band artists are roosting under the roof of venerable Blue Note Records. Jam band music like jazz is at the music of our heart an improvisational experience.

Blue Note Records Jam Band Artists

Robert Randolph and the Family Band

Last Tuesday, July 16th Blue Note released the latest studio album from Robert Randolph & The Family BandLickety Split features the group’s current lineup with Robert joined by Marcus Randolph, Danyel Morgan, Lenesha Randolph and Brett Haas. Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin) engineered the album, which also includes guest appearances from Trombone Shorty and Carlos Santana

Gov’t Mule

Gov’t Mule and will release Shout!, the group’s first studio album in four years on September 24. In an unprecedented twist and gift to their fans, a special bonus CD will also be included, which includes the 11 tracks from the album but in different versions with each one sung by a different world-class special guest and friend of the band. Elvis Costello and The Roots

Elvis Costello and The Roots announced that a collaborative album entitled Wise Up Ghost will be exclusively released by Blue Note Records on Tuesday, September 17, 2013. A small number of test pressings were distributed as white labels on Record Store Day on April 20 but the full release will follow later in the year. Most of the sessions took place in secret at Feliz Habitat Studios in the dead of night, while others were in plain sight at Costello’s Hookery Crookery Studios. Elvis described the record as “the shortest distance between here and there” and containing “both rhythm and what is read”. Ahmir says, “It’s a moody, brooding affair, cathartic rhythms and dissonant lullabies. I went stark and dark on the music, Elvis went HAM on some ole Ezra Pound shit.” It promises to be one of the most unexpected and surprising releases of 2013. Notice the cover art for Wise Up Ghost below. The image was inspired by the City Lights Pocket Poets Series, in homage to the cover of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl. The video pays tribute to the significance of vinyl, the turntable and bohemian poetic pentameter.