Jazz at Lincoln Center takes a profound step in the evolution of their brand. Today marks the beginning of Blue Engine Records, the JALC record label. This will be an exclusive arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment. Jazz at Lincoln Center will release recordings as CDs and digital downloads and to streaming music services, with a few titles in vinyl format, through an agreement with RED Distribution, a division of Sony Music, for distribution in the United States and overseas. RED’s ’stache media, a marketing company, will offer publicity, branding and social media support.
The first release from Blue Engine Records is, “Live in Cuba,” featuring Mr. Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, to be released on Aug. 21 (available for pre-order online). Recorded over three nights at the Mella Theater in Havana in October 2010, “Live in Cuba” explores the connections between American jazz and Afro-Cuban music, from bebop to bolero.
“Pissing In A River” is the second track Patti Smith curates on Outside Society from Radio Ethiopia. I heard Patti Smith sing this song live from the stage of the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I found her rendition to be poignant and captivating, especially in such an artistic setting.
Should I pursue a path so twisted ?
Should I crawl defeated and gifted ?
Should I go the length of a river,
[The royal, the throne, the cry me a river]
What about it, what about it, what about it ?
Oh, I’m pissing in a river.
The ballad that grew from Ivan Kral’s moving and relentless chord progression is still one of my favorite songs to sing. It exhibits the best of Jack Douglas’ production and arranging expertise and Kral’s depth of expression. The lyrics grew from my own concerns as I considered what path to pursue and remain just as meaningful to me now.
Although we had improvised many pieces with our pianist Richard Sohl, “Free Money” marked the first time that Lenny Kaye and I consciously collaborated on a rock and roll song. It reflects the atmosphere of the East Village in 1974, our humble yet hopeful existence and the communal energy of CBGB.
(Courtesy of Patti Smith’s reflections from the Outside Society CD liner notes, Copyright 2011, Sony Music Entertainment)
A slight hint of the lyrics…
Every night before I go to sleep
Find a ticket, win a lottery,
Scoop the pearls up from the sea
Cash them in and buy you all the things you need.
(Written by Patti Smith and Lenny Kaye)