Album Serves as Pseudo-Reunion Between
McMurray & Blue Note President Don Was,
Former Bandmates in Was (Not Was)
Singer and pianist Kandace Springs offers her fans a taste of her forthcoming sophomore album due out later this year with the release of her Black Orchid EP, featuring three brand new tracks produced by Karriem Riggins that are available to stream or download today. Kandace delivers a pair of inspired covers with her simmering take on The Stylistics’ “People Make the World Go Round” and a radiant performance of the Roberta Flack-popularized torch song “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” (a crowd favorite at Kandace’s live shows), along with the ruminative “Black Orchid” which highlights the acoustic strum of guitarist-songwriter Jesse Harris (who struck GRAMMY gold with Norah Jones by penning her breakout hit “Don’t Know Why”). Watch the video for “People Make The World Go Round” HERE.
Kandace will be opening for multi-platinum and award-winning artists Daryl Hall & John Oates and Train along their co-headline North American summer tour, which kicks off May 1 in Sacramento, CA and wraps August 11 in Seattle, WA. Produced by Live Nation, the extensive trek will make over 35 stops across the U.S. and Canada including Chicago, Philadelphia, Toronto, New York, Los Angeles and Kandace’s hometown Nashville. Tickets are on sale now at LiveNation.com.
* * *
Prince once said that Kandace Springs “has a voice that could melt snow.” The music icon heard her cover of Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” online and invited her to perform with him at Paisley Park for the 30th anniversary of Purple Rain, becoming a mentor to the young singer and pianist. Another legend, Daryl Hall, also discovered Kandace early on, inviting her to perform on his TV show Live from Daryl’s House.
Kandace’s 2014 self-titled EP turned even more heads and led to performances on Letterman, Kimmel and Fallon, as well as the Afropunk and Bonnaroo festivals. Okayplayer called her as “a vocal force to be reckoned with” and Afropunk dubbed her “a versatile and vital artist.”
Kandace’s 2016 debut album Soul Eyes presented an already remarkably mature artistic voice with an album that touched upon soul and pop while channeling her jazz influences as well as her Nashville upbringing. MOJO marveled at the album’s “sensuous vocals with minimalist yet elegant arrangements” while The Guardian raved that “she has a rare ability that can’t be taught – to sound like an old soul, just doing what comes naturally.”
Kandace draws much of her musical inspiration from her father, Scat Springs, a respected session singer in Nashville. It was due to him that Kandace grew up surrounded by music, and he encouraged her to take piano lessons after he watched her peck out melodies on the instrument when she was 10. Yet as a girl, she was equally interested in other creative outlets, especially visual art and, more unexpectedly, automobiles. “My dad gave me a Matchbox car, and my mom gave me a Barbie,” she says. “I drew a mustache on the Barbie and never played with it again, and I still have the Matchbox car.” (Her obsession with cars, which she collects, rebuilds, and resells, continues to this day.)
Something deeper in the young musician was sparked when she heard Norah Jones’ 2002 Blue Note debut, Come Away With Me. “The last song on the record is ‘The Nearness of You’ and that song really inspired me to learn to play piano and sing. It was just so soulful, simple and stripped down. That really moved me and touched me. It’s when I realized, ‘This is what I wanna do.’”
Kandace began gigging around Nashville, and eventually an early demo she recorded caught the ears of Evan Rogers and Carl Sturken, the production team who have written hits for Shakira, Christina Aguilera, and Kelly Clarkson, and are best known for discovering Rihanna as a teen and signing her to their production company SRP. Rogers flew to Nashville with an offer to sign Kandace. Still only 17 years old at the time she and her family decided that it wasn’t the right time to pursue a recording career, instead taking a job at a downtown Nashville hotel where she valet parked cars by day and sang and played piano in the lounge at night.
A few years later, Kandace was talking about going to automotive design school, but her mother suggested that she get back in touch with Rogers and Sturken. She instead moved to New York and started working seriously on new songs and demo recordings. She eventually landed an audition with Blue Note President Don Was at the Capitol Records Tower in Los Angeles, winning him over with a stunning performance of Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me” (the original of which he had coincidentally produced).
As Kandace continues to develop as an artist, she’ll surely win over many other hearts. “I would like to be known as one of the younger people that are keeping jazz and soul alive and vibrant, “she says. “I love the realness of jazz and soul.”
Listen too BLACK ORCHID
Album Includes O’Farrill Originals and Covers of Gabriel Garzon-Montano, Irving Berlin, and Efrain Salvador
Refining their risk-taking interplay and grappling with Mexican folk sources, the quartet ripens into one of the
most compelling on the scene
Biopholio™ (20-Panel Origami Foldout)
+ Digital Downloads & Streaming Formats
Hailed by The New York Times for “establish[ing] both a firm identity and a willful urge to stretch and adapt,” trumpeter Adam O’Farrill has gained renown as one of the strongest emerging talents in jazz by age 23. He debuted as a leader in 2016 with the captivating Stranger Days, and his quartet has now retained that name, following up with El Maquech. Joined again by Chad Lefkowitz-Brown on tenor saxophone, Walter Stinson on bass and Zack O’Farrill (Adam’s older brother) on drums, the trumpeter displays not only uncommon virtuosity and tonal clarity, but a restless and probing artistic temperament, evident from start to finish.
O’Farrill and the group open with a bold, modernist take on the Mexican folk tune “Siiva Moiiva.” Also of Mexican origin is the title track “El Maquech,” which refers to a beetle that is used to make “living jewelry,” O’Farrill explains: “The beetle is covered in gold and gemstones and sold, and worn traditionally by Yucatecan Mayan women on their nights off.”
The immediate catalyst for this exploration of Mexican musical sources was twofold: Adam’s father, the acclaimed pianist, bandleader and composer Arturo O’Farrill, is partly of Mexican origin, and “naturally I felt a duty to explore my own background,” says the trumpeter. Fortuitously, the Stranger Days quartet was brought on board to play at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx during the highly regarded exhibit “Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life,” giving O’Farrill’s current interests organizational support and a larger platform.
O’Farrill first heard “El Maquech” on an album by Orquesta Jaranera Sonora Yucateca, “and there was this shaky bounce in the rhythms and performance,” he recalls, “and a very boisterous but waltz-like feeling to it. It was tricky to arrange at first, because there were several horns and percussion, and we were just a quartet. But I was so enamored by the character of it — it struck me as similar to something I’ve always strived to realize with this band.”
O’Farrill heard “Siiva Moiiva” from a classmate at Manhattan School of Music, while taking drummer John Riley’s rhythmic analysis class and studying recordings of indigenous music from Mexico’s Sonora region. “These were more like melodies than full songs,” O’Farrill says, “repeatedly sung with minimal variation. I wanted to take a similar approach, except the variation is of a chromatic nature.”
Furthering the daunting legacy not only of his father but also his grandfather, legendary Cuban bandleader Chico O’Farrill, Adam has gained recognition for his work with some of the most groundbreaking jazz artists of our time, including Rudresh Mahanthappa (Bird Calls), Stephan Crump (Rhombal) and more. As co-leader of the O’Farrill Brothers Band he documented his bond with drummer Zack O’Farrill on the albums Giant Peach and Sensing Flight. Ever since, his music has grown and taken on new shadings of sophistication and adventurism.
One of O’Farrill’s first breaks was appearing on Imaginary Manifesto by Chad Lefkowitz-Brown, and their tenor-trumpet chemistry has only deepened since, through touring with the Arturo O’Farrill Quintet and other experiences. “Chad and I are very different players,” O’Farrill remarks. “He can be outwardly expressive, and I err on the side of introspection, but we’ve figured out how to make it work without having to really figure out anything!”
The darting counterpoint and pinpoint unisons of the Stranger Days frontline is a distinctive feature for the band, but the churning interplay of the rhythm section is just as key. “When Zack and I met Walter,” O’Farrill remembers of bassist Stinson, “he had access to this shed in Park Slope, and that was usually where we played. There’s one night I recall as one of the most absorbing musical experiences I’ve ever had, just playing crazy grooves and letting loose. The experience of meeting someone for the first time in that way was so enlightening. I also think Walter and Zack bring a lot out in each other — Zack’s playing feels very broad, whereas Walter’s is more pointed in comparison. It creates a balance that is key to the sound of Stranger Days.”
Stinson contributes the off-kilter “Verboten Chant,” a musical reflection on Buddhist monks being forbidden to chant, based loosely on the story of Nichiren Daishonin. O’Farrill’s “Erroneous Love” is based on “Eronel” by Thelonious Monk, composed for the 2017 Winter Jazzfest, which marked Monk’s centennial that year. “Shall We?” is a brief sketch for trumpet and drums, while Irving Berlin’s “Get Thee Behind Me Satan” yields a solo trumpet feature: “I heard the song played in my favorite film, The Master — it was the Ella Fitzgerald version, with amazing string writing from Paul Weston. The narrative placement of the song is perfect, and I knew there was no way I could replicate that, but it stuck with me anyway.”
“Henry Ford Hospital” was also written for the Stranger Days residency at the Bronx Botanical Garden. “It’s inspired by the Frida Kahlo painting of that name,” O’Farrill explains. “It plays with a traditional Yucatecan 6/8 groove, but there was a darkness in the story behind the name, and the colors and objects were fragmented in a way that I wanted to recreate with the form of the tune.”
The closing “Pour Maman,” a luxuriant theme by singer-songwriter Gabriel Garzon-Montano from the 2014 EP Bishounè: Alma Del Huila, came about through the influence of Zack. “My brother has always turned me on to music that I later fell in love with,” Adam notes. “I listened to this so much and I don’t really remember how it clicked in my head to do an arrangement. It’s the one tune in our repertoire that we don’t have sheet music for, which makes it special. It feels more collaborative.” It is, in other words, exactly the right kind of ending, and a portent of further growth to come.
SOURCE: Fully Altered Media
Un Día Cualquiera is a forceful statement from a Cuban musician leading his tight-knit Cuban band, recorded in the U.S. (at WGBH Studios in Boston, Mass.), and influenced by music from both countries in ways that transcend narrow notions of “Latin jazz.”
The album nods to classic Cuban composers and musicians but it focuses mostly on pianist Harold López-Nussa’s original compositions and his distinctive trio concept. These compositions are mostly new, save for one or two, such as the opener, “Cimarrón,” which are older pieces reinvented for the present moment. ~Mack Avenue Records
Diamond Cut, Available May 25 via Mack Avenue Records
Pre-Orders Available This Friday, April 20
Produced by Terri Lyne Carrington,
Album Features: Jack DeJohnette, Dave Holland,
James Genus, Adam Rogers, Bill Stewart, and Sam Yahel
The Quest is guitar virtuoso Andreas Varady’s debut on Resonance Records and his clarion call statement as an artist. Discovered by the legendary producer Quincy Jones at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2012 at a mere 15 years of age, Varady has gone on to wow established music icons such as George Benson and Marcus Miller, as well as fans around the world.
His self-titled debut was released on Verve in 2014 to great critical acclaim, and The Quest marks another evolution with Varady stating, “I feel like I’m giving you a piece of me on this album.” Varady’s father, Bandi, plays bass and his younger brother, Adrian (15), plays drums, joined by the fiery duo of Venezuelan pianist Benito Gonzalez and Slovakian saxophonist Radovan Tariška.
The CD booklet includes an essay by acclaimed jazz critic and author Bill Milkowski, along with an introduction by Quincy Jones. ~Editorial Reviews | Amazon
Listen too “THE QUEST” – @ https://open.spotify.com/album/0uZFqb1HGlIyyofc5mwkq7?si=sX9vttm-Qq2a07fUl07q9w
Available June 29, 2018
on Biopholio™ format from Biophilia Records
Featuring Jason Lindner and Fabian Almazan on Keys,
Mark Shim on Wind Controller,
and Burniss Earl Travis on Bass
Drummer Justin Brown makes his much-awaited bandleader recording debut with Nyeusi on Biophilia Records to be released June 29, 2018.
After years as an essential member of groups led by Ambrose Akinmusire, Thundercat, and Flying Lotus – he’s also been tapped to round out the sound for Esperanza Spalding, Terence Blanchard, Bilal, Vijay Iyer, and many others – Brown is finally ready to extend his reach beyond the drum set to lead his own band, Nyeusi.
“Being a bandleader, specifically, is very important because I want to give back,” Brown says. “I want drummers to see themselves in the front line, full effect, composing and artistry. We’re more than drummers. We can write, compose, and lead a band. There is no Justin Brown band; it’s featuring everyone.”
Rounding out Nyeusi are Jason Lindner and Fabian Almazan on keys, Burniss Earl Travis on bass, and Mark Shim on wind controller. Brown on drums is the engine propelling an intoxicating synthesis of varying influences that offers deep groove and charged improvisations.
“I cannot think of a more highly anticipated debut by an artist right now that is also a lynchpin in today’s creative music scene. I will be first to listen.” says The Checkout from WBGO’s Simon Rentner.
Nyeusi, pronounced Nee-yo-see, is Swahili for the word black. Brown studied the African language at high school in Berkley California instead of taking the usual courses of French or Spanish. He doesn’t remember much, but that word always stayed with him.
It’s also the word Brown uses to describe the album’s sound. “The color black alone has so much beauty and darkness. That’s ultimately what I’m trying to convey,” he says. “I’m a black man living in a black/dark time. My experiences through that color always come up, always rooted in blackness.”
As Modern Drummer points out about Brown, “there’s nothing about the way he plays that boxes him into any particular era or camp.” Nyeusi is a modern-sounding and forward-thinking record in every respect, not defined by genre, style, or groove.
Brown says, “it’s a jazz album, it’s a hip hop album, it’s an instrumental album. Jazz is living in the now.” He says he can’t help adapting to all kinds of styles. “You have to have one foot in the past and one foot in the future, and that’s what I hope for people to hear when they hear this album.”
Born in Richmond, California to a gospel musician mother, Brown was introduced to music in the womb, where she says he would kick to the beat. He started drumming at two years-old in church and began his formal jazz education at 10 with the Young Musician’s Program at UC Berkeley and later Berkeley High. Encouraged to attend Juilliard after being awarded a full scholarship, he moved to New York in 2004, but withdrew on the first day to pursue a life-changing career experience over education, playing on the road with Kenny Garrett and Josh Roseman.
Trust, patience, and persistence have been instrumental to Brown’s artistic maturity. Gaining the confidence and support from some of today’s premier music-makers have only sharpened his clarity, purpose, and philosophy as a bandleader.
SOURCE: Fully Altered Media
Music From Man of La Mancha is a 1964 musical with a book by Dale Wasserman, lyrics by Joe Darion, and music by Mitch Leigh. It is adapted from Wasserman’s non-musical 1959 teleplay I, Don Quixote, which was in turn inspired by Miguel de Cervantes and his 17th-century masterpiece Don Quixote.
The original 1965 Broadway production ran for 2,328 performances and won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The musical has been revived four times on Broadway, becoming one of the most enduring works of musical theatre. The principal song, “The Impossible Dream“, became a standard.
Eliane previously recorded these tracks at the request of the original composer, Mitch Leigh, Guest artists are talented and GRAMMY Award-winning jazz artists Marc Johnson (bass), Satoshi Takeshi (drums), Manolo Badrena (percussion), Eddie Gomez (bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums). ~Editorial Reviews | Amazon
Expected Release Date: April 13, 2018
ALBUM RECORDED LIVE AT VENUES IN THREE COMMUNITIES THAT HAVE EXPERIENCED ESCALATING CONFLICTS BETWEEN LAW ENFORCEMENT & AFRICAN AMERICAN CITIZENS
2018 USA Fellow and five-time Grammy-winning trumpeter/composer Terence Blanchard has been a consistent artistic force for making powerful musical statements concerning painful American tragedies – past and present. With his band The E-Collective he once again addresses the staggering cyclical epidemic of gun violence in America with the April 20 release of his new album Live (Blue Note), 7 powerful songs recorded live in concert that both reflect the bitter frustration of the conscious masses while also providing a balm of emotional healing. With a title that carries a pointed double meaning, the album is an impassioned continuation of the band’s GRAMMY-nominated 2015 studio recording, Breathless.
The music of Live was symbolically culled from concerts performed at venues in three communities that have experience escalating conflicts between law enforcement and African American citizens: The Dakota in Minneapolis (near where Philando Castile was pulled over and shot by a cop on July 6, 2016); The Bop Stop in Cleveland (near where 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot by police on November 22, 2014); and the Wyly Theatre in Dallas (near where police officers Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, Michael Smith, Brent Thompson and Patricio Zamarripa were assassinated while on duty covering a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest on July 7-8, 2016). The E-Collective’s Live project condemns gun violence of all manner whether against profiled citizens of color or targeted members of law enforcement.
Experimental, electric and exotic, E-Collective consists of Blanchard on trumpet, Charles Altura on guitar, Fabian Almazan on piano and synthesizers, Oscar Seaton on drums, and new addition David “DJ” Ginyard on bass. Discussing the origin of E-Collective, Blanchard states, “I didn’t put this group together to be a protest band. We started out wanting to play music to inspire young people… However, while we were on tour in Europe, Mike Brown got shot. Trayvon Martin had already been murdered. And back then it seemed like these shootings were happening every month. That’s when I felt we had to stand up and make a statement with our 2015 album, Breathless [named in honor of Eric Garner who pleaded in vain to a pile of police officers with their knees in his back that he could not breathe]. After touring that music for two years, we couldn’t just let it go.”
“This band represents the best of America’s ideals,” says Blanchard. “We’re five very different personalities with different visions who play together for a common goal: creating music that hopefully heals hearts and opens minds. Live is an album for these troubled times yet it’s also an album filled with hope. We want to encourage listeners to speak out and talk to those around them, discuss with those around them and heal with those around them.”
A true Renaissance man, Blanchard is currently in the studio scoring the new Spike Lee film, Black Klansman, and is also at work on a new opera, Fire Shut Up in My Bones, in tandem with Director Kasi Lemmons and esteemed writer Charles Blow to premiere in 2019. He continues to teach at Berklee School Of Music for the third year in a row as Artist-In-Residence, working with students in the areas of artistic development, arranging and composition. Blanchard also participates in master classes around the world as well as local community outreach activities in his beloved hometown of New Orleans.
The track listing for Live is as follows:
1. Hannibal (Marcus Miller)
2. Kaos (Terence Blanchard)
3. Unchanged (Charles Altura)
4. Soldiers (Terence Blanchard)
5. Dear Jimi (Terence Blanchard)
6. Can Anyone Hear Me (Terence Blanchard)
7. Choices (Terence Blanchard)
Follow Terence Blanchard: