Category Archives: Jazz

Adrian Younge: The Saddest Christmas Tree (Audio)

Adrian Younge has created the holiday song “The Saddest Christmas Tree” to be exclusively heard on Amazon’s Christmas Soul album. The somber tribute is a downtempo and jazz-influenced with the vocals being credited to the Voices of Gemma. Amazon’s Christmas Soul comes out November 24th.

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Miles Bonny Releases Let It Out EP

Trumpeter Miles Bonny and beatmaker Ta-Ku have collaborated on the Let It Out EP. Bonny recorded the laidback project in Kansas City while contemplating the challenges of being a young father. The six-song collection is a relaxed composite of jazz and hip-hop elements with lyrics about the fragility of the human condition.

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Gregory Porter Releases Video For Smile

Gregory Porter’s video for “Smile” feels like Christmas as he performs with a full orchestra in a gold-colored room. Porter’s Nat King Cole & Me is available for pre-order now.

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Throwback: Tarika Blue-Dreamflower

Phil Clendeninn formed the jazz group Tarika Blue in 1973 when he was a student at Syracuse University. They signed a contract with independent label Chiaroscuro in 1976 and would release two albums with them. Lisa Fisher, Dolores Smith and Irene Datcher were vocalists who worked with the group but their self-titled debut album was instrumental. “Dreamflower” fit into the realm of fusion jazz being made by people like Pharoah Sanders and was labeled spiritual because of its mystical laid-back sound. Tarika Blue’s wonderful musicianship did not stop them from breaking up and becoming an obscure band. Clendeninn also worked in the Big Apple Band which included Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards before they founded Chic. Decades later “Dreamflower” would be unearthed by J.Dilla for Erykah Badu’s “Didn’t Cha Know” and create new interest in the band. Tarika Blue’s albums were reissued by Chiaroscuro in 2002 and Clendeninn now works as a product specialist for Yamaha.

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James Mtume Talks About Working With Miles Davis

James Mtume talks to Nelson George about working with Miles Davis during the On The Corner sessions. He shares the things that Davis taught him about changing bands, his changing technique and how the jazz world responded to the electronic sound of On The Corner.  Hip-Hop fans know Mtume because Biggie Smalls famously sampled “Juicy Fruit” for “Juicy.”

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