Next for Incognito

More Tales Remixed from IncognitoJanuary sees the U.S. release of More Tales Remixed, the remix compilation of songs from Bluey’s last studio recording, Tales from the Beach. Russell Myrie interviewed Bluey for The Voice earlier in 2008 and noted that 2009 marks the 30th anniversary of the first Incognito release. Jazz Funk. He also perhaps got a peek at what’s next:

“I’ve worked with Stevie Wonder, D’Angelo, I played on Earth, Wind and Fire’s album, I’ve worked with George Benson, Chaka Khan. People who I used to dream about only getting a ticket for their gig really at one point in my life. Then there are the DJs like Roger Sanchez and Morales. I would love to make a record with all of these people.”

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Holiday Music Roundup Part 3: Remixes

I’ve been a fan of jazz remixes since I first heard the original Verve//Remixed. I guess it was a fad. I don’t see many anymore. I thought it was a good way to introduce younger generations to some classic jazz. However, some remixers completely destroyed any jazz element of some of the songs I heard.

This season, there are two remix projects for the holidays. When the first Verve//Remixed came out, I contacted Verve and said, with their vault, Christmas music would be ideal for a remix project. I didn’t think it could go wrong. Oops. Verve//Remixed Christmas is out now. From the samples I heard – it was not to my liking. It’s got the usual Verve roster that gets remixed – Nina Simone, Dinah Washington, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and so on. Coal in the stockings for some of these remixers – there is no holiday spirit to be found on this collection.

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Sample/download from iTunes

If your taste is really into electronica, you’ll enjoy Christmas Regrooved 2. It’s hit and miss for me. Misses are most of the covers of classic carols. I love jazz-influenced electronic music but I’m missing the jazz feel here. Still, there may be something of interest. A jazz sound isn’t a goal of this compilation so I can’t judge it as such.

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Sample/download from iTunes

Catch up on the other holiday recordings I’ve posted about this season. Click the ‘christmas’ tag link in the byline.

2009 Contemporary Jazz Preview

One constant in the contemporary jazz world is the planning and reliable execution of Heads Up recordings. I just got the list for 2009 and it’s another winner for contemporary jazz fans. I’ll elaborate more in later posts but here’s what’s on the schedule:

January
Incognito – More Tales Remixed – remixes of songs from the latest Incognito release;
Ladysmith Black Mambazo – Live;
Walter Beasley – Free Your Mind

February
Joe Zawinul – 75 – two-disc live set;
Pieces of a Dream – Soul Intent;
Mike Stern – New Morning The Paris Concert;
The Bad Plus Joined by Wendy Lewis – For All I Care

March
Marion Meadows – TBD;
Chuck Loeb – Between 2 Worlds;
Yellowjackets – New Morning The Paris Concert

April
Candy Dulfer; Hiroshima

May
Spyro Gyra; Zap Mama; Stanley Clarke/Hiromi/Lenny White

June
Alexander Zonjic, Andy Narell

August
Najee; Mike Stern; Joe Zawinul DVD

September
Take 6 – a new holiday recording

New Incognito, Benson/Jarreau, Madlib/Norah Jones, and More!

Bees + Things + Flowers from IncognitoBluey = Busy. Incognito’s Eleven just hit stores in the States earlier this year but the band has already recorded a new album that is scheduled for release in October (in the UK)! Beyond that, Bluey plans to hit the studio again later this year for yet another new CD for early next year! According to the Incognito site http://www.incognito.org.uk/, this fall’s Bees + Things + Flowers is a mostly acoustic affair with a 16-piece string section. Vocalists on it include Jocelyn Brown, Maysa, Imaani, and Carleen Anderson. I heard a stripped-down Incognito recently on an XM special and it was impressive. I won’t wait for the possibility that it will be distributed here – this is a guaranteed import.

George Benson and Al Jarreau have teamed for a new release. Givin’ It Up will be out on October 24th from the Concord Music Group and Monster Music, the newly created record division of high-end audio supplier Monster Cable. Monster Music will make Givin’ It Up available in a fancy High Definition Surround SuperDisc package that you should be able to hear in the home audio section of your favorite big box store. There are thirteen tracks on the recording and the guest list is awesome: Paul McCartney, Herbie Hancock, Marcus Miller, Jill Scott, Stanley Clarke, and more. Concord’s site has more info.

Classic Picante Regrooved Vol. 1Also on the topics of collaborations and legendary soul jazz artists: Randy Crawford and Joe Sample reunite on Feeling Good, out later this month (distributed by Universal). No Stateside release date is listed on Amazon . . . Madlib produces Norah Jones? Believe it! This from a Stones Throw Records email: “Madlib produces Talib Kweli and Norah Jones on Kweli’s upcoming album to be released this fall” . . . Stanton Moore has signed with Telarc. His new release, III, is out on September 26. . . . Over a year since it was originally announced, Explorations: Classic Picante Regrooved Vol. 1 finally sees the light of day on August 29. The Latin jazz label’s catalog is remixed by producers Masters at Work, Thievery Corporation, Cut Chemist, Dan the Automator, Carl Cox, Los Amigos Invisibles, Hex Hector, Ozomatli, and Yerba Buena. Looking forward to this! I’m encouraged that Concord has labeled this “Vol. 1”.

Billie Holiday Remixed Hits

Billie HolidayBillie Holiday is receiving a good amount of press as she would have celebrated her 90th birthday this month. Among other things, she?s on the cover of the May issue of JazzTimes and an acclaimed 2-CD+DVD retrospective has been released. Nnenna Freelon is releasing a tribute to Lady Day this fall, which I’m looking forward to.

Another release I was eager for was Remixed Hits, which features 12 tracks of Holiday’s popular recordings remixed by three established DJs. You’ll hear two different remixes of “Strange Fruit” and “God Bless the Child.” One of the versions of the latter closes the disc and I can pretty safely say you’ve never heard the song like this before. Many of the mixes are soulless, canned productions that lack any type of innovation or attention to the source material. However, you’ll actually hear some jazziness on the Lucky mix of “Loverman.” If you’re a fan of electronic music, you’ll want to sample this. If you’re a jazz fan, your curiosity might be aroused so check out some samples. I couldn’t find any online but I’m playing selections from it on TomorrowJazz Radio. Remixed Hits is available now on Cleopatra or Hypnotic Records at a reasonable retail price.