Release date: January 13th 2009
Availability: CD, MP3 Download, iTunes
To celebrate the 70 year anniversary of the founding of the Blue Note record label by Alfred Lion, a stellar group – the Blue Note 7 – has been formed to release the album "Mosaic: A Celebration of Blue Note Records" and to undertake a wide ranging US tour.
The band is: Nicholas Payton (trumpet), Steve Wilson (alto saxophone, flute), Ravi Coltrane (tenor saxophone), Peter Bernstein (guitar), Bill Charlap (piano), Peter Washington (bass) and Lewis Nash (drums)
The album is no tame run through of past Blue Note triumphs. At the centre of the new group's success is not just the stellar talent of the septet but (with Renee Rosnes added) the creativity achieved by drawing on the considerable arranging talents of the group. Each piece is re-imagined in new form in the novel arrangements developed.
(Photo: Jimmy Katz)
Nicholas Payton's treatment of Joe Henderson's "Inner Urge" features mellow trumpet with harmonised backing horns over resonant piano/ bass unison lines before breaking out into a more open format with fine solos from trumpet, tenor sax and drums.
It is fitting that "Mosaic" is reinvented by drummer Louis Nash who discovers new possibilities in Cedar Walton's composition for Art Blakey.
Renee Rosnes arranges both McCoy Tyner's "Search For Peace" and Herbie Hancock's "Dolphin Dance", producing attractive, mellow pieces true to their defining moment.
The two Steve Wilson arrangements, Bobby Hutcherson's "Little B's Poem" and Thelonious Monk's "Criss Cross" offer significant contrast. While "Little B's Poem" offers perhaps more expected opportunities for flute and piano features, the take on "Criss Cross" preserves all the angularity required of an approach that is true to the Thelonious Monk spirit. But the great bonus on both tracks is the inspired guitar playing provided by Peter Bernstein whose solos are beautiful and breathtaking.
Which, in an album in which every track has its own high points, leads to the two out and out knock you down tracks - Peter Bernstein's take on Duke Jordan's "Idle Moments" for Bobby Hutcherson/ Joe Henderson and Bill Charlap's arrangement of Horace Silver's "The Outlaw".
Peter Bernstein has never been captured better on record than here on "Idle Moments". Against a wonderful backdrop featuring harmonised horns and sinuous bass lines, his guitar playing is career defining; surely this is the moment when he emerges with the recognition that he has deserved for so long.
"The Outlaw" features fine alto sax soloing from Steve Wilson against a rumbustious backing that captures all the energy of Horace Silver's Cape Verdean roots.
Overall, this is a fine album that is more than a fitting tribute to a great jazz label; it is a jumping off point for the future.
More details are given in the following promo:
Forthcoming dates for the Blue Note 7 tour are given here . European dates are expected to be added later in 2009.
To preview and purchase "Mosaic: A Celebration of Blue Note Records" on CD at amazon:
To preview and purchase exclusive amazon 2CD version of "Mosaic: A Celebration of Blue Note Records" on CD (second CD also contains the original Blue Note tracks) :
To preview and purchase "Mosaic: A Celebration of Blue Note Records" on MP3 at amazon:
To preview and purchase "Mosaic: A Celebration of Blue Note Records" at iTunes:
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