09 SEP 14 CONCORD MUSIC GROUP
Stax Records/Concord Music Group is proud to announce the release of Take Me To the River: Music from the Motion Picture. The companion album to Martin Shore’s award-winning soulful documentary Take Me to the River features 13 tracks from the film's all-star ensemble cast including William Bell, Snoop Dogg, Mavis Staples, Otis Clay, Lil P-Nut, Charlie Musselwhite, Bobby 'Blue' Bland, Yo Gotti, Bobby Rush, Academy Award®-winner Frayser Boy and The North Mississippi All-Stars.
The Take Me to the River documentary, executive produced by John Beug, Snoop Dogg, Ted Chung, and Terrence Howard, brings multiple generations of award-winning Memphis and Mississippi Delta musicians together, following them through the creative process of recording a historic new album to re-imagine the interracial, intergender and intergenerational collaboration of Memphis in its heyday. For more information, please visit: www.TMTTR.com.
09 SEP 14 CONCORD MUSIC GROUP
Upon its release in 2004, few could have predicted the extraordinary, game-changing effect that Ray Charles’ final recording would have on both his career and the industry as a whole. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the legend’s milestone recording, Concord/Hear Music will release deluxe reissues in a variety of formats beginning September 30th, 2014.
One of Charles’ most inspirational and historically significant albums, Genius Loves Company captures the genius of the music icon in his last studio recording pairing him with legendary guest artists including Norah Jones, Diana Krall, James Taylor, Elton John, Willie Nelson and Bonnie Raitt to name a few. The album went on to receive an astounding 8 GRAMMY® Awards, including Album of the Year and Record of the Year. To help launch a then-groundbreaking consumer marketing campaign, Genius Loves Company was tapped as the first original release through the Starbucks Hear Music imprint in conjunction with Concord Music Group. Since its release on August 31st, 2004, Genius Loves Company has been certified multi-platinum with worldwide sales in excess of 5 million copies.
The 10th anniversary deluxe reissues celebration encompasses a three-phase rollout that begins September 30th, 2014. First is the 2-disc Genius Loves Company Deluxe Edition, which features the full-length album, bonus tracks and special packaging along with a brand new, 1-hour behind-the-scenes documentary on DVD. The 3-Disc (1CD-2DVD) Limited Collectors Edition, available November 11th, 2014, features the Deluxe Edition components plus the Academy Award®-winning original motion picture Ray on DVD. On December 9th, 2014, audiophiles will be treated to a special 2LP, 45RPM, 180-gram Vinyl Edition. The package likewise contains a high definition digital download card with two bonus tracks.
The behind-the-scenes Making of Genius Loves Company documentary reveals the inside story of this landmark musical event, including the historical relationship between Starbucks/Hear Music and Concord Records. The DVD features interviews with Starbucks chairman, president and chief executive officer, Howard Schultz, producer John Burk, Ray Charles Foundation president Valerie Ervin, new interviews and insights from some of the album’s stellar guest artists and unreleased video from the legendary recording sessions. The Limited Collectors Edition builds on the story with the addition of the original motion picture Ray starring Jamie Foxx in his Academy Award®-winning Best Actor performance.
Norah Jones, who teamed with Charles on “Here We Go Again” shares that she was both excited and nervous about singing with one of her biggest idols. “I didn’t want to ruin it with me, [but] I had to do it,” she says in the Making Of documentary. “I would never forgive myself if I didn’t.” Elton John notes that he “got a lump in [his] throat and people in the control room were crying” when he and Charles laid down vocals for “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word.”
Produced by John Burk, Concord Music Group’s chief creative officer, and co-produced by the legendary Phil Ramone, Genius Loves Company garnered critical acclaim upon its release. NPR All Things Considered hailed, “It’s got flashes of fire you wouldn’t expect from such a setting, gems of phrasing that remind you how Ray Charles transformed the wreckage of heartbreak into poignant sound,” and Rolling Stone added, “the tone is reverential and warm, as the Genius sings…”
“Ray was shocked that these people wanted to sing with him,” recalls Ray Charles Foundation president Valerie Ervin. “He just didn’t understand the magnitude of where he was in the industry. As weak as he became…he made sure he gave his best for every artist that was there for him.”
“Ray Charles was one of those rare artists who, throughout his incredible career, had far-reaching impact that forever changed the conventions of popular music as well as the music business,” said Concord Music Group chief creative officer John Burk. “Looking back at the last 10 years, it’s clear that this album was certainly no exception. We are humbled, honored and blessed to have had the opportunity to work with such a musical giant, and we are eternally grateful to Ray for elevating both Concord Records and Hear Music to new heights, far beyond our wildest dreams ten years ago.”
09 SEP 14 CONCORD MUSIC GROUP
Chick Corea, an NEA Jazz Master and winner of 20 GRAMMY® Awards, has been a prime mover in jazz ever since the late 1960s, when the keyboardist was a youngblood in the electrifying jazz-rock ensembles of Miles Davis. Corea has made classic records as a leader both in acoustic mode (such as the star-making Blue Note trio album Now He Sings, Now He Sobs) and electric (the pioneering '70s fusion of Return to Forever), as well as collaborating on acclaimed albums with peers from Gary Burton to Béla Fleck. Stretch Records/Concord Jazz will release Trilogy, a recording to rank with the landmarks of Corea's career. Trilogy is a triple-CD set recorded live around the world with his spectacularly virtuosic trio featuring bassist Christian McBride and drummer Brian Blade, both star leaders in their own right (and previously the rhythmic backbone in Corea's Five Peace Band). In an interview with Spain's El Pais, Corea said about them, "Both are master musicians and together we have an easy rapport. There is a lot of give and take in our music. It's always a lot of fun." And reviewing one of the stops on the trio's two globe-trekking tours, All About Jazz noted, "Corea, ever the mischievous, puckish protagonist, created a context where the music centered on high-spirited playfulness: pushed and pulled, twisted and turned, and obliquely refracted—as much about the journey as it was the destination."
A marvel of live recorded sound, particularly for having been captured in multiple stops on the road, Trilogy sees the trio reinvent classic Corea compositions (such as "Spain"), as well as previously unreleased originals ("Piano Sonata: The Moon"). The group also performs an array of jazz standards (including two Thelonious Monk tunes) and even re-imagines a Prelude by fin-de-siècle Russian composer Alexander Scriabin ("Op. 11, No. 9"). The recordings were made live in Washington, D.C. and Oakland, CA; in Spain, Switzerland and Austria; and in Slovenia, Turkey and Japan. Corea, McBride and Blade are joined by special guests on three tracks: flutist Jorge Pardo and guitarist Niño Josele in Madrid ("My Foolish Heart" and, aptly, "Spain") and vocalist Gayle Moran Corea, the pianist's wife and longtime collaborator, in Sapporo ("Someday My Prince Will Come"). About one of the concerts, WUVT Virginia said, "The performance was mostly fun and relaxed, but as expected from Chick Corea, it had its moments of deep thought in which the music could bring tears to one's eyes."
Corea calls the trio experience with McBride and Blade "a joyful exploration," adding, "There's a certain chemistry that happens, which is really difficult to describe—it's simply that thing that happens when the three of us get together to play. I know I find myself trying things that I wouldn't normally try. The game of live performance—for a performer and a listener—is one of the most basic human pleasures. For me, certainly, the best and most rewarding thing I know to do in music is to play live for a live audience. And no matter how recordings and the mass consumption of music evolve, the fundamental musical experience will always be a live performance. A live album like this is the next best thing to being there, a snapshot of special moments in musical time that we can share."
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19 AUG 14 CONCORD MUSIC GROUP
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and six-time GRAMMY®-winner Dr. John is New Orleans' most prominent living musical icon. The embodiment of his hometown's freewheeling creative spirit and multiple musical traditions, he's built a visionary, idiosyncratic body of work that's deeply rooted in the Crescent City's myriad blues, R&B, jazz and rock 'n' roll traditions.
So it's fitting that Dr. John's debut on Concord Records, Ske-Dat-De-Dat...The Spirit Of Satch, pays heartfelt tribute to another larger-than-life New Orleans legend: the seminal trumpeter and vocalist Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong, whose musical innovations created the template for 20th-century jazz, and whose playful attitude and life-embracing spirit made him a beloved figure whose worldwide appeal transcended music.
"He's the most famous guy that ever came out of my neighborhood," notes Dr. John. "He became a legend all over, for his trumpet playin' and everything else, and he was the United States' ambassador to the world."
Produced by Dr. John and Sarah Morrow, Ske-Dat-De-Dat...The Spirit Of Satch honors Armstrong's musical genius as well as his effervescent personality with 13 quintessential numbers drawn from various phases of Armstrong's five-decade career, with Dr. John joined by a stellar supporting cast that manages to update the material while maintaining the music's timeless emotional appeal.
"The whole thing felt pretty special, and I desitively was in a different zone for this record," says Dr. John, who co-produced the album with his longtime trombonist and Nite Tripper band directress Morrow, who also arranged the album. "I wanted to pull together some of his hits and some of the songs he wasn't as well known for, and make them feel fresh and different. Sarah wrote some slammin' charts that kept everything spacious and hip. And everybody played and sang great, and gave it their own spirit."
"It's an honor to produce and write for Dr. John-he's open-minded, adventurous and positively-spirited," Morrow says. "The combination of my writing and his one of a kind voice keeps things fresh and over the top!" Adds Dr. John, "Sarah and I are one of those rare and hiply waited duos that make a truly great musical combination. She's a genius-ocity of the highest order."
The subtitle The Spirit Of Satch is particularly appropriate given the album's birth cycle, which Dr. John says was set into motion when the late Armstrong-whom he'd only met once during his lifetime, in the office of their mutual manager Joe Glaser-came to him in a dream.
"Louis' spirit came to me and told me to do something, that's how this whole thing started," says Dr. John, who's previously released tribute albums to musical giants Duke Ellington and Johnny Mercer. "Louis told me, 'Take my music and do it your way.' It was the most unexpectable thing in the world to me, to have Louis' spirit show up like that, but he gave me a concept of where to roll with it that was spiritually correct. That made me feel very open to try some different things, because I felt was that his spirit had ok'd this record."
Prior to making the album, Dr. John honored Satchmo on stage, presenting rapturously received tribute concerts, dubbed "Props to Pops," at New York's Brooklyn Academy of Music in March 2012 and at the Hollywood Bowl in July 2013.
In addition to Dr. John's trademark vocals and piano, and backup from some of New Orleans' finest musicians, Ske-Dat-De-Dat...The Spirit Of Satch features a stellar assortment of guest singers and players. Bonnie Raitt shares the spotlight on a swinging reading of "I've Got the World on a String," Ledisi and the McCrary Sisters lend gospel authority to "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen," Anthony Hamilton is featured on a mournful "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child," Shemekia Copeland trades verses with Dr. John on a playful reworking on "Sweet Hunk O' Trash," and the Blind Boys of Alabama lend their powerful voices to "What a Wonderful World" and "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams."
Since Ske-Dat-De-Dat...The Spirit Of Satch is a tribute to the man who popularized the trumpet for a worldwide audience, it's fitting that the project should feature some of today's greatest trumpeters, namely Nicholas Payton (on "What a Wonderful World" and "Gut Bucket Blues"), Terence Blanchard ("Mack the Knife," "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams"), Arturo Sandoval ("Tight Like This," "Memories of You"), Wendell Brunious ("Thats My Home") and James Andrews ("Dippermouth Blues"), along with New Orleans' legendary horn ensemble the Dirty Dozen Brass Band ("When You're Smiling").
Ske-Dat-De-Dat...The Spirit Of Satch is the latest achievement in a singular musical history that stretches back to the 1950s, when Dr. John-then still known by his given name, Mac Rebennack-emerged as an in-demand producer, guitarist, pianist and songwriter on New Orleans' studio scene, working for such local labels as Ace, Ron and Ric, collaborating with the likes of James Booker, Earl King, Professor Longhair, Art Neville and Frankie Ford, and scoring the regional solo hit "Storm Warning."
In the early '60s, he relocated to Los Angeles, where he played on countless sessions before debuting his flamboyant new musical persona, "Dr. John, The Night Tripper," with his first solo album, 1968's Gris-Gris, which introduced the world to his uniquely eclectic voodoo-funk. In the years since, he has remained a distinctly prolific and powerful force, releasing more than 30 albums of his own while collaborating with a broad array of acts including the Rolling Stones, Sonny and Cher, Van Morrison, Aretha Franklin, Gregg Allman, Mike Bloomfield, Levon Helm, Ringo Starr, Rickie Lee Jones, B.B. King and Christina Aguilera. He also performed in such films as The Last Waltz and Blues Brothers 2000, and pursued a successful two-decade songwriting partnership with legendary tunesmith Doc Pomus.
Dr. John was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011, and won the most recent of his six GRAMMY® Awards in 2013 when Locked Down was voted that year's Best Blues Album.
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