New Grooves

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CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Stefano Di BattistaStefano Di Battista ... CD
Blue Note, 2001. Used ... $3.99
The US debut of modern reed genius Stefano Di Battista – a young player who'd recorded a bit for Blue Note in Europe, and who's breaking out here in a very soulful style on his first American album. Stefano plays alto and soprano with a post-Coltrane spirituality, mixed with a hint of sweetness, ala Grover Washington Jr, but in a way that retains more of an edge. Here, he's blowing in a group that includes Americans Jacky Terrason on piano and Elvin Jones on drums, plus some occasional guest work by Italian trumpeter Flavio Boltro, another Blue Note European artist. The set's got a strongly modal feel – a bit like some of Gary Bartz's straighter work – and titles include "Hall", "Little Red Ribbon", "Adderley", "Elvin's Song", "Nico's Dream", "Johnny's Time", "Chicago 187", and "Song For Flavia". (Jazz, New Grooves) CD
(Out of print.)

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CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Kyoto Jazz SextetUnity ... CD
Blue Note (Japan), 2017. Used ... $22.99
The Kyoto Jazz sound just keeps on getting better and better – from the time 20 years back, when it was a visionary club movement spearheaded by Shuya Okino – to the point now where it's focused into a core jazz combo that brings beautiful new life to Okino's music! The group are a wonderfully strong combo – with trumpet, tenor, piano, bass, and drums – a quintet at heart, but with Okino's leadership as the sixth sextet member – as well as guest work from some other players in the Japanese scene. But maybe the most amazing aspect this time around is the return of vocalist Navasha Daya – who you might remember from the sublime Fertile Ground group years back – and who contributes fantastic lyrics to two tracks on the set – pushing the already righteous energy of the instrumental jazz on the record into even more positive territory! Daya sings on two of the album's nine tracks – which might be worth the price of admission alone – but the rest of the group is wonderful, too – and titles include "We Are One", "Ancient Future", "Mission", "Song For Unity", "Peaceful Wind", "Children Of Peace", "Rising", and "Love Light". (Jazz, New Grooves) CD
(Includes obi.)

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