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Details of the upcoming Ledisi tribute to Nina Simone

Event release written all over it: Ledisi, who has one of the greatest R&B/soul voices frankly anywhere, pays tribute to Nina Simone on Ledisi Sings Nina to be released on 23 July. Recorded in Holland, Los Angeles, London, and New Orleans the …

Published: 16 Jun 2021. Updated: 37 days.

Event release written all over it: Ledisi, who has one of the greatest R&B/soul voices frankly anywhere, pays tribute to Nina Simone on Ledisi Sings Nina to be released on 23 July. Recorded in Holland, Los Angeles, London, and New Orleans the album features the Metropole Orkest conducted by Jules Buckley with arrangements by Jochen Neufer plus the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra directed by Adonis Rose and with singers Lisa Fisher, Lizz Wright, and Alice Smith also featuring. Songs are 'Feeling Good,' 'My Baby Just Cares for Me,' 'Ne Me Quitte Pas (Don't Leave Me),' 'Wild Is The Wind,' 'Work Song,' 'Four Women' on which Ledisi, Fisher, Wright, and Smith collaborate on, and then finally 'I'm Going Back Home.'

Ledisi has also paid tribute to Nina in PBS TV special Ledisi Live: A Tribute to Nina Simone.

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Stéphane Payen: The Workshop, In and Out, Onze Heures Onze ****

UK readers will notice the presence of Jim Hart here on vibes in this dynamic largely French group. The Payen pieces, recorded in a Malakoff (south-west Paris) studio last autumn, begin with 'Valse,' a thrusting, cross-sectional, joust across reeds …

Published: 15 Jun 2021. Updated: 38 days.

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UK readers will notice the presence of Jim Hart here on vibes in this dynamic largely French group. The Payen pieces, recorded in a Malakoff (south-west Paris) studio last autumn, begin with 'Valse,' a thrusting, cross-sectional, joust across reeds and brass. The arranging is quite tight and the intervallic sniping taut and unpredictable. A very original sounding group inspired in part by Sabar drumming from Senegal, the beefy parps of Bo Van Der Werf's baritone sax jut out sometimes (the nature of the role of the baritone quite a lot more generally) while Olivier Laisney's emergent trumpet lines recall Ralph Alessi's pristine method. A contrapuntal grittiness is the engine that keeps the group alert. Tam de Villiers on guitar, no stranger to the underground London jazz scene, feeds into the mix significantly and rhythmically the energy is as much from the heat generated by horns and reeds as by Vincent Sauve on drums whose role is more referee and for clarity as the subdivisions inherent in certain tunes such as 'Next 5' unveil themselves. That's the track I'll be returning to most on an album worth lingering long over given its lustre and sheer élan. SG. Out now on the Onze Heures Onze label