Kae is a hard-working ordinary university student girl. Although her friendships are favourable, her work leaves her somewhat insatisfied, however, she spends every day working hard at it. One day, she finds in the corner of her own closet, a notebook, which the previous tenant had apparently forgot and abandoned. Out of curiosity, Kae takes the notebook. As the "Closed Note" which was unopened…
… at the time spills its contents, her ordinary life starts changing at a massive scale.
–-Credits to Shiroguma for translation
Blue Note's French division released Stefano Di Battista's debut, A Prima Vista, in 1998, but this self-titled disc is the alto and soprano saxophonist's first offering to be made available in the U.S. It comes on the heels of a high-profile guest appearance on Jacky Terrasson's A Paris… and, fittingly, Di Battista hired his friend Terrasson to be the pianist on his own record. Also present for the session are bassist Rosario Bonaccorso and drum legend Elvin Jones, with trumpeter Flavio Boltro sitting in on three tracks. Di Battista evinces a true melodic gift on pieces such as "Elvin's Song" and "Your Romance," but he's also capable of burning it up in a manner reminiscent of Kenny Garrett on "Nico's Dream" and "Adderley." (For those who suspect Elvin Jones' chops have lessened with age, the two latter cuts ought to dispel such notions.)
Eric Truffaz has covered a lot of ground - both literally and metaphorically - since releasing his first album on the Blue Note label in 1996. Recorded in several locations but cut to sound like a single concert, Face-a-Face reveals the success of this artist who, with consistency and determination, has travelled a long road to success that has been filled with detours, long stretches in the fast lane and occasional pit stops, but which has never veered away from the source of his originality and the happiness of his waking dream. For Truffaz, each concert is a chance to meet his public "face à face". And it's this exchange between musicians and their audiences - the source of his inspiration - that Truffaz has set out…
Issued just after his landmark two-week June 1998 gig at the Village Vanguard and subsequent U.S./Canada tour, Chucho Valdйs' first album for Blue Note bears out a lot of the hype surrounding this hugely gifted Cuban pianist. Unlike many of today's younger Cuban keyboard hotshots, Valdйs not only has great technical chops and musical erudition, he manages to stay closely tied to his Cuban rhythmic roots. Thus, he employs a Cuban percussionist Roberto Vizcaino Guillot along with the standard bass (Alain Pйrez Rodriguez) and drums (Raъl Pнсeda Roque), which dramatically increases the possibilities for rhythmic experiments. Valdes more often than not is all over the keyboard, comfortable with everything from Ravel-ian classical complexity to Bill Evans' introspection to Cecil Taylor-like crunches.
On his fourth studio effort and first for Blue Note Records, 2017's Parking Lot Symphony, New Orleans singer, songwriter, and brass wizard Troy Andrews (aka Trombone Shorty) fully embraces the organic '70s-style R&B he’s heretofore only touched on. Ever since officially debuting in 2010 with Backatown, Andrews has moved ever closer to that '70s soul aesthetic with each subsequent album. Backatown even featured contributions from both Lenny Kravitz and legendary New Orleans pianist Allen Toussaint. In fact, his previous effort, 2013's Say That to Say This, had a similarly old-school bent courtesy of neo-soul master and co-producer Raphael Saadiq. But for Parking Lot Symphony, Andrews dives into the sound full-force, paired with producer Chris Seefried (Fitz & the Tantrums, Haley Reinhart, Andra Day) on a set of songs that bring to mind the earthy, vinyl-laden vibe of '70s artists like New Orleans own the Meters..