Blue Note founder Alfred Lion stated in his original 1939 mission statement:
“Any particular style of playing which represents an authentic way of musical feeling is genuine expression. By virtue of its significance in place, time and circumstance, it possesses its own tradition, artistic standards and audience that keeps it alive…Blue Note records are concerned with identifying its impulse, not its sensational and commercial adornments.”
This statement rings true today with the Blue Note label, and the existence of jazz as a whole in 2017. Jazz is alive, and will never fully die. The embers of jazz will always stay alight through the darkness that the future brings forth.
The Blue Note All-Stars consists of Robert Glasper on keyboards, Lionel Loueke on guitar, Derrick Hodge on bass, Marcus Strickland on tenor saxophone, Kendrick Scott on drums, and Ambrose Akinmusire on trumpet. Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock also make guest appearances on this album, specifically on the seventh song titled “Masquelero.” The eleven song album runs just over 90 minutes long. My standout favorites off this record are “Freedom Dance,” “Masquelero,” “Bayyinah,” and “Second Light.”
This album reflects the fact that jazz is still going strong almost a century after the famous “Roaring 20’s.” Jazz has always had a pushing the envelope kind of sound to it, and this is why the future of jazz is certain to exist. Space and jazz are two sides of the same coin, whether it is sparse improvisations, new whimsical voyages, out of this world solos, or collaborative creative destructions in music ensembles; jazz is the future.
I would give this album an 8 1/2 out of 10 rating for its genre-bending jazz grooves, and futuristic sound. The players are all fantastic musicians which contributes to the virtuosic vibes that resonate from this upbeat record.
Thanks to all my readers!
Viva La Jazz! 🙂