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September 11, 2019

Jeffrey Lee Puckett Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes Documentary

Blue Note has always been more than a record label. For 80 years it has been an ideal made reality and, at its peak, the incendiary center of the jazz universe.

Sophie Huber’s new documentary, “Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes,” is a sharply-drawn distillation of the label’s impact and importance as it celebrates its 80th anniversary. It deftly ties together the label’s storied history and its continuing influence, giving ample attention to the former without shortchanging the latter.

Not content to offer a mere recitation of facts, which would have been plenty compelling, Huber has made a film that artfully recreates the past with a you-are-there quality through the use of interviews, scarcely-seen photos and rare audio. She then deftly weaves in the label’s present success and continued importance under the stewardship of Don Was; Blue Note Records almost tangibly comes alive in Huber’s hands.

Blue Note was founded in 1939 and its roster eventually contained a super-nova of talent: Thelonious Monk, Art Blakey, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Lee Morgan, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Bud Powell, Kenny Burrell, Lou Donaldson, Horace Silver — the list is long and mind-boggling.

But the doc pointedly begins by focusing on the Blue Note All-Stars, a current group of young lions that includes Robert Glasper, Ambrose Akinmusire, Marcus Strickland, Lionel Loueke, Derrick Hodge and Kendrick Scott. As the band prepares for an in-studio performance that recalls a 1960s Blue Note session, the musicians reflect on the importance of the label’s music in their lives, discussing how it has shaped them as people and players.

The music fades and the film rewinds to moody black-and-white photos and a vintage radio interview with Blue Note founders Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff. That’s when things get real.

Photo: Wayne Shorter, Sophie Huber, Don Was from Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes

The Founding of Blue Note Records

Lion and Wolff, both Jewish, fled Germany in 1939 to escape persecution at the hands of the Nazis. Their people were being hunted, robbed, beaten, jailed, murdered — they were no longer free.

Upon arriving in New York, they fiercely pursued their passion for jazz and founded Blue Note expressly so they could have recordings of music they loved. As jazz began to evolve, Lion and Wolff were determined to capture on tape its emergence as a cultural force.

In one of the film’s more riveting segments, Huber details how and why Lion and Wolff were accepted by black musicians. It wasn’t because of the duo’s obvious love of the music or the fact that they paid on time, although those things certainly helped. It was because of their story.

Lion and Wolff fled Germany in order to be free. They escaped unconscionable hatred to realize a dream of making art, a battle that their roster of musicians were fighting every day in a racist, segregationist America. This shared experience is what bound these young white men to a collective of generational talent that would profoundly reshape jazz several times over.

This incredible moment in music history is captured through the use of Wolff’s seemingly endless cache of photographs — his photos were used for the iconic series of Blue Note jackets designed by Reid Miles in the 1950s and ‘60s. Wolff documented every session, and Huber and editor Russell Greene blend photos with recordings of studio chatter and occasional performance videos to make those years once again breathe.

Photo: Robert Glasper, Herbie Hancock from Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes

Old and New Come Together

The film’s new interviews bounce back and forth between ancient wisdom handed down by Hancock, Shorter and Donaldson juxtaposed with insight from the Blue Note All-Stars, who make it clear that they’ve heard and embraced that wisdom. It builds to a second studio performance with Hancock and Shorter joining the All-Stars for a largely improvised take of Shorter’s “Masqualero.”

Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A Butterfly Album Cover

Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly

As old and new come together, the film expertly shifts into Blue Note’s later years, including a long section about jazz’s influence on hip-hop. That segment begins with the innumerable Blue Note samples that fueled early hip-hop to the roles that Glasper and Akinmusire played on Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp A Butterfly.”

“When we were in the studio at that time in the ‘60s, we questioned whether or not what we were doing would be heard,” Hancock says at one point. “Would it do anything in the world? Would it create some kind of value, the kind of value you couldn’t put a price on?”

Time is a real son of a bitch in most respects, but Hancock can rest easy. The years have been exceedingly kind to the music given us by Blue Note, music that remains vital, important and inspirational. Its value can’t be overstated.

This article produced in partnership with Eagle Rock Entertainment.

The post Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes Documentary appeared first on Discogs Blog.

from Discogs Blog

Unknown Dip Your Ears, No. 251 (Meet Lise Davidsen, the next Hochdramatische)

Lise Davidsen sings Wagner & Strauss
Philharmonia, Esa-Pekka Salonen

Make no mistake about it: The young Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen, from little Stokke at the southern end of the Oslofjord, is *the* “Hochdramatische” of the near future. That much has been clear pretty much from the moment she stepped onto the stage of the Zurich Opera earlier this year, to give her first

from Ionarts

Europalia Romania launches in Belgium

via The Wire: Home

Music Freelance BBC National Orchestra of Wales chooses Ryan Bancroft as next principal conductor


The BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales (BBC NOW) has chosen Ryan Bancroft to succeed renowned Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård as its next principal conductor. Bancroft will occupy the position for an initial period of three years beginning in September 2020.

Søndergård, who was BBC NOW’s principal conductor for six years, will be joining the Royal Scottish National Orchestra as music director with tours to China and the US planned for next season.

29-year-old Californian conductor Ryan Bancroft has been in high demand since winning both First Prize and the Audience Prize at Copenhagen’s Malko Competition for Young Conductors in April 2018. Besides previous concerts with BBC NOW last season in Aberystwyth and at the Vale of Glamorgan Festival, he has appeared with the Stockholm Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Norwegian National Opera Orchestra and the BBC Scottish Symphony.



Bancroft was born in Los Angeles in 1989. He studied the trumpet, harp, flute and cello as well as Ghanaian music and dance at the California Institute of the Arts in Santa Clarita. Moving to Europe, Bancroft then studied orchestral conducting at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where he also played the trumpet for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. His principal mentors were Edward Carroll, Kenneth Montgomery and Jac van Steen. He is now based in the Netherlands.

‘My passion is for the people who play music and the audiences who love it,’ says Bancroft. ‘That puts me in excellent company here in Wales. Our recipe for spellbinding performances combines our unique sounds and stories with equal parts collaboration, growth and vision.’

Additionally, BBC NOW has announced that the current conductor laureate Tadaaki Otaka, who joined the ensemble in 1987, will continue his work with the orchestra for another three years during Bancroft’s tenure.


Ryan Bancroft in the final round of the Malko Competition for Young Conductors in April 2018


I was still in bed, on a phone call to one of my UK book publishers, when my wife Pati came in and…

via The Real Mick Rock

loquearde 10 Video Game Soundtracks More Expensive Than Caviar

Nostalgia is a wild beast. In the few last months, we have written about how different formats and genres are currently experiencing a revival. In addition to the now well-established vinyl revival, we recently established clear trends of increasing prices in the markets for high-end cassettes and expensive CDs. And we’re not only speaking about price tags. The number of these physical formats sold on Discogs and elsewhere is hitting its highest mark since the late nineties. A few months ago, we thoroughly analyzed how the market for expensive vinyl releases has been peaking for some years now.

As of lately, we’ve been noticing how a genre traditionally considered to be relevant exclusively to video game collectors has been expanding massively in the Discogs Marketplace. That niche is video game soundtracks. While video game music was originally intended as an exclusive companion to the images on the screen, in the last few years labels like Mondo, iam8bit, Data Discs, and Square Enix (to name just a few) have been playing an active role in the recovery of iconic video game soundtracks as well as in the pressing of new soundtracks. Just this summer, Pitchfork published its first-ever video game soundtrack review, and there is clearly increasing demand for both new and old editions of these soundtracks.

There are different theories about the growing interest in these editions. Noah Lane, the Director of Licensing of Fangamer, recently told Forbes, “We recognize that many soundtracks will remain unopened, so we strive to create a product that’s worthy of being displayed in someone’s home.” But that’s not always the case. Behind some of the most recognizable video game soundtracks there are masters at work. Artists like Koji Kondo (Super Mario, Zelda), Yozu Koshiro (Streets Of Rage), Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy), Akira Yamaoka (Silent Hill) and Michuri Yamane (Castlevania) created sound universes which not only matched the mood of video games, but also produced beautiful music which can be enjoyed separate from its main medium.

We’re not gonna lie to you, our investigation of this trend on the Discogs Marketplace has raised some eyebrows. In many cases, there is clearly a lack of balance between the prices Sellers are asking for these releases and the prices that have been paid in the past for them – if they have ever been sold in the Marketplace at all. In other cases, the scarcity of original material and the absence of reissued editions have led to those soundtracks becoming almost impossible to find collector’s items.

As you can see, the video game soundtrack world is one of contradictions and chiaroscuro. With this list, we hope to find some answers, and, on the way, discover some video game soundtracks well worth your time and – just maybe – your money.

Rare and Expensive Video Game Soundtracks

Taro Bando ‎– F-Zero X Original Sound Track

You know you’re up for a treat when a video game soundtrack is labeled as “speed metal” on Discogs. F-Zero was the Nintendo saga involving extremely fast spaceships racing for the first position. Its speedy nature allowed for a soundtrack reaching levels of pure insanity.

Alright, so how much is this gonna cost me?

There are two copies available at Discogs, and the cheapest is selling for CHF1,508.58 ($1540).

Is the hype justified?

Only two copies have been sold on Discogs, and both for less than $250. We’ll let you decide.

Mario Kart 64 soundtrack album cover

Kenta Nagata ‎– Mario Kart 64

It’s not that we have magic powers and we can see you right now smiling behind the screen. But we know that chances are high that this video game brings good memories if you grew up in the nineties. Mario Kart 64 was one of the most memorable games of the Nintendo 64 catalog and some of you could probably drive entire tournaments blindfolded. Kenta Nagata took care of this hard to find gem.

Alright, so how much is this gonna cost me?

Don’t know how valuable your young memories are to you, but a copy of the Japanese CD won’t be yours for less than $1,265. We know, that’s a lot of cheddar.

Is the hype justified?

No copies have ever been sold at Discogs. We have no clue.

Bomberman soundtrack album cover

Akifumi TadaBomberman 64

The soundtrack of Bomberman 64 (original title The 爆 Bom!!! 爆ボンバーマン オリジナル・サウンドトラック in case you were wondering) is a bumpy ride. The 33 tracks of breakbeat, techno, drum n bass, and big beat aren’t exactly what you want to listen to surrounded by aromatic candles in your bathtub.

Alright, so how much is this gonna cost me?

Errrrrrm you wouldn’t have $3,316.07 to spare by any chance?

Is the hype justified?

The only copy ever sold on Discogs was sold for less than $500. This might be worth waiting for a reissue.

Final Fantasy Vinyl boxest album cover

Nobuo Uematsu ‎– Final Fantasy Vinyls

We know after reading “vinyls” your eyes are burning but don’t run away yet. Nobuo Uematsu’s soundtracks for Final Fantasy are some of the most gorgeous pieces ever made either for video game soundtracks or soundtracks in general. Delicate, emotional, profound, esoteric… We could use an endless list of adjectives to describe this master’s creation for the saga. And now, if you excuse us, we’ll just ride our Chocobo and feel all the feels while listening to the beautiful piano melodies of Uematsu.

Alright, so how much is this gonna cost me?

There is only one copy available in our Marketplace for CHF1,215.98 ($1,241.91).

Is the hype justified?

Of course! Both the box set and the music belong in a museum. Prior sales on Discogs reached almost $700 and it doesn’t seem like this collector’s item will lose any value in the coming years.

Silent Hill soundtrack album cover

Akira Yamaoka ‎– Silent Hill Sounds Box

Silent Hill was one of the pioneering sagas of the survival horror genre. The terror in this saga is characterized by its more psychological and at times batshit crazy approach (am I the only one still getting goosebumps thinking about it?). And we’re not going to lie, Silent Hill wouldn’t have been half as scary without the insane soundtracks. The variations through the saga have touched different styles such as industrial, trip-hop, dark ambient, downtempo…and trust us, it’s a scary ride. This compilation includes the soundtracks of all the games of the saga and includes some juicy bonus tracks.

Alright, so how much is this gonna cost me?

Prices are currently ranging from $670 to $1,043 in the Discogs Marketplace.

Is the hype justified?

Only one copy has been sold for a similar price in the past, but you probably won’t be able to cop this box set for a cheap price ever again. Sorry.

Super Metroid Sound in Action soundtrack album cover

Kenji Yamamoto, Minako Hamano, Hirokazu Tanaka ‎– Super Metroid “Sound In Action” = スーパーメトロイド “サウンドInアクション”

The Metroid saga is a fun one to play, this is not debatable for gamers around the world. We’re not so sure about the soundtrack being a masterpiece or simply being the object of desire of fans obsessed with the game.

Alright, so how much is this gonna cost me?

With prices on Discogs starting at almost $700, this is not a record you’ll find in any bargain bin.

Is the hype justified?

Only one copy has been sold in our Marketplace for less than $90. Our price-gouging alarm is ringing very loud.

The Last of Us soundtrack album cover

Gustavo Santaolalla ‎– The Last Of Us

It’s not every day that you get the winner of not one but two Oscars to create the soundtrack for your video game. So the case of The Last Of Us is unique and one of those soundtracks that’s absolutely worth a listen even if you’ve never played the survival game. And if the music is breathtaking, this limited edition by Mondo is nothing short of beautiful and well designed.

Alright, so how much is this gonna cost me?

Prices on Discogs range from $170 to $450 at the moment.

Is the hype justified?

If you have to own one single video game soundtrack, make sure to put this one among the candidates.

Ghost In The Shell soundtrack album cover

Various ‎– Ghost In The Shell – Playstation Sound Track

One of our users stating “I will trade one of my organs for a copy of Fuchi Koma on vinyl” is solid evidence of how highly sought this edition is. This soundtrack was released in picture disc for promotion in 1997, which is remarkable for a time when vinyl production was hitting an all-time low.

Alright, so how much is this gonna cost me?

There are two copies available in the Discogs Marketplace for $300 and $350.

Is the hype justified?

Absolutely, the price history shows copies selling for much more than that, so maybe it’s time to give your wallet a little scare.

The Music of Destiny soundtrack album cover

Michael SalvatoriC Paul Johnson,Martin O’DonnellPaul McCartney‎– The Music Of Destiny, Volume I

Talk about great design. The packaging of this releases belongs in a museum. And luckily for any potential owners, the music created for this video game is beautiful and atmospheric too. From the notes of this release:

Compilation featuring Destiny Original Soundtrack and the previously unreleased companion piece Music Of The Spheres

Music Of The Spheres concludes with Hope For The Future (Main Version) by Paul McCartney. Here, it is presented as part of the final movement, The Hope. The mix is quite similar to the original recording released digitally and on 12″ but includes some minor embellishments.

Simply great stuff, ladies and gentlemen.

Alright, so how much is this gonna cost me?

There are a couple of copies available for $229.99 in our Marketplace.

Is the hype justified?

Hell yes.

Splinter Cell soundtrack album cover

Amon Tobin – Chaos Theory – The Soundtrack To Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory

The fact that a label like Ninja Tune decided to release the soundtrack created by Amon Tobin for Splinter Cell on vinyl speaks loud and clear about the quality of the music. With 148 ratings and a 4.55/5, the Discogs Community has spoken as well. This double LP is a good addition to gamers and electronic music fans collections alike.

Alright, so how much is this gonna cost me?

Starting at ~$100, the price of this release is not too high and it will serve a greater purpose than decorating your wall.

Is the hype justified?

Yeah, go for it.

The post 10 Video Game Soundtracks More Expensive Than Caviar appeared first on Discogs Blog.

from Discogs Blog

Trevor Watts celebrates 80 years on Earth with 24 tracks

via The Wire: Home

Hanna Hartman is composer in residence for Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival 2019

via The Wire: Home

Mark Kimber Classic Album Sundays Miami presents David Bowie “Heroes”

The Berlin Trilogy as a whole represented a kind of ego-death for the thirty year old star, who had already experienced such unbelievable highs and such crushing lows throughout his most successful decade. The greatest gift the city had given Bowie was its indifference – the war torn metropolis allowed him to be subsumed by its grey concrete and resilient residents; to be a face in the crowd once more. With no costume and no character to play he had regained his perspective and his intuitive sense of what drives ordinary people to do the things they do and love the people they love.

Join us to experience this album as never before.


Time and Date: Sunday September 22nd 2019


Deja Vu Audio South, 120 Northwest 25th Street, #Suite 302, Miami, FL 33127


Available Soon


Lauren Reskin

Audio Menu

Audio Note T1 TurntableAudio Note 1Q1 cartridgeAudio Note M2 Phono PreamplifierAudio Note Conqueror SET AmplifierDeja Vu Audio Custom Genoa Vintage SpeakersAudio Note Lexus Cables

The post Classic Album Sundays Miami presents David Bowie “Heroes” appeared first on Classic Album Sundays.

from Classic Album Sundays

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