The energy is rock, the feeling pop, the spirit jazz and the groove implacable – this is the magic formula of authentic soul jazz singer Sandra Nkaké. With magnificent support from a rhythm section recalling the heydays of Stax, plus two poetic reedmen, this album, with compositions and lyrics by Sandra and her close partner, flautist-producer Jî Drû, packs a powerful punch. Old instruments, appealing arrangements, a retro-futurist atmosphere studded with echoes of sixties songs and soundtracks of cult films, a spacey production – everything here conspires to make Nothing For Granted an explosive manifesto where Sandra Nkaké’s rough-hewn voice rings out like a cry of freedom. Sandra Nkaké is a singer-songwriter-composer who has grown up between Yaoundé (Cameroun) and Paris.
On the occasion of her 60th anniversary in 2012, this 4-CD collector’s box contains recordings of fourteen orchestral works by Grammy-awarded Kaija Saariaho, many of them featuring vocal or instrumental soloists.
This innovative programme, created at Ambronay Festival in 2009 by the Argentine Leonardo García Alarcón chief sees musicians alternate between baroque and modern instruments to interpret the most beautiful pages of Astor Piazzólla (Milonga del Angel, Ballada para un loco) and Claudio Monteverdi (Lamento della ninfa, Orfeo). During the extensive live tour of this project in 2009, members of the audience pointed out that in the end they didn't know where Monteverdi stopped and Piazzolla began.
Acclaimed saxophonist Donny McCaslin takes a bold leap forward with his tenth album as a leader, Casting for Gravity. McCaslin's gargantuan tenor sound finds an ideal setting to rampage through in the ferocious grooves and electronic textures of keyboardist Jason Lindner, bassist Tim Lefebvre, and drummer Mark Guiliana. Couching his trademark gift for brawny melodies in lurching dub rhythms, swirling electronica-inspired atmospheres, and arena-rock power, McCaslin has crafted a game-changer of an album, fusing a wealth of forward-looking influences into one wholly new modern jazz sound.