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Aug 03, 2015 | Jimi Hendrix Experience Freedom: Atlanta Pop Festival 2CD/2LP Out August 28

Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church Documentary To Premiere On SHOWTIME® On September 4

Documenting the Historic July 4, 1970 Performance In Front Of His Largest Ever U.S. Audience

Aug 3, 2015

NEW YORK, Aug. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- About 100 miles south of Atlanta, next to a field just outside the town of Byron, there stands a plaque erected by the Georgia Historical Society marking the location of the Second Atlanta International Pop Festival, where from July 3-5, 1970, "Over thirty musical acts performed, including rock icon Jimi Hendrix playing to the largest American audience of this career." Despite the overwhelming attendance (estimated to be 300,000-400,000), the festival and Hendrix's performance in particular, has not received its due in terms of historic importance and impact until now.

JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE FREEDOM: ATLANTA POP FESTIVAL 2CD/2LP OUT AUGUST 28

Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church, a new documentary film about the music legend's Atlanta Pop set and the circumstances surrounding it, will debut on SHOWTIME on Sept. 4 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Experience Hendrix L.L.C. and Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, is releasing the DVD and Blu-ray version on Oct. 30, which will feature bonus content not included in the broadcast version. The film documents the massive festival hailed then as the 'Southern Woodstock' and recognized now as the last great US Rock Festival. The film presents the story of how rock music's burgeoning festival culture descended en masse to the tiny rural village of Byron, Georgia and witnessed Hendrix's unforgettable performance.

The film details the efforts by Atlanta promoter Alex Cooley to create the definitive music festival.  Cooley secured such talent as Bob Seger, BB King and the Allman Brothers, but Hendrix was the critical component he needed to elevate the three day festival to a major cultural event. Electric Church features interviews with Hendrix's Experience band mates Billy Cox and the late Mitch Mitchell as well as Paul McCartney, Steve Winwood, Rich Robinson, Kirk Hammett, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, festival organizer Alex Cooley and many others. The film contains breathtaking, color 16mm footage of Jimi Hendrix's Independence Day appearance, a mere ten weeks before his untimely passing.  Standout performances include such Hendrix classics as "Hey Joe," "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)," "Purple Haze," as well as confident, compelling versions of songs such as "Room Full Of Mirrors," "Freedom," and "Straight Ahead" that had not yet been issued by Jimi on an Experience album, but were intended to be part of the album he was working on that summer. "The Star Spangled Banner," played against a backdrop of exploding fireworks, is another highlight, which Cooley recalls as having "knocked peoples' socks off."

Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church – DVD
http://smarturl.it/jh_ec_amzndvd 

Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church – Blu-ray                                  
http://smarturl.it/jh_ec_br                            

The audio release Freedom: Jimi Hendrix Experience Atlanta Pop Festival, which Experience Hendrix L.L.C. and Legacy Recordings will put out on Aug. 28, includes six performances not seen in the Showtime documentary. This will be available as a 2CD set and also as a 200-gram 2LP vinyl set. The first 5,000 vinyl units will be individually numbered.

Freedom: Atlanta Pop Festival – 2CD
http://smarturl.it/jh_EFAPFCD_amzn

Freedom: Atlanta Pop Festival – 2LP VINYL
http://smarturl.it/jh_EFAPFLP_amzn

By the beginning of the 1970s, Jimi Hendrix was unquestionably one of the most exciting rock musicians of his generation, having captivated the world with his highly stylized approach to blues guitar. In Electric Church, Paul McCartney freely admits to worshipping him, adding, "We all played guitar. We all knew a bit. But he seemed to know more than us."

Jimi Hendrix put the rock festival concept on the map with his blistering performance at California's Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, headlining 1968's inaugural Miami Pop Festival, and providing the soundtrack for the counterculture with a dazzling set at Woodstock in 1969.

His performance at the Second Atlanta International Pop Festival was not only significant on a musical level, but also in terms of socio-political dynamics. The organizers were keen to push back against the cultural divide that was very much in evidence in the Deep South. It was assumed that rural audiences would not take kindly to "long-hair" bands, and that black and white artists could not comfortably exist on the same bill; Atlanta Pop set out to challenge those beliefs. Hendrix's music and message of universal love made him the ideal artist to represent that pushback, and, appropriately, was the first act booked for the festival.

In the sweltering Georgia heat, amongst intimidating bikers who were hired as security, hundreds of thousands of mostly young music fans descended upon the festival grounds, eventually knocking over fences and leaving the organizers with no choice but to declare it a free event. Law enforcement, not equipped to handle such crowds, adopted a hands-off policy with regards to crowd control, drug use and nudity. Against incredible odds, the event proved to be largely peaceful. By the time the Jimi Hendrix Experience took the stage on the evening of July 4, the audience swelled to more than 300,000.

Massive, anarchic music fests in the U.S., unencumbered by high ticket prices and corporate sponsors were soon to be extinct, and the Atlanta Pop Festival was the last of this dying breed. Glenn Phillips (Hampton Grease Band) says, "This was, certainly in retrospect, sort of the end of an era, and a great end to an era. It was a powerful moment."

The Atlanta festival footage in Electric Church was shot by Steve Rash, later known for directing such Hollywood films as The Buddy Holly Story and Can't Buy Me Love. Rash intended for the footage he and his team were filming to be used for a documentary in the vein of Woodstock. When a deal couldn't be secured, virtually all of the film lay undeveloped inside Rash's barn for over three decades. The full-color film stock held up remarkably well, and makes for a transcendent viewing experience.

Bill Mankin, who worked on the construction and stage crews for the festival, provides liner notes for the Freedom package, describing his first-hand account. He explains, "At the center of the vortex was the master magician on guitar: the personification of a life lived fully and wildly, with no boundaries, no limitations, and aiming for the stars at light speed."

Jimi Hendrix Experience - Freedom: Atlanta Pop Festival 2CD/2LP VINYL (release date: August 28)

Disc 1
1) Fire
2) Lover Man
3) Spanish Castle Magic
4) Red House
5) Room Full Of Mirrors
6) Hear My Train A Comin'
7) Message To Love

Disc 2
1) All Along The Watchtower
2) Freedom
3) Foxey Lady
4) Purple Haze
5) Hey Joe
6) Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
7) Stone Free
8) Star Spangled Banner
9) Straight Ahead

Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church DVD/Blu-ray (release date: October 30)
Contains performances of three additional songs not included in the broadcast version of the film, and other never before released Hendrix bonus content.

About Legacy Recordings:
Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, is home to the world's foremost library of historically significant commercial recordings, a peerless collection of works by the most important musical artists of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Across a variety of platforms, the label offers contemporary music fans access to thousands of meticulously restored and remastered archival titles representing virtually every musical genre including popular, rock, jazz, blues, R&B, folk, country, gospel, Broadway musicals, movie soundtracks, rap/hip-hop, world music, classical, comedy and more.

About Experience Hendrix L.L.C.:
Founded by James 'Al' Hendrix, Jimi's father, in 1995, Experience Hendrix, has been managed since its inception by the family members handpicked by Al during his tenure as Chairman. It is the official family company charged with managing the music, name, image and likeness of Jimi Hendrix. As a part of their daily operations, Experience Hendrix and Authentic Hendrix oversee Jimi's timeless legacy on a worldwide basis.

JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE FREEDOM: ATLANTA POP FESTIVAL 2CD/2LP OUT AUGUST 28

 

Showtime

 

Experience Hendrix L.L.C.

 

Legacy Recordings logo. Division of SONY Music Entertainment.

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150731/252499
Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150731/252501
Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150731/252502LOGO
Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150731/252503 
Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20060130/LEGACYLOGO

SOURCE Legacy Recordings

Jul 31, 2015 | FANTASTIC FOUR Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Available Digitally on July 31 and on CD on August 14 Featuring Original Score by Marco Beltrami and Philip Glass

Jul 31, 2015

NEW YORK, July 31, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Music announces the release of THE FANTASTIC FOUR (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) featuring the music of Marco Beltrami and Philip Glass. The soundtrack will be released digitally on July 31 and on CD on August 14.  

About FANTASTIC FOUR:
From acclaimed director Josh Trank ("Chronicle"), and screenwriters Jeremy Slater and Simon Kinberg ("X-Men: First Class," X-Men; Days of Future Past", "Sherlock Holmes"), FANTASTIC FOUR is a contemporary re-imagining of Marvel's first, and longest-running superhero team. Based on the Marvel comic written by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the film follows four young outsiders who teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe that alters their physical form in shocking ways. Their lives irrevocably upended, the team must learn to harness their daunting new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy. The film stars Miles Teller as Reed Richards, Kate Mara as Susan Storm, Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm, Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm, and Toby Kebbell as Victor von Doom.

About the composers:

Marco Beltrami
Beltrami is best known for finding a unique approach to scoring in each of his films. For the film "Scream", he threw away conventional horror music cliches and instead called upon his concert music roots to explore a new sonic landscape. For "The Homesman" Beltrami constructed his own instruments that would meld the archaic and new. The creations were as tiny as a refitted lap steel guitar to giant, cross-ranch cables that could pick up wind and translate it into a haunting glow. Subsequently, his resume has expanded to include films ranging from epic drama to dark comedy. Beltrami has been nominated twice for Academy Awards for Best Score ("3:10 to Yuma" (2007) and "The Hurt Locker" (2008)).

Philip Glass
In the past 25 years, Glass has composed more than twenty eight operas, ten symphonies, as well as concertos for piano, violin, cello, timpani, saxophone quartet and orchestra, and a growing body of work for solo piano and organ and numerous soundtracks to films. By simultaneously winning a wide, multi-generational audience in the opera house, the concert hall, the dance world, in film and in popular music, Glass has had an extraordinary impact upon the musical and intellectual life of his times. Three of Glass's previous film scores have been nominated for Academy Awards: "Kundun" (1997), "The Hours" (2002) and "Notes On A Scandal" (2006). In 1999, he won the Golden Globe for his soundtrack to "The Truman Show".

Sony Music Masterworks comprises Masterworks, Sony Classical, OKeh, Portrait, Masterworks Broadway and Flying Buddha imprints. For email updates and information please visit www.SonyMasterworks.com.

The FANTASTIC FOUR (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) track list is as follows:

  1. Fantastic Four Prelude
  2. The Garage
  3. The Unveiling
  4. Baxter
  5. "All My Faith"
  6. The Lab
  7. Meeting of the Minds
  8. It Begins
  9. Building the Future
  10. Launch One
  11. Neil Armstrong
  12. Maiden Voyage
  13. Footprints
  14. "Run"
  15. Ben's Drop
  16. Real World Applications
  17. Under Pressure
  18. The Search
  19. "You're Going to Like This One"
  20. Father and Son
  21. Return
  22. He's Awake
  23. Pursuit
  24. Strength in Numbers
  25. End titles

 

Album Preorder links
iTunes: http://smarturl.it/ost-fantastic4 
Spotify: http://smarturl.it/ost-fantastic4-spfy 
Amazon CD: http://smarturl.it/ost-fantastic4-CD

 

Media Contacts:
Beth Krakower | Krakower Poling PR | [email protected] 
Angela Barkan | Larissa Slezak | Sony Music Masterworks
212.833.8575 / 6075 / [email protected] / [email protected]

SOURCE Sony Classical

Jul 31, 2015 | Long Awaited New Darlene Love Album 'Introducing Darlene Love' Available For Pre-Order Today

NEW ALBUM ARRANGED AND PRODUCED BY E STREET BAND LEGEND STEVIE VAN ZANDT DUE OUT SEPTEMBER 18

'INTRODUCING DARLENE LOVE' FEATURES SONGS WRITTEN BY ELVIS COSTELLO, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, LINDA PERRY, JIMMY WEBB, DESMOND CHILD, JOAN JETT, BARRY MANN & CYNTHIA WEIL AND OTHERS, INCLUDING ELVIS COSTELLO-PENNED SINGLE 'FORBIDDEN NIGHTS' MADE AVAILABLE VIA PRE-ORDER AS INSTANT GRAT TRACK

Jul 31, 2015

NEW YORK, July 31, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Columbia Records – The first new album in decades from legendary vocalist Darlene Love, Introducing Darlene Love, is available for pre-order today at iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon.   Produced and arranged by artist/producer/E Street Band great Stevie Van Zandt, the album is comprised of all new recordings and features never-before-heard and classic songs from a superstar cast of songwriters eager to showcase one of the most seminal voices in music history.  Fans who pre-order the album will receive the Elvis Costello-penned first single "Forbidden Nights" as an instant grat track.

Long Awaited New Darlene Love Album 'Introducing Darlene Love' Available September 18

Elvis Costello and Bruce Springsteen contribute two tracks each to the 14-song album (released on Van Zandt's Wicked Cool label in partnership with Columbia Records - see full tracklist below) with Stevie Van Zandt penning three songs.  Other writers include Jim Webb, Linda Perry, Desmond Child, Joan Jett, longtime songwriting team Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, and Michael Des Barres, and more. 

The captivating Love brings her iconic vocal delivery to each song, including "Night Closing In" (Bruce Springsteen,) "Still To Soon To Know" (Elvis Costello),"Love Kept Us Foolin' Around" (Linda Perry), "Who Under Heaven" (Jimmy Webb), "River Deep, Mountain High" (Phil Spector/Jeff Barry/Ellie Greenwich), and "Sweet Freedom" (Barry Man/Cynthia Weil), among others.  Inducted in to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2011, the New York Times has called the singer "a thunderbolt voice embedded in the history of rock n' roll…" and Rolling Stone praised her trademark vocal style as "a rare instrument sturdy enough to vault over Phil Spector's 'Wall of Sound.'" 

Love's five-decade career spans some of the greatest signature moments in music, with the Los Angeles native nurturing her talent early as a member of the Blossoms, a local trio who began their career providing backup vocals for artists such as Sam Cooke and Bobbie Day.  The Blossoms also were featured as part of the house band for the popular '60s music show Shindig, backing up many of the performers who appeared on the series.  Love would go on to become one of the most sought-after singers in music history, recording with Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, The Beach Boys, Dionne Warwick, The Righteous Brothers, Tom Jones, and dozens of other vocal giants throughout her career.  Her early work with pioneering producer Phil Spector on songs such as the trailblazing "He's A Rebel," "He's Sure The Boy I Love," and "Why Do Lover's Break Each Other's Hearts," would garner her legend status. She is featured in the 2013 Academy Award and Grammy winning documentary '20 Feet From Stardom,' chronicling the behind-the-scenes lives of background singers.   Darlene's annual holiday performance of her classic "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" on Late Night With David Letterman became a holiday viewing staple.    

The prolific Van Zandt creates a compelling production aesthetic on Introducing Darlene Love, echoing the classic recording style of many early '60s pop standards on the forthcoming Columbia Records/Wicked Cool release, available everywhere on September 18.

Tracklist:
1. Among The Believers (Stevie Van Zandt)
2. Forbidden Nights (Elvis Costello)
3. Love Kept Us Foolin' Around (Linda Perry)
4. Little Liar (Desmond Child/Joan Jett)
5. Still Too Soon To Know (Elvis Costello)
6. Who Under Heaven (Jimmy Webb)
7. Night Closing In (Bruce Springsteen)
8. Painkiller (Michael Des Barres/Paul Ill)
9. Just Another Lonely Mile (Bruce Springsteen)
10. Last Time (Stevie Van Zandt)
11. River Deep, Mountain High (Phil Spector/Jeff Barry/Ellie Greenwich)
12. Sweet Freedom (Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil)
13. Marvelous (Walter Hawkins)
14. Jesus Is The Rock (That Keeps Me Rollin) (Stevie Van Zandt)

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150731/252447

 

SOURCE Columbia Records

Jul 28, 2015 | Legacy Recordings and Columbia Records Celebrate Johnny Mathis's 80th Birthday with Release of Johnny Mathis: The Singles on September 25, 2015

Definitive Four Disc Anthology Brings Together 87 Non-LP and Compilation-Only Tracks including Landmark Hits "It's Not For Me to Say," "Chances Are" and "The Twelfth of Never"

Jul 28, 2015

NEW YORK, July 28, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, and Columbia Records will celebrate the 80th birthday of legendary crooner Johnny Mathis with the release of Johnny Mathis: The Singles, a definitive four disc anthology, on September 25, 2015. Pre-order available here http://smarturl.it/mathis_singles

Johnny Mathis: The Singles, a definitive four disc anthology to be released on September 25, 2015.

Born September 30, 1935, a then-teenaged Johnny Mathis signed with Columbia Records in 1956, first entering the Pop charts with his inaugural Columbia single, "Wonderful! Wonderful!" the following year.  Peaking at #14, "Wonderful! Wonderful!" laid the foundation, and predicted the future, for one of the most remarkable careers in pop music history, leading to a string of singles successes which includes perennials like "It's Not For Me To Say," "Chances Are," "The Twelfth Of Never" and many others.

Johnny Mathis: The Singles brings together, for the first time in one anthology, every Johnny Mathis recording which was first issued for the singles market, as well as tracks released exclusively on compilations (1958's Johnny's Greatest Hits, considered the first "greatest hits" collection ever created by the music industry, 1959's More Johnny's Greatest Hits and 1981's The First 25 Years--The Silver Anniversary Album).

31 of the 87 tracks on Johnny Mathis: The Singles, are being released on CD for the very first time.  The four-disc anthology compiles, for the very first time, every non-LP single side released for the label between 1956 and 1981.

"When over the course of a career you record as many songs as I have recorded, you tend to forget a few," said Johnny Mathis. "Revisiting this music was a complete surprise. I was thrilled beyond belief that some of the songs that I recorded specifically for single records, some of which had simply disappeared once they had been released, are now going to be heard again. Listening to this collection, not only was I amazed at how great it sounds, but I was being reminded of some songs I had totally forgotten. It is my greatest hope that my fans will share my enthusiasm."

Johnny Mathis is one of the longest-running artists on the Columbia Records label, with 17 million RIAA certified album and singles sales in the US alone.  A sublime vocalist whose approach to pop music transcends passing fads and trends, Johnny Mathis has performed songs in an incredible variety of styles and categories -- from music composed for stage and film to golden era jazz standards, contemporary pop hits, and holiday music both sacred and secular -- assuring his reputation as one of the most enduring traditional pop vocalists in music history.

Perhaps best-known for his landmark singles (three of his recordings--"Chances Are," "It's Not For Me To Say," and "Misty"--have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame) Mathis was one of the very first musical artists to embrace the album concept and record fully-realized thematically and sonically coherent collections of songs.  His 1958 release, Johnny's Greatest Hits inaugurated the ongoing "greatest hits" anthology phenomenon becoming one of the most popular albums of all time after spending an unprecedented 490 continuous weeks (almost ten years) on the BILLBOARD Top Albums Chart; 1959's Heavenly spent 295 consecutive weeks on the same chart.  Johnny Mathis was given the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in 2003.

Mathis had 18 Top 40 hits between 1957 and 1963 and 19 Top 40 albums between 1957 and 1978.  He has earned 10 gold, 4 platinum and 2 multi-platinum awards from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)

Mathis was a star student athlete in San Francisco who sang weekends at a local jazz club. Columbia Records' George Avakian was in attendance during one performance, and famously wired back to the label office: "Have found phenomenal 19-year old boy who could go all the way. Send blank contracts." After his jazzy debut LP was largely ignored upon its release in 1956, Mathis began working closely with Columbia's vice-president and producer Mitch Miller to develop an unbeatable lush pop style, picking romantic ballads that made extensive use of his recognizable, vibrato-heavy croon.

During his time on Columbia, Mathis was essentially recording for two markets: the singles market and the albums market. While he would enjoy success in both realms, it was his non-LP singles that first introduced the world to his distinct gifts: in 1957, his first Columbia single "Wonderful! Wonderful!" peaked at No. 14; follow-up "It's Not For Me To Say" rose to No. 5, and "Chances Are" topped the charts.

Altogether, Mathis logged 18 singles on Billboard's Top 40 between 1957 and 1963 (and has seen 43 of his singles chart on Billboard Hot 100 from 1957 to 1981). After a tenure on his own Global label from 1963 to 1967 (initially distributed by Mercury and chronicled by Legacy in The Complete Global Albums Collection box set), Johnny returned to Columbia, where he records to this day.

www.johnnymathis.com
www.columbiarecords.com 

Johnny Mathis: The Singles

Disc 1
When Sunny Gets Blue
Wonderful! Wonderful! (#14)
It's Not For Me To Say (#5)
Warm And Tender
Chances Are (#1)
The Twelfth Of Never (#9)
Wild Is The Wind (#22)
No Love (But Your Love) (#21)
When I Am With You
Come To Me
All The Time
Teacher, Teacher (#21)
Let It Rain
A Certain Smile (#14)
Call Me
Stairway To The Sea
You Are Beautiful
Let's Love
Someone (#35)
Very Much In Love
I Look At You (bonus track)
The Flame Of Love (bonus track)

Disc 2
Small World (#20)
You Are Everything To Me
The Story Of Our Love
The Best Of Everything (#62)
Cherie
Starbright
All Is Well
Hey Love
My Love For You (#47)
Oh That Feeling
How To Handle A Woman
While You're Young
Jenny
You Set My Heart To Music
Should I Wait
Laurie, My Love
Wasn't The Summer Short?
There You Are
Christmas Eve
My Kind Of Christmas
Sweet Thursday
One Look
Unaccustomed As I Am
Marianna
I'll Never Be Lonely Again

Disc 3
That's The Way It Is
Gina (#6)
I Love Her That's Why
What Will My Mary Say (#9)
Quiet Girl
Every Step Of The Way
Sooner Or Later
All The Sad Young Men
I'll Search My Heart
Don't Talk To Me
Long Winter Nights
Among The First To Know
Night Dreams
Whoever You Are, I Love You
For All We Know
The Last Time I Saw Her
Wherefore And Why
Darling Lili
Sign Of The Dove
Christmas Is…
I Was There

Disc 4
Ten Times Forever More
Evie
Think About Things
If We Only Have Love
This Way Mary
Sometimes
I
Take Good Care Of Her
Walking Tall
Turn The Lights Down
The Very First Christmas Day
Christmas In The City Of The Angels
The Lord's Prayer
When A Child Is Born
Nothing Between Us But Love
It Doesn't Have To Hurt Every Time (bonus track)
There! I've Said It Again (bonus track)
Three Times A Lady (bonus track)
The Way You Look Tonight (bonus track)

Legacy Recordings logo. Division of SONY Music Entertainment.

 

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150727/246085
Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20060130/LEGACYLOGO

 

SOURCE Legacy Recordings

Jul 24, 2015 | Tenor Saxophonist James Brandon Lewis Releases Days Of FreeMan, A Tribute To His Hip-Hop Roots -- Album Available Now

"I didn't grow up a hip-hop head, but where I grew up in Buffalo, New York, on Freeman Street, the sound of 1990s hip-hop was ubiquitous," James Brandon Lewis says. "I decided to go back and explore that time through music."

Jul 24, 2015

NEW YORK, July 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Visionary composer and tenor saxophonist James Brandon Lewis's bravest, yet most palpable artistic feat, Days Of FreeMan, opens with a poignant and profound introductory monologue from a maternal sage. She says: "The best thing of living is living who you are. You can't be somebody else; you gotta be what God gave you to be and who you are. You look in the mirror and see yourself and say 'I'm James Brandon Lewis."' Next, bass and drums congeal around the sapphire melodic motif of "Brother 1976," recalling one of those jazzy jewel-like hooks from a 1990s Native Tongue hip-hop jam. The effect is like 1990s hip-hop's fascination with jazz being spit back by a prodigious jazz innovator. Welcome to Days Of FreeMan (OKeh) available July 24, 2015.

For his third album, James uses ideas from 1990s hip-hop to masterfully weave together threads of cultural identity, cross-generational identity, and personal reflection.

Days Of FreeMan is imaginatively organized in chapters with classic hip-hop style breaks and interludes functioning as chapter breathers. Like the cross cultural and generational mosaic on Freeman Street proper, the album invites the listener into many dialogues. It is a nod to 1990s hip-hop, and explores rhyme-scapes and the musical conventions of that golden age of hip-hop in a revolutionary way. The album also explores hip-hop as a culture through taking inspiration from the original four pillars of hip-hop: dance, rapping, graffiti, and DJ-ing.

The album also loosely functions as a memoir with an underlay of nostalgia for the carefree boyhood days of fly nicknames, basketball, and those first encounters with the transformative power of music. Adding to the power and emotionality of this thread on growing up, are pontifications on love, identity, and God peppered throughout the album, culled from informal conversations James recorded with his grandmother, Pearl Lewis.

James's immersive creative process to realize his vision for Days Of FreeMan include pouring over hip-hop documentaries for up to eight hours a day, and dissecting albums by KRS-One, Digable Planets, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, A Tribe Called Quest, Medeski, Martin & Wood, along with fearless jazz trumpeter Don Cherry's 1985 album Home Boy and Lauryn Hill's 1998 masterpiece the Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill.

How all of this preparation plays out musically is stunning. For years instrumentalists held fast to the lofty notion of "singing through the instrument," but on Days Of FreeMan, James aspires to MC through his tenor. The album's title track perfectly captures the clipped cadence of a master MC with speech-like phrases and a long flowing solo that conjures up a blazing freestyle battle rap session. "Black Ark" traces the legacy of hip-hop from the balmy and pioneering dub explorations of Lee "Scratch" Perry in Jamaica ("Black Ark" is the name of his famed studio) to the burgeoning sounds of hip-hop blaring out in the Bronx.  On "Lament for JLew," in five vigorous minutes James ties together the dual lineages of classical music to hip-hop and classical music to rock using original classical-flavored motifs to illustrate the overlaps.

The second to last track of Days Of FreeMan is the political and timely "Unarmed With A Mic" and is a reminder of hip-hop's power as a form of protest music. On this track, James plays with seething sentimentality. The album concludes with "Epilogue," a reprise of the infectious melody of the opening track "Brother 1976."

On the album, James is accompanied by drummer Rudy Royston. Both took the weighty undertaking of album deeply, researching 1990s hip-hop jams for inspiration and vision. Their attention to the vocabulary of the era James sought to explore, and their panoramic musicality and sympathetic musical skills, match James's artistic ideal to authentically and thoroughly fuse genres and cultures without pandering to trends in jazz-groove records. The record also features a guest spot from the gifted freestyle rapper Supernatural on the track "Days Of FreeMan."

Days of FreeMan is one of James Brandon Lewis's most ambitious works and his most accessible. Reflecting on this intriguing duality he says: "The artist is charged with taking creative risks, but the universe lined up this time and I was able to connect with my audience conversationally."

About James Brandon Lewis
James Brandon Lewis is one of the modern titans of the tenor sax. Hailed by Ebony Magazine as one of "7 Young Players to Watch," James has shared stages with such icons as Benny Golson, Geri Allen, Wallace Roney, Grammy® Award-winning singer Dorinda Clark Cole, and the late "Queen of Gospel Music," Albertina Walker. In bold contrast, James has also worked with such intrepid artists as Weather Report bassist Alphonso Johnson, William Parker, Gerald Cleaver, Charles Gayle, Ed Shuller, Kirk Knuffke, Jason Hwang, Marilyn Crispell, Ken Filiano, Cooper Moore, Darius Jones, Eri Yamamoto, Federico Ughi, Kenny Wessel, Marvin "Bugalu" Smith, and Sabir Mateen. In addition, he has collaborated with the dance company CircuitDebris under the direction of Mersiha Mesihovic. James attended Howard University and holds an MFA from California Institute of the Arts.

Currently, James resides in New York City where he actively gigs as a sideman and leads his own ensembles. In NYC, he is a co-founder of "Heroes Are Gang Leaders" with poet Thomas Sayers Ellis—a collective of poets and musicians—and he is a member of the collective "Dark Matter," a conceptual musical collaboration exploring that which is invisible but is detected by it's gravitational effects. Outside NYC, James is an active national and international touring artist. Some career highlights are playing such esteemed festivals as Winter Jazz Festival/OKeh Records showcase with William Parker and Gerald Cleaver; The Eric Dolphy Festival with an ensemble featuring Grachan Moncur III, Richard Davis, Andrew Cyrille, Angelica Sanchez, Ted Daniel, and Alfred Patterson; and Princeton University as part of Fred Ho's "Journey to the West," an interdisciplinary dance and music project.

Tracklisting:



1. Foreword

8. Break II

15. Break IV

2. Brother 1976

9. Wilson

16. Able Souls Dig Planets

3. Of Dark Matter

10. Lament for JLew

17. Speaking from Jupiter

4. Black Ark

11. Break III

18. Unarmed with a Mic

5. Break I

12. Bamako Love

19. Epilogue (Brother 1976)

6. Days of FreeMan

13. Boom Bap Bop


7. Bird of Folk Cries

14. Steelo


 

Website: http://www.jblewis.com 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jblewis1983
Facebook: facebook.com/JamesBrandonLewis

For more information, please contact:
Angela Barkan / Larissa Slezak / Sony Music Masterworks
212.833.8575 / 6075 / [email protected] / [email protected]

SOURCE OKeh/Sony Music Masterworks

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