Monthly Archives: September 2017

NEW RELEASE: Cécile McLorin Salvant “Dreams and Daggers”

Cecile McLorin Salvant_nostreet_2560x1440

Cécile McLorin Salvant’s Third Album, Dreams and Daggers 2-CD Set, Deluxe 3-LP 180 Gram Vinyl Set

GRAMMY® Award-winning vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant has had a remarkable rise to stardom in her professional career, and she’s taking another big leap forward with Dreams and Daggers, her third album for Mack Avenue Records out now.

The songs on this album are of dreams and daggers.

The daggers have been used at times to attack, at times to defend. For power, no doubt, to take it, to keep it.

The dreams are the ones I caught looking out a window, or from the light sleep before the deep. I don’t always know what they mean, but they are the ones I was able to keep.

And yet dreams can be desires too. I wrote them down to make them true.

That we may bring our wildness into view. That we may be unruled and unruly. 

             - Cecile McLorin Salvant



You get a singer like this once in a generation or two” - Wynton Marsalis


In 2013, McLorin Salvant made her Mack Avenue Records debut with WomanChild, garnering a GRAMMY® Award-nomination, NPR Music’s pick for “Best Jazz Vocal Album of the Year,” and three placements in DownBeat’s critic’s poll as “Jazz Album of the Year,” “Top Female Vocalist,” and “Best Female Jazz Up and Coming Artist of the Year,” among many other accolades. Her 2015 follow up release, For One To Love, won the GRAMMY® Award for “Best Jazz Vocal Album.”

McLorin Salvant’s music has been featured in multiple Chanel “Chance” campaigns and is included in the soundtrack for HBO’s acclaimed film, Bessie. New York Times Magazine included her recording of “Trolley Song” as one of “25 Songs That Tell Us Where Music Is Going”.

The New Yorker profiled her at age 27, Vanity Fair featured her in their “Millennials That Are Shaking Up The Jazz World” piece, Essence Magazine noted her as one of “13 Emerging Black Women in Music,” and Gilles Peterson included her as an “Artist to Watch” in The Atlantic.

MACK AVENUE • the road to great music •


“Red Instead” video from Dreams and Daggers release: 

YouTube Preview Image


“You’re My Thrill” video from Dreams and Daggers release: 

YouTube Preview Image


Dreams and Daggers vinyl unwrapping video: 

YouTube Preview Image


For more information on Cécile McLorin Salvant please visit:





“…the best jazz vocal album in a decade, maybe in longer than that.” — Stereophile


“Only a few years into her career, the singer has absorbed the music’s history and made it her own.” – The New Yorker


“She is wry and unflinching, stating the songs so boldly that their male chauvinism, untenable romanticism or high morality start to form a genre of dark humor.” – The New York Times


“…forming a bond with composer and audience alike as she revealed the extraordinary range, both musical and emotional, that has propelled her to a singular critical and commercial success at age 28.” - DownBeat


“What she’s done is no less than bring classic jazz singing into the 21st century. Not by mixing jazz with hip-hop or by giving jazz treatments to current pop songs, but by bringing a modern millennial mentality (not meant in a pejorative sense) to the tradition…” – New York City Jazz Record


“… a master class in entertainment as confrontation: impossible to turn away from her captivating performance, which made it impossible to ignore the enduring relevance of each song’s straightforward indictment of American society.” – Billboard


“She has precise articulation, an operatic range, and emotional range too: she inhabits her songs, as an actress inhabits her character in a play.” — Stereophile


“…elastic vocal and emotional range, which ranges from sassy, playful and coquettish to somber.” — AnalogPlanet


“…the crowd goes wild. They loved her and you will too. If you zone her out (not easy to do) and pay attention to the trio, you’ll feel the same about them too.” — AnalogPlanet






9/25-10/1 – Village Vanguard (w/ Sullivan Fortner) – New York, NY


11/10 & 11/11– Dazzle – Denver, CO


11/12 – The Sapphire Room – Boise, ID


11/13 – Capitol Theater – Salt Lake City, UT


11/15 – Lensic Performing Arts Center – Santa Fe, NM


11/18 – Sheldon Concert Hall – St Louis, MO


11/19 – Murry’s – Columbia, MO


12/15 & 12/16 – Scullers (w/ Sullivan Fortner) – Boston, MA


12/17 – The Sosnoff Theater at Bard College – (w/ Sullivan Fortner) – Annandale on Hudson, NY



WeTransfer premieres exclusive Kamasi Washington track off “Harmony of Difference”


As Kamasi Washington gears up to release his first new music since 2015, WeTransfer premieres his new track Desire and presents an interview with the artist about the thoughts behind it.

Two years after his acclaimed debut album The Epic, saxophonist Kamasi Washington is returning with his new EP, Harmony of Difference. It will be released on Friday, September 29, via Young Turks but today WeTransfer can premiere an exclusive new track. “Desire” is the first track of a six-song suite which makes up the EP.

WeTransfer has created a specially-designed page on This Works to host the new track and explore the ideas behind the project. In an exclusive interview with WeTransfer, Kamasi Washington also shares his thoughts on fashion, identity, and the joys of keeping things in the family.

Damian Bradfield, President/CMO WeTransfer says:

“We’ve been a supporter of Kamasi Washington throughout the year and we’re proud to have played a small part in the realization of his project. WeTransfer features a lot of amazing music, art and film on our platforms and ‘Harmony of Difference’ is a project that combines all of these elements. We are delighted to be offering a first listen of ‘Desire’ from the Harmony of Difference EP”.

Harmony of Difference premiered as a multimedia artwork at the 2017 Whitney Biennial with a film by A.G. Rojas and paintings by Kamasi Washington’s sister, Amani Washington. Made in partnership with WeTransfer Studios, the film features scenes of Kamasi’s native Los Angeles.

The new music is an original six-part suite that explores the philosophical possibilities of the musical technique known as “counterpoint,” which Washington defines as “the art of balancing similarity and difference to create harmony between separate melodies.” Beyond the artistic impulse to expand the possibilities within counterpoint, Washington wanted to create something that opened people’s minds to the gift of diversity.


New Release: Kermit Ruffins & Irvin Mayfield Collaborative Album ‘A Beautiful World’


Basin Street’s Two Most Recorded Artists Collaborate For Label’s 20th Anniversary 

Out September 22, 2017 on CD, Digital Download, Vinyl + Graphic Novel & Documentary
In celebration of their 20th anniversary, Basin Street Records has announced forthcoming the collaborative album between its two most recorded artists, Kermit Ruffins and Irvin MayfieldA Beautiful World.
A Beautiful World is a collaboration between two friends, Kermit Ruffins, the big easy ambassador of good times and Rebirth Brass Band co-founder, who has appeared on HBO’s TremeBravo’s Top ChefLate Night with Stephen Colbert, and the soundtrack for Disney’s Jungle Book in a duet with Bill Murray and backing Christopher Walken, and Irvin Mayfield, two-time Grammy-award winnerBillboard Music Award-winner, author, and producer. Combined, the two musicians share a staggering output of nearly fifty records, the majority released on Basin Street Records, an international independent music powerhouse that asked its two most recorded artists to collaborate on this centerpiece of the label’s 20th anniversary celebration. A Beautiful World is the ultimate party in record form. Producer Mayfield worked tirelessly to translate the eclectic soul of Kermit Ruffins to twenty-six tracks. On the process of making the album, Ruffins explains, “Good food and good music are my passions. I wanted to make a record people could eat.”
Mayfield realized that vision by bringing in 57 musicians arranged in four configurations built around a jazz structure: big band, traditional jazz marching band, chamber orchestra and an amended funk ensemble. Some Basin Street Records artists joined to accomplish this goal: The king of New Orleans brass, Rebirth Brass Band; the professorial clarinetist Dr. Michael White; the musical genius, Jason Marsalis; and world-renowned percussionist, Bill Summers. Other notable featured artists include: Haley Reinhart of American IdolCyril Neville (of the Meters and Neville Brothers), New Orleans bass legend George Porter Jr. (of The Meters and countless other bands), Tremé-crooner John Boutté, the inimitable and monstrous voice of Glen David Andrews, The King of Tremé Shannon Powell, a nine-piece string ensemble, and the silky-smooth spoken word bass of New Orleans-born actor Wendell Pierce (USA’s Suits, HBO’s The Wire, HBO’s Tremé).
A Beautiful World will be available on September 22, 2017 on all digital platforms and on CD and Vinyl (includes free digital download) at your local record store and from Additionally, in conjunction with the album, Basin Street Records plans to release a graphic novel by writer Amen Neville—more details to come soon. Finally, a documentary about Kermit Ruffins is also in the works, and is slated for a 2018 release.


New Release: Christen Lien joins Juan Atkins for “The Escape” Remix

The Escape Juan Atkins Remix 1

Acclaimed Avant-Garde Artist Christen Lien Joins “The Originator of Techno” Juan Atkins For “The Escape” Remix

One of the most compelling artists of our time, Christen Lien blends her passion for artistry and musicianship with the legendary sounds of Juan Atkins to create a new masterpiece.
Listen to The Escape – Remix

Christen Lien is an avant-garde artist with classical roots and multi-instrumentalist who creates an innovative brand of musical storytelling. She has branched out to bend the classical genre by integrating innovative technology and collaborating with artists and musicians from many mediums. Christen has performed for diplomats, Fortune 100 executives, heads of state, royalty, celebrities, and has inspired many crowds around the globe.

It is an incredible honor to have one of the legends of electronic music create the first remix from the ELPIS album,” said Christen Lien. “The Juan Atkins remix of “The Escape” has a sound that is full of momentum and forward drive.  “When I listen I want to move my body and lean in towards life. I’m so inspired to have Juan’s creative genius as part of this project.

This fall, Christen releases her debut album ELPIS. “The Escape” is the album’s crescendo and lead single due to the passion and energy Christen brings to her live performance of the track. From performances at venues such as the House of Blues and Zanzibar, or museums such as the Detroit Institute of Arts, audiences eagerly cling to the stories Christen deftly tells through her emotive compositions and skilled instrumentation.

Stepping outside of my comfort zone, I collaborated with Christen Lien to push
the boundaries of my creativity to discover more about my “outside the box”
thinking,” said Juan Atkins. “Working with an artist of her caliber with a deep
appreciation of sound was an unexpected source of inspiration. Christen should
definitely be on your radar!

FB     Instagram     Twitter     YouTube


Isaac Hayes being Honored with New Retrospective ‘The Spirit Of Memphis (1962-1976)’


Craft Recordings is proud to announce the forthcoming release of The Spirit of Memphis (1962-1976), chronicling the ascension of one of the most influential creative talents in music history, Isaac Hayes, who would have turned 75 this year. Due out September 22nd, the four-cd collection examines the various avenues of Hayes‘ prolific career; each disc offering an in-depth look at his distinct musical contributions to both Memphis-based Stax Records and to the world at large: from his foundational presence as a songwriter and producer at Stax, to his artistic metamorphosis and subsequent rise to stardom. The set also includes a wide range of previously-unreleased material, as well as a replica 7″ vinyl single of the artist’s first commercially-released recordings. Housed in a 60-page hardcover book, the retrospective incorporates a wealth of archival photos and ephemera, as well as an essay by author Robert Gordon (Respect Yourself: Stax Records and the Soul Explosion) which includes new interviews with Stax luminaries Deanie Parker and Jim Stewart. Contributions from Floyd NewmanMickey GregorySam Moore (Sam & Dave), and compilation producer Joe McEwen round out the package. Track listing below.

From his humble beginnings as an orphaned sharecropper to his rise as a session musician, house songwriter, and producer for Stax Records, to his arrival as a star in his own right, Isaac Hayes (1942-2008) became a symbol of what was possible for Black America. Dubbed “Black Moses” during the height of his popularity, Hayes revolutionized soul music, leading it out of the era of the three-minute single and into new territory: that of the fully-orchestrated concept album, complete with extended cuts that, in some cases, spanned nearly the entire side of an LP. The artist also broke barriers in the film industry, scoring the 1971 film Shaft. The soundtrack became Hayes‘ fourth consecutive platinum LP, and also earned him an Academy Award® for Best Original Song (“Theme From Shaft”). The musician became the first African American to win the Oscar in a non-acting category, and was also the first recipient of the Best Original Song category to both write and perform the winning track. Hayes‘ success opened the door for other artists and composers, like Curtis Mayfield and Norman Whitfield, to score music for the screen.

Each disc of The Spirit of Memphis (1962-1976) examines a different facet of Hayes‘ career. Disc one covers his early work as a songwriter and producer at Stax, including many of his legendary collaborations with David Porter, such as Carla Thomas‘ “B-A-B-Y” recently featured in the hit film Baby Driver, and Sam & Dave’s “Soul Man, which celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year.

Disc two spotlights Isaac Hayes as a solo artist, featuring his singles recorded for the Volt and Enterprise imprints; from his breakthrough track “By The Time I Get To Phoenix, off Hot Buttered Soul, to his subsequent chartbusters, including “Never Can Say Goodbye, “Do Your Thing” and the iconic, ubiquitous chart-topping hit, “Theme from Shaft.

The third disc, aptly titled “Cover Man, examines Isaac‘s uncanny ability to transform tunes by songwriting greats such as Burt Bacharach and Hal David and make them entirely his own. This disc also includes previously unreleased material, including a studio version of “Windows of the World” and live covers of “Stormy Monday, “I Stand Accused, and “The Ten Commandments of Love, all recorded at a 1972 concert in Chicago.

The final disc, entitled “Jam Master, offers fans a seat in the studio with Isaac Hayes, showcasing extended jams from his classic LPs, including a full, 33-minute freeform psychedelic Bar-Kays jam on “Do Your Thing. This disc also includes unreleased work-in-progress versions of “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy, the Bill Withers-penned classic “Ain’t No Sunshine, and a never-before-heard composition from the Shaft soundtrack entitled “Black Militant’s Place.

This collection marks a cornerstone in a year-long initiative celebrating Stax Records’ 60th anniversary and comes on the heels of a recent digital release of Hayes’ Enterprise albums re-mastered from the original analog tapes by renowned engineer Dave Cooley at Elysian Masters earlier this year. LP reissues cut from these new masters, including the best-selling Hot Buttered SoulBlack Mosesand Shaft will be available later this year.

The cross-label collaboration between Concord Music Group and Rhino Entertainment has highlighted the hits, deep cuts and rare tracks from the Memphis label’s heyday of the ’60s and ’70s. Indeed, Isaac Hayes was an integral part of “The Memphis Sound, and helped to not only shape the sound of a genre, but also helped it explode into mainstream pop culture. 75 years after Hayes‘ birth, and nearly a decade after his passing, his music, style and influence still live on today. Many of the most recognizable Hip-Hop beats and drops have been born from Hayes‘ original tracks and a collaboration with launching in connection with the release of the box set will showcase his lasting effect on popular music.

The Spirit of Memphis (1962-1976) is an attempt to frame a career that doesn’t always fit neatly together. This box set is a little idiosyncratic, like its subject and the desire is to tell a story, put together in chapters,” writes box set producer Joe McEwen in his Producer’s Note, “hopefully to give context to a visionary talent who came of age in Memphis, Tennessee among a generational eruption of musicians that moved mountains…”

Pre-order The Spirit of Memphis (1962-1976) on Amazon.

REVIEW: Ribs RnB Music Festival and a Great Weekend in Detroit ft. Sheila E & Bruno Mars

Screen Shot 2017-09-06 at 12.49.27 PM

The Ribs RnB Music Festival 2017 ended with the crowd completely buzzing with excitement. It was a successful three-day music festival last month that brought together some of the biggest, best names in RnB along with plenty of supporting artists and performers. It was known as the Ribs ‘n’ Soul before it was turned into an annual event everyone can enjoy.

Interestingly, Ribs RnB Music Festival 2017 was not the only exciting music event happening in Detroit that weekend. What started as a simple road trip to attend the festival turned into a stunning journey with a lot of incredible moments.


Tower of Power and a Great Thursday

The Ribs RnB Music Festival was scheduled to start on August 11th, but our trip started earlier than that. On Thursday, we were greeted by the Tower of Power and a treat of funky soul. The San Francisco band also featured Jake Clemons as the opening performer, storming the night like nothing we’ve have seen before.

On the same night, Jackson Browne also staged a concert to help the Old Redford redevelopment effort. Old Redford, for those of you who are not familiar with the district, is fast becoming the center for music and arts in Detroit.

The scene was lively. We saw a lot of performers and artists with a formal music education background from top names such as Kent State University, learning from artists who have been in the game longer. The rapidly growing music and arts scene is among the reasons why more students are taking an online MME program and studying music.

The Spectacular Weekend

Idina Menzel was in town for her performance at the Meadow Brook Amphitheatre, but we couldn’t wait to see performances by the likes of the Atlantic Starr and Sheila E headlining the Ribs RnB Music Festival. The entire festival really showed what Detroit and RnB are all about. Good food, amazing crowds, and great music filled the entire weekend.

There were more than 30 artists in the lineup. The riverfront setting of the festival made it even more romantic. The weekend didn’t stop there. On Saturday, Bruno Mars performed with his band – led by Phredley Brown, a guitarist from Detroit – and Camila Cabello as the opening act. They hit The Palace and they hit it good.


Music City

It is difficult to deny the strong musical roots the city of Detroit has. Last weekend was the perfect example of how big stars and new performers set the city alive. The Ribs RnB Music Festival ended with performances by Deja, Denise Davis, and Deon Yates before Atlantic Starr took the stage. It was magical.

It is worth noting that the scene also inspired a lot of young artists. It has been inspiring many people to take music more seriously, including by pursuing a music degree such as the online masters in music mentioned earlier. Some of the younger talents are aiming for next year’s festival and the various events surrounding it. We may see new stars being born in Detroit.