Promoting recording artists of power and distinction since 2003.
Malika Zarra is an inspiring new international voice, who is both influenced by jazz and is bringing her own culture and creativity to the melting pot. Born in Morocco, raised in France, and now thriving in the polyglot metropolis of New York City, this gifted composer, producer and singer has invented a new Moroccan urban-world-jazz by tastefully using traditional North African chaâbi, Berber and Gnawa polyrhythms to underpin her distinctly contemporary urban compositions, all the while maintaining a sophisticated improvisational modern jazz approach.
Joining other fresh New York faces of the international jazz scene, such as Afro-Latin bassist/singer Esperanza Spalding, Zarra’s sultry multi-lingual vocals move effortlessly between Berber, Moroccan Arabic, French, and English.
Click below to get a free download of the title track from her album Berber Taxi
With the release of Berber Taxi on April 12th, 2011 by Motéma Music (home to legendary innovators Randy Weston and Geri Allen, and powerhouse newcomers such as Gregory Porter (GRAMMY®-nominated for Best Jazz CD on his debut release), Zarra takes her rightful place as an important world-jazz artist on New York’s multicultural music scene.
Below you can watch a live performance of “Run” by Malika Zarra at Joe’s Pub in New York. What do you think of her jazz/world fusion? Let us know in the comments!
While Reid was certainly “the architect” (as Allee called him) of the project, the making of Hues of a Different Blue was geared toward featuring everyone in new and exciting formats. Reid explains, “In designing these arrangements, my goal was to feature the unique sound of the trio and the unique voice of each guest, in unexpected ways that would offer a new musical experience for each player, and an exciting new surprise for you as well. I’m delighted with the results and hope you will be too.”
Take an intimate peek into the recording studio during the making of Reid’s new album, Hues of a Different Blue, featuring: Steve Allee, piano, Duduka Da Fonseca, drums with very special guest: Toninho Horta, guitar, Bobby Watson, alto saxophone, J.D. Allen, tenor saxophone, and Freddie Hendrix, trumpet.
Allegro Music Distribution’s Spring 2011 Sampler is out. A mix of blues and jazz tracks, the sampler features songs by two Motema artists: Monty Alexander’s “Renewal” and Rene Marie’s “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.”
Jamaica native Monty Alexander is a master of the piano keys, with a career spanning five decades. The pianist makes his Motema debut with the release of his new CD Harlem-Kingston Express out June 16th. Preview a taste of Alexander’s musicality on the spring sampler.
See Monty live: April 5th-9th at Birdland Jazz Club : Celebrating 50 years in music!
This engagement is the first in a series of concerts in celebration of my 50th year in music. It gives me a special opportunity to look back musically to 1961 and my first jobs in Kingston, Jamaica, with my first group, Monty and the Cyclones and the recordings I did for Coxsone Dodd and Duke Reed. I also look forward to reflecting musically on adventures I had through the years with, among others, Frank Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie, Milt Jackson, Quincy Jones, Ray Brown and other legends of Jazz
Rene Marie’s newly released Voice of my Beautiful Country has received great buzz from a number of sources including NPR’s A Blog Supreme. Patrick Jarenwattananon writes, “Having a rich imagination, while not as tangible as technique, is just as (or more) important to jazz singing…it doesn’t seem a stretch to say that René Marie has a lot of that.” Sample Rene’s inspiring interpretation of America on “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” and purchase the full album here.
See Rene live: Mar 29-Apr 3 at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola : Sing Into Spring Festival w/Rene Marie, Carla Cook & Allan Harris: Two Skirts & a Shirt
This promises to be one of the cutest shows at Dizzy’s this season with three distinct song stylists coming together to share their commonalities; sharp wits, sass, and lots of showmanship. Even the title of their revue doesn’t convey how much fun the audience will be subjected to with these three very talented singers. Rene Marie, Carla Cook & Allan Harris, vocals; Lafayette Harris, piano; Paul Beaudry, bass; Darrell Greene, drums
On Namaskar, acclaimed percussionist Sameer Gupta (Marc Cary, Wallace Roney, Vijay Iyer) combines well known compositions from the Indian Golden Era of Bollywood with North and South India Ragas, and modern American jazz in all its diversity, to craft an irresistibly beautiful artistic statement. Namaskar musically embodies the integrative spirit of our time. An original musical voice in jazz, world, and fusion music, Sameer Gupta is known as one of the few percussionists representing the traditions of American Jazz on drumset, and Indian Classical music on tabla. Namaskar features a cadre of highly celebrated musicians, including pianist Marc Cary, who adds an urban inflection with his vibrant acoustic piano and fender rhodes gliding effortlessly between jazz and Indian themes, and Anindo Chatterjee, who is widely considered to be one of the world’s greatest tabla masters.
On Namaskar, acclaimed percussionist Sameer Gupta (Marc Cary, Wallace Roney, Vijay Iyer) combines well known compositions from the Indian Golden Era of Bollywood with North and South India ragas, and modern American jazz in all its diversity, to craft an irresistibly beautiful artistic statement. Namaskar musically embodies the integrative spirit of our time. An original musical voice in jazz, world, and fusion music, Sameer Gupta is known as one of the few percussionists representing the traditions of American jazz on drumset, and Indian Classical music on tabla. Namaskar features a cadre of highly celebrated musicians, including pianist Marc Cary, who adds an urban inflection with his vibrant acoustic piano and fender rhodes gliding effortlessly between jazz and Indian themes, and Anindo Chatterjee, who is widely considered to be one of the world’s greatest tabla masters.
Geri Allen & Timeline – Live is the companion release to Flying Toward The Sound, also released on Motéma. The Timeline band represents another facet of the inspirational Geri Allen, in which she embraces the rhythmic grounding and, in fact, the very origins of syncopation through jazz in motion, with an extraordinary ensemble featuring bassist Kenny Davis, drummer Kassa Overall and tap percussionist Maurice Chestnut.
Geri Allen & Timeline – Live, is the first “live” recording of Allen’s twenty-year career, and was recorded at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio, and Reed College, in Portland, Oregon. These two exciting live performances feature Allen’s working quartet nimbly and ferociously interacting with each other reinventing the dialog between the dance and the drums. Timeline celebrates the dance and the music together as one.
A Heart and an Open Road is the solo debut release on Motema Music from modern day troubadour and jazz/rock/blues man Patrick Stanfield Jones. Fueled by prodigious chops honed over some thirty years as a guitarist, composer and performer, Jones fearlessly – and with a dose of humor – dives into different genres, seamlessly transitioning from one style to the next, to sing a ‘conscious cowboy’s’ saga of true love, broken hearts and life on the proverbial road.
With a voice that can caress or confront, embrace or exhort, Gregory Porter exhibits such an incredible degree of vocal mastery that no less a jazz luminary than Wynton Marsalis has gone on record to call him “a fantastic young singer,” which makes the fact that Water (out on May 11 from Motema Music) is his recording debut even more impressive.
A debut release it may be, yet Water flows with a sense of timelessness that reflects the seasoned talents of the giants of blues, gospel and soul that have influenced Porter throughout his career. Some of the singers that Porter cites as influential are familiar – Nat King Cole, Joe Williams and Donny Hathaway – and others – such as the pastor of the church he attended as a child among them – may never realize their impact on his development as an artist. While the work of singers such as Hathaway or Cole obviously helped to shape Porter’s vocal styling, his own world view, as evidenced in his seven original compositions and his striking interpretation of classic songs such as “But Beautiful” and “Skylark,” adds an emotional intensity that makes each of the CD’s eleven tracks speak so eloquently.
Hailed by Down Beat as one of the most, “multi-dimensional keyboard players on the scene today,” whose music reveals those multi-dimensions in sensual living color, Marc Cary’s continual search for his musical identity has brought him to all corners of the earth, quenching his thirst to bring forth indigenous musics in all of their forms.
His latest offering on this journey will embark on April 13th, as Motéma Music releases their third Cary project, Focus Trio Live 2009, the follow up to his earlier live release, Focus Live 2008, which is available only digitally. Recorded live at select festivals across Europe and the US , Focus Trio Live 2009 features Cary ‘s longstanding trio: on tabla and drums, Sameer Gupta and on bass, David Ewell, both of whom he met on the west coast. With inimitable style, Cary drives the trio towards hard-hitting turns, fusing together indigenous East Asian, Indian, African, and Native-American influences within the African-American blues and jazz traditions, as only a player with his undeniable talent can manage to do while simultaneously claiming new virtuosic territory.
Flying Toward The Sound, is a monumental addition to the solo piano canon. Conceptually ambitious, virtuosic in its execution and spiritual in its essence, this deeply moving recording reveals Allen in visionary communion with two fine Fazioli pianofortes. As distinguished jazz scholar and author, Farah Jasmine Griffith explains in her liner notes: “Geri Allen conceived of this project in relation to three modern jazz pianists in whom she finds inspiration: Cecil Taylor, McCoy Tyner and Herbie Hancock. Allen does not play their music; instead she plays toward it, around it, through it to her own unique voicing… resulting in a flight of light and sound.” Ms. Allen comments that, “These three pianists are foundational in terms of the modern piano. They informed my choices in abstract ways for this suite. It’s not like playing transcriptions; it’s more about refracting the admiration and love I have for them through my own muse, and letting the music reflect the ways they’ve influenced me through the years.”