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First Listen: Aloe Blacc mixes it up again on "Live My Life"

When it comes to singer and songwriter Aloe Blacc, you can almost expect a sound that avoids easy categorization. And his quietly released new song, "Live My Life," is no exception. Beginning with an acoustic guitar and and the march of drums, the song is a catchy mixture of R&B, Americana and Folk. 

"Live My Life" tells the story of an aspiration for life, of great things to come, but all grounded by the everpresent reality "but it's so hard to live my life."

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(image)Fresh from his success scoring the soundtrack to Don Cheadle's Miles Ahead movie,  the prolific Grammy-winning keyboardist and composer, ROBERT GLASPER, is due to release a new album with his Experiment band called  'ArtScience,' which will be available from September 16th via Blue Note Records.

A heady collision of jazz, soul, funk, hip-hop and disco flavours, it features twelve tracks and among them are covers by Herbie Hancock ('Tell Me A Bedtime Story') and the Human League ('Human').

Blue Note also release the sophomore long player by the group's bass player, DERRICK HODGE. The follow-up to 2013's critically-lauded debut, 'Live Today,'  it's called 'The Second' and its twelve songs continue in the evocative, cinematic vein that characterised the style of his first album.  It's available on 22nd August.



(image)It was announced yesterday that the legendary recording engineer, Rudy Van Gelder, wo revolutionized the recording of jazz in a studio environment, has died.

He was ninety-one.

An optometrist by trade, New Jersey-born Van Gelder was also a jazz fan who had learned the trumpet at school and then developed a passion for perfecting audio sound which grew from his interest in amateur radio. He started to accumulate audio equipment in his parents' house and from there he developed his own studio set up. He came to the attention of Blue Note records' co-founder, Alfred Lion, in 1952 and began recording some of the label's artists. He gained a reputation for his clear sound and faithfully reproducing the sound of instruments so that they sounded realistic. In 1959, he moved his studio to a purpose built building at Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, which was a domed, chapel-like structure whose futuristic interior was inspired by the architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, and made from wood.

As well as working on countless sessions for Blue Note between 1952 and 1972, Van Gelder's stature in the jazz world also meant that other labels were keen to use his services, which included Prestige, Riverside, Impulse! (John Coltrane's 1964 magnum opus, 'A Love Supreme,' was recorded under Van Gelder's supervision at Englewood Cliffs), Verve and in the '70s, he engineered much of the output by producer Creed Taylor's company, CTI Records.

In more recent times, Van Gelder remastered most of Blue Note's catalogue on CD in the label's acclaimed RVG series and performed a similar role for Prestige's archival material.

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