Wednesday 16 Apr

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Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0

Rachel Brashear — Revolution

Rachel Brashear’s second EP, Revolution, starts with a kick to the shins.
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Home · Articles · Music · Music · The Blue Note 7 brings...

The Blue Note 7 brings retrospective tour to Norman's Sooner Theatre

Eric Webb March 19th, 2009

The Sooner Theatre is one of 50 venues nationwide selected to host the Blue Note Records 70th Anniversary Tour. Tonight's 8 p.m. performance is the only tour stop within a five-state region ...


The Sooner Theatre is one of 50 venues nationwide selected to host the Blue Note Records 70th Anniversary Tour.

Tonight's 8 p.m. performance is the only tour stop within a five-state region for the prestigious jazz septet The Blue Note 7. The show features an all-star lineup of jazz musicians led by music director and pianist Bill Charlap. The band also includes Ravi Coltrane on tenor saxophone, Peter Bernstein on guitar, Nicholas Payton on trumpet, Steve Wilson on alto saxophone, Peter Washington on bass and drummer Lewis Nash.

 Blue Note Records was launched in 1939 by two jazz-loving German immigrants, Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff, who had been friends since childhood and fled to America to escape the Nazi regime. They were aided by Rudy Van Gelder, a New Jersey optometrist moonlighting as a recording engineer, and Reid Miles, a classical music-loving commercial designer. Over the next 30 years, the pair accumulated a roster of talent that reads like a who's-who of jazz greats: Fats Navarro, Bud Powell, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Art Blakey, Herbie Hancock, Grant Green Lee Morgan, among many others.

"Many of the most important recorded documents of jazz history are found within the Blue Note catalog," said Charlap. "The musicians, the compositions, the recorded sound and the design are all part of our permanent cultural landscape."

In addition to its continuing support of some of the most prominent Jazz musicians, Blue Note has spent the past 25 years diversifying its roster to include different genres of music. Commercial successes have come with artists like Bobby McFerrin, Norah Jones, Al Green, Anita Baker, Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis.

To commemorate the 70-year legacy of the label, The Blue Note 7 came together under the direction of Charlap to record "Mosaic: A Celebration of Blue Note Records," which pays tribute to some of the label's classic compositions.

"The members of this band are among the finest improvisers in jazz today," Charlap said. "Each one has a distinctive musical voice encompassing the past, present and the future of the art form."

Choosing only eight songs for the album presented a unique challenge for the group.

"Because the Blue Note catalog is so vast, there is no way that we could be comprehensive on just one album," Charlap said. "What we tried to do was to choose compositions which would honor the contributions of many important instrumentalists and composers."

He said each member chose to arrange pieces that spoke to them musically, while he worked to ensure that a varied range of musicians and material were represented. For tonight's show, Charlap said the band will perform songs by many Blue Note artists and composers that weren't showcased on the album. "Eric Webb

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