This November, a triple-bill of current Blue Note artists -- Kandace Springs, James Francies, and the James Carter Organ Trio -- will embark on a U.S. tour of performing arts centers and theatres around the country in celebration of the 80th Anniversary of Blue Note Records. Each artist will perform a set of their own music followed by a finale with all he musicians coming together to perform a classic Blue Note tune.
The Detroit saxophonist's Blue Note debut, James Carter Organ Trio: Live From Newport Jazz, comes out August 30, a thrilling live performance of Carter's imaginative soul jazz reinvention of Django Reinhardt. "One of the most charismatic and powerful soloists in jazz," per The New York Times, Carter harbors a command of his instruments that is stonishingly complete, though he only employs that technique in the service of canny ideas, evoking early jazz, jump blues, the avant-garde and other lessons residing inside his vast, scholarly knowledge of the music of the African-American experience.
The Nashville singer and pianist will release her third Blue Note album, The Women Who Raised Me, in early 2020. After her head-turning 2014 self-titled EP (which caught the attention of Prince who raved "Kandace has a voice that could melt snow"), Springs released her Larry Klein-produced debut album Soul Eyes in 2016, followed by her breathtakingly eclectic" (MOJO) 2018 album Indigo, produced by Karriem Riggins. The Wall Street Journal declared "the soulful pianist and vocalist is self-assured, distinctive and strikingly contemporary," while Rolling Stone said that Springs "recalls an era when the boundaries between jazz, soul and pop were more fluid."
The Houston-born, NYC-based pianist and composer released his acclaimed debut album, Flight, on Blue Note in 2018, and The New York Times has called him "a pianist with liquid dynamism in his touch." Francies has played with jazz headliners like Pat Metheny, Chris Potter, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Stefon Harris, Eric Harland, and Terrace Martin, and racked up equally impressive credits in hip-hop and R&B -- from gigs with Ms. Lauryn Hill, José James, Common, and Nas, to studio time with Chance the Rapper and appearances with The Roots on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon."