The British jazz label Dune Records, internationally acclaimed for its decade-long commitment to nurturing and documenting the work of black artists who are central figures on the UK jazz scene, announces the US release of saxophonist and MC Soweto Kinch's second CD A Life In The Day Of B19: Tales Of The Tower Block and trumpeter Abram Wilson's second CD Ride! Ferris Wheel To The Modern Day Delta. Kinch and Wilson will be premiering music from their respective releases at live showcases on March 16 at The Elephant Room during the SXSW convention in Austin, TX.
Kinch's release - which is actually the first part of a 2-CD project -- was released in the UK and Europe in September 2006 while Wilson's CD has a worldwide street date of March 13th. Dune's catalogue is available in North America from iTunes and other digital music download services as well as from North Country Distribution (www.cadencebuilding.com). CDs and digital downloads are also available from the Dune web store at www.dune-music.com.
A Life In The Day Of B19 is a two-part tale unlike any jazz/hip-hop project to date. It highlights Kinch's remarkable talent for constructing an album of material that sounds like a book. It follows three fictional characters as they each come to terms with the pitfalls of celebrity; tempestuous career turns, romantic entanglements; and the solitude of the musician's quest. Traversing jazz, hip-hop and poetry, it weaves its explosive narrative through a diverse range of musical worlds. Tales Of The Tower Block (DUNECD014) was released in the UK and Europe in September 2006; Basement Fables (DUNECD015), the second chapter in A Life In The Day Of B19, is scheduled for release in June 2007.
Kinch's A Life In The Day Of B19: Tales Of The Tower Block is a fitting follow-up CD by a fascinating young artist who has made waves on both sides of the Atlantic since bursting onto the international scene in 2003 with the release of Conversations With The Unseen (DUNECD08). The CD won a Mercury Music Prize as an Album Of The Year in 2003 and Kinch was named Best Jazz Act at the MOBO Awards that year for which he was also nominated in 2005. Conversations also made the top-10 jazz CD lists of 2004 of The New York Times, The New Yorker and Amazon.com. In 2004 Kinch received the Peter Whittingham Award for Innovative Jazz Project Of The Year (for his single, Jazz Planet" (DUNESD001) and was also named Best Jazz Act at the 2004 Urban Music Awards for which he was nominated again in 2005. In 2006, he picked up his second Urban Music Award for Best Jazz Act, following the release of B19.
Whereas Kinch's debut CD succeeded where many other projects failed in blending jazz and hip-hop hip-hop B19 (which refers to a postal district of the City of Birmingham, UK, where Soweto currently resides) aims to take jazz to the hip-hop audience and presents Kinch not only as a cutting-edge jazz artist but also as a leading narrative rapper and MC. This imaginative and ambitious work enhances Kinch's unique stature as an artist. Although colored by modern day rappers and producers (Madlib, MF Doom and J Dilla) and legends of jazz (Charles Mingus, Duke Ellington, Sonny Rollins, Charlie Parker), the major influences in this project have been the people surrounding him, musically and socially, on the streets of B19 and many have joined him on this project. Local rappers Pentalk, Perge Casey and Ranx who have all been involved in Soweto's Live Box open mike night in Birmingham and the legendary B-Boy and rapper, Jonzi D are examples of the wealth of British talent Kinch has recruited to help tell the story. The album also features a number of special guests including the award-winning BBC Newscaster Moira Stuart, vocalist Eska Mtungwazi, and Soweto's label mate, trumpeter and vocalist Abram Wilson. This line-up is anchored by Kinch's working rhythm section of bassist Michael Olatuja, guitarist Femi Temowo and drummer Troy Miller.
Ride! Ferris Wheel To The Modern Day Delta (DUNECD016) presents Wilson, a New Orleans native who has been living in England since 2002, fronting an explosive 10-piece line-up that is actually three bands in one: the Delta Blues Trio (DBT), the Londorleans Brass Band (a traditional New Orleans brass band) and the Abram Wilson Sextet. Wilson's debut CD, Jazz Warrior (DUNECD011), was nominated for both the MOBO and BBC Jazz awards and Wilson won First Prize in the 2005 International Songwriting Competition in the Jazz Category for the track Monk."
Ride! received its world premiere at the Cheltenham International Jazz Festival in April 2006 and inspired a roaring standing ovation. The album was recorded at Pinewood Studios, England shortly thereafter, co-produced by Abram and Tony Platt. A triumphant, sold-out London Jazz Festival date at the Queen Elizabeth Hall capped a short run of dates in the Fall of 2006. A special feature of the live Ride! show is a prologue specially recorded by rhythm and blues giant, Dr John (a big fan of Abram), setting the tone for the piece.
In addition to his active career as a performer Wilson is the Assistant Artistic Director of Dune's youth education program, Tomorrow's Warriors. He is also one of eight artists selected for the third edition of the Jerwood / PRS Foundation Take Five initiative (in which label mate, Soweto Kinch participated in 2006) that provides outstanding young jazz musicians funding and support to enable them to take time off from touring and focus fully on developing their craft.