The creative young voices of Jazz have been the lifeblood of Blue Note Records throughout its storied history, from Thelonious Monk and Herbie Hancock to Freddie Hubbard and Joe Henderson, all of whom made their debut albums for the legendary label. The Blue Note All-Stars continue that legacy with the September 29 release of Our Point of View, the debut recording from a supergroup of young visionaries that formed in 2014 for a series of live performances in honor of Blue Note’s 75th anniversary. Featuring trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, keyboardist Robert Glasper, bassist Derrick Hodge, guitarist Lionel Loueke, drummer Kendrick Scott, and tenor saxophonist Marcus Strickland, the album also boasts a special guest appearance by Blue Note legends Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock, and is dedicated to the memory of beloved longtime Blue Note President Bruce Lundvall, who passed away in 2015.
The song list includes originals by each of the band members, including two elegies for Lundvall which open and close the album, as well as two renderings of Shorter compositions: an expansive version of “Witch Hunt,” from Shorter’s 1965 Blue Note classic Speak No Evil, and a stunning performance of “Masquelero” on which the sextet is augmented by Shorter and Hancock. The album’s lead track “Second Light,” composed by Hodge, is available today to stream, download, or receive immediately with album pre-order.
“This is a band of open-minded, versatile musicians who are getting together for the love of the music. That can only equal great things,” says Glasper who co-produced the album with current Blue Note President Don Was. “The music itself should reflect the time period you’re in. We all love the history of the music. We’re infatuated with the history of jazz, but none of us are held back by the history of jazz. I feel like we’re all making our own history now.”
“It’s pushing the threshold in trying to do the next thing and not looking back,” Was adds. “That to me epitomizes what Blue Note is all about.”
The track listing for Our Point of View is as follows:
1. Bruce's Vibe (Robert Glasper)
2. Cycling Through Reality (Kendrick Scott)
3. Meanings (Marcus Strickland)
4. Henya (Ambrose Akinmusire)
5. Witch Hunt (Wayne Shorter)
6. Second Light (Derrick Hodge)
7. Masquelero feat. Wayne Shorter & Herbie Hancock (Wayne Shorter)