Esperanza Spalding, Herbie Hancock, Robert Glasper and more in Icons Among Us: jazz in the present tense + MP3

When you ask most people, “name a jazz musician today,” 9 out of 10 times you will get the name of someone who is already dead. But jazz today is undergoing some monumental changes and in this documentary film — Icons Among Us: jazz in the present tense, by filmmakers Michael Rivoira, Lars Larson and Peter J. Vogt, the musicians take stage front and center to explain the nature of this metamorphosis. Featuring Esperanza Spalding, Herbie Hancock, Robert Glasper, Medeski Martin & Wood, Brian Blade and The Fellowship Band, Russell Gunn, Dianne Reeves, Terence Blanchard, Bill Frisell, Ravi Coltrane, Nicholas Payton, Donald Harrison, Jr., Wayne Shorter and many more. This documentary brings you the rebellious, young, and gifted, responsible for quietly revolutionizing jazz under our noses.

Among those artists participating in the sound revolution is Donald Harrison, Jr. who is making bold moves in the jazz world experimenting to create some very unique compositions. Check out the title track of his latest album Quantum Leap and make sure you also take a peek at the track “NY 2000″ featured on the film.

Donald Harrison, Jr. “Quantum Leap” [MP3]
 

Donald Harrison, Jr. “NY 2000″ [MP3]
 

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Belleruche “Clockwatching” Vinyl Contest + Podcast

Belleruche‘s new single “Clockwatching” is now available for download and on vinyl, and you can win a free copy of this 7″ right here. Check out the amazing video too. If you like all this new Tru-Thoughts turntable soul coming in, we suggest you check out belleruche.podbean.com for their “chocolate-fueled podcast.” Listen in as the three Belleruche band members play some of their favorite tracks, which jump around from Charlie Parker to Fantomas to Lyrics Born & RJD2, in Part 1 of what we hope is a new recurring podcast.

Purchase the new single by Belleruche – “Clockwatching” – Digital | Vinyl 7″

Enter to Win the Vinyl – “Clockwatching” b/w “Mirror in the Bathroom”

Fitz & The Tantrums: Pickin’ Up The Pieces Out Today

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Check out this video for “MoneyGrabber,” the single from Fitz & The Tantrums, who released their debut album today Pickin’ Up The Pieces. For some bands, it takes a lifetime to build this success, but few performers deliver an unrestrained blast of soul-clapping, get-down-on-the-floor, moneymaker shakers like Fitz and the Tantrums. Now that the debut full length, Pickin’ Up the Pieces is available from Dangerbird Records, the troupe is poised get down in dancehalls across the universe.

After the jump, stream the full album.

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Exclusive Giant Step Interview with Esperanza Spalding + MP3

Esperanza Spalding, the beautiful bassist (and vocalist and songwriter) who just released her album Chamber Music Society graciously gave us a little interview.  After working with her idols, rapidly gaining critical acclaim and crafting her latest album to perfection, she’s at another turning point in her amazing career. Read the full Q&A and get your free download after the jump, and don’t forget to check tour dates.

You’ve already received great attention already from major press to gigs at the White House for Barack Obama.  How does it feel to get this international recognition?
Well, it’s very flattering, exciting and a blessing, of course, and it allows me to continue working in music.

You also played in legendary saxophonist Joe Lovano’s band. How did you end up working and touring with him?
I met Joe as a student at Berklee, when I was playing in the student ensembles, at the end of my last year he asked me to do some gigs, and I continued to keep working with him over the years, so that’s been about 5 or 6 years now.

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Janelle Monáe: “Tightrope (Mr Niceguy Remix)” + MP3

It should be obvious by now that we love everything about Janelle Monáe, and we’ve heard “Tightrope” nicely reworked before. But this “Tightrope” remix by Mr Niceguy (via Culture of Me) is nothing like the others.

Janelle Monáe – “Tightrope (Mr Niceguy Remix)” [MP3]