Mwaliko by Lionel Loueke Out Now

Originally from the small West African nation of Benin, guitarist Lionel Loueke has enjoyed a meteoric rise over the past several years. Praised by his mentor Herbie Hancock as “a musical painter,” Loueke combines harmonic sophistication, soaring melody, a deep knowledge of African music, and conventional and extended guitar techniques to create a warm and evocative sound of his own.

Lionel Loueke’s sophomore release for Blue Note, Mwaliko, follows up 2007′s acclaimed Karibu with a series of searching, innovative, intimate duets with Angelique Kidjo, Esperanza Spalding, Richard Bona and Marcus Gilmore. Mwaliko (pronounced mwah-LEE-koh) is Swahili for “invitation,” and as Loueke explains, “you can see the title two ways. One is I’m inviting my friends and fellow musicians to make these duo recordings, and the other is an invitation to all listeners to enjoy the music.”

Lionel Loueke with Esperanza Spalding – “Twins”
 

More Info, Tour Dates, & Streams

Purchase on iTunes | Amazon

Janelle Monáe ft. Big Boi: “Tightrope”

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Our favorite young performer Janelle Monáe has released the first single from her upcoming album, The ArchAndroid, to be released on May 18th. According to JanelleMonae.com, the second single will be available on her site tomorrow, while a music video for “Tightrope ft. Big Boi” is currently in pre-production. She also was booked for the 2010 Lilith Tour, so keep an eye out for tour dates and details.

Janelle Monáe – “Tightrope ft. Big Boi” (download MP3 from Refined Hype)
 

And if you missed it, check the video of Janelle at Skybar in LA last year.

Everything in Time by DJ Center Available Now

bluecover_grey_new.inddEverything in Time is a global soul record bringing back a low-end theory and warmth thatʼs been absent in music as of late. Itʼs a record for a generation raised on a foundation of hip hop and jazz, but grown with a broader musical palate. Itʼs roots music without being reggae, and soul music without being a throw back to the past.

As the songs unfold on Everything in Time, youʼre enveloped in lush piano chords, warm bass lines, boom-bap drum patterns, flying tambourines, and soaring horns. The guests DJ Center chose for his album are the perfect marriage to every song. The record features everyone from favorites like Oddisee and Zaki Ibrahim to the up-and-coming Gretchen Parlato (whoʼs worked with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Esperanza Spalding) and Samia Farah (whoʼs dub reggae and jazz vocal styles give her a rare, distinctive sound).

The icing on the cake is the remix of “Tout Passe” (CD only) contributed by the incredibly talented Waajeed of The Platinum Pied Pipers. The underlying essence of this record is timeless music. Listen unhurriedly, as all great things happen in time.

“In A Song” ft. Middle Child (Download MP3)
 

“Center’s Groove”
 

More Info & Streams

Purchase on iTunes | Amazon

Silhouette Brown’s two Out Now

albumAfter half a decade, Silhouette Brown – the original production and songwriting team of Bembe Segue, Kaidi Tatham and Dego – return with their sophomore album aptly titled, two. Silhouette Brown guides us towards a new dimension for modern soul music with a distinctively London-esque flair, combining jazz and nu soul.

This time they are joined by Philadelphia’s Lady Alma of 4hero’s “Hold It Down” fame and delve into an array of subject matters. Leaning toward a hip hop sound, “Get With It” features Brand Nubian’s Sadat X, who waxes about uniting and progressing. Another instant hit is the collaboration with musical director Akwasi on “Strawberries in Vinegar,” a guaranteed boogie anthem. On two, London’s underground production heroes Dego and Kaidi push a warm, sumptuous, melody-driven groove in a way that only they know how.

“Leave A Note”
 

“Constant Questions”
 

More Info

2 Banks of 4 Remix of “Leave a Note”

Purchase on iTunes | Amazon

Sade’s Soldier of Love In Stores Now

Known for their one of a kind timeless sound, Sade has enjoyed phenomenal success both internationally and stateside throughout the span of their twenty-five year career. Since the release of their debut album Diamond Life in 1984, the band has seen all five of their studio albums land in the Top 10 on Billboard’s Top 200 Album Chart selling a total of more than 50 million albums worldwide to date. They’ve been nominated for American Music Awards, MTV Video Music Awards and have won three Grammy Awards – first in 1986 for Best New Artist, then in 1994 for Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group for “No Ordinary Love,” and again in 2002 for Best Pop Vocal Album with Lovers Rock.

Recorded in England and available worldwide, Soldier of Love marks Sade’s first studio album since the multi-platinum release of Lovers Rock in 2000.

Listen in Jukebox

iTunes | Amazon

www.sade.com