Bands x Brands: Two Must Hear World Cup Albums

With World Cup Fever taking grip, I want to highlight two album releases that are worth checking out. Forget some of the more commercial ventures (I’m not going to mention them by name). As always, I recommend brands take an authentic approach with music and see the long term benefits.

Gilles Peterson’s Sonzeira- Brasil Bam Bam Bam (Harvest Records)
The acclaimed British radio DJ put together a collective under the name Sonzeira to create an album of remakes of Brazilian and non-Brazilian classics with artists such as Seu Jorge and Brazilian treasure Elza Soares.

Fatboy Slim’s Fatboy Slim Presents Bem Brasil (Astralwerks)
This release is more of a curated album and mixtape to get you in the mood for World Cup. Highlights are Jorge Ben Jor’s track “Taj Mahal” and Gilberto Gil’s “Todo Menina Baiana.” It is also worth checking out Slim’s remake of his classic track “Weapon of Choice.”

For more insight on music surrounding the World Cup, check out Billboard’s Judy Cantor-Navas’ excellent coverage.

- Maurice Bernstein

Enter to Win Tickets To The Best of Blue Note Festival at JALC + Blue Note Albums


Jazz at Lincoln Center hosts the Best of Blue Note Festival November 13-18 in New York City. Giant Step is giving one lucky winner a pair of tickets to the Joe Henderson 75th Birthday performance on Saturday, November 17th at 7:30pm in The Allen Room ($130 value) and 10 CDs from the label’s catalog.

There isn’t a major-league saxophonist under 50 who hasn’t incorporated Joe Henderson’s singular language—his flexible sound across the registers, laid-back phrasing, cat-like approach to rhythm, and clarity of intention. One such is Chris Potter, who will inhabit the tenor chair on a 75th birthday celebration of Henderson’s career (and his illustrious Blue Note discography) led by musical director and pianist Renee Rosnes, herself an alumna of several Henderson units. Joining the fray is NEA Jazz Master and long-time Henderson collaborator and Blue Note labelmate Bobby Hutcherson on vibraphone, Robert Hurst on bass, Jeremy Pelt on trumpet, plus drum giant Lewis Nash and rising star trombonist-arranger Michael Dease.

The CDs in the giveaway include albums featured in the Best of Blue Note Festival at JALC:

The Real McCoy (McCoy Tyner)
Mode for Joe (Joe Henderson)
Speak No Evil (Wayne Shorter)
Cool Strettin’ (Sonny Clark)
Uno Mas (Kenny Dorham)
Cornbread (Lee Morgan)
Blues Walk (Lou Donaldson)
Free For All (Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers)
Investions and Dimensions (Herbie Hancock)
6 Pieces of Silver (Horace Silver)

The winner of the contest will be contacted on Monday, November 12th. Please note, the contest only includes the above items for one winner. Transportation and additional expenses are not provided.

To enter the contest, follow the rules outlined below:

Step 1:

Step 2:

Step 3:

*In your tweet above, tell us your favorite record or why you want to go the show.

Event Information | Blue Note Records | Jazz at Lincoln Center

Giant Step Staff Picks of 2011

Here at last are our staff picks of the year. Undeniably the most varied list we’ve had so far, some of the artists we’ll remember 2011 for include: Raphael, Saadiq, James Blake, Adele, Michael Kiwanuka, The Weeknd, and SBTRKT. Chocked full of each our personal tastes and quirks, it’s best to eschew any further generalizations. We suggest you dive head long into our favorite albums, singles, movies and more.

See the full list here.