The Roots with Black Thought, John Legend: MP3 + Video

The Roots – John Legend collaboration is really coming through now. Besides this live recorded single, “Hard Times ft. Black Thought” check out a behind-the-scenes video on the making of the album Wake Up! after the jump. Wake Up! will be released on September 21st.

The Roots & John Legend – “Hard Times ft. Black Thought” [MP3]
 

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Obama’s Favorite Standup Bassist/Singer/Composer Esperanza Spalding to Release New Album

With her sophomore effort Chamber Music Society on the way, check out the preview for Esperanza Spalding’s album and see why Barack says, “I love listening to Esperanza, she is wonderful.”

The innovative album that combines jazz, folk, and world music with the enduring foundations of classical music will hit shelves August 17th via Heads Up International, a division of Concord Music Group. Chamber Music Society features the legendary Milton Nascimento, pianist Leo Genovese, and vocalist Gretchen Parlato, among others.

“It’s clear Esperanza’s definitely got game – and has no hang-ups about showing it.” —Vibe Magazine

“Whether exploding into vocalese or making her bass solo sound like a horn, she’s a spark plug who dances as she grooves through a funked-up and rocked-out repertoire.” Billboard “Faces to Watch”

“Esperanza has got a lot: accomplished jazz improvisation, funk, scat singing, Brazilian vernacular rhythm and vocals in English, Portuguese and Spanish. At its center is a female bassist, singer and bandleader, one whose talent is beyond question.” New York Times

Alex Cuba EPK

Alex Cuba’s latest album is self titled, to be released in the US on June 8th. Featuring surprising new grooves, innovative electric guitar inflections and varying tempos and structures, this album is an important step in Alex Cuba’s ongoing musical revolution.

Buy the new single on iTunes, “Directo”
 

Energetic Soul from Eli “Paperboy” Reed

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Eli “Paperboy” Reed is a musician with a mission statement: to take over the world with soul music. Also, to make a record that is just badass. Look out for his upcoming album on Blue Note, Come and Get It.

Paper Tongues Make a Different Kind of EPK

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When their record label comes through to shoot a professional video about them, Paper Tongues find a way to get around them: by making their own EPK. These guys are fun but don’t be fooled by their goofy play, they’re intensely driven and the music is passionate and strong. Anyone who’s seen them live will attest to that. They’ll be at Bonnaroo, Bamboozle, 98Rockfest along with all their other shows: check their tour dates here.