Courtney Pine – Song (The Ballad Book)
‘Song (The Ballad Book)’ is Courtney Pine’s sixteenth studio album to date and it sees him strip everything right back for the most intimate album of his long and celebrated career. He performs an album of ballads on bass clarinet, accompanied only by fellow Mercury nominee and MOBO Award winning pianist, Zoe Rahman.
In the 1980’s Courtney Pine was one of the first black British jazz artists to make a serious mark on the resurgent jazz scene, when his first album charted and some twenty plus years on (now with an OBE and CBE for services to music) he continues to break new ground with a string of highly acclaimed recordings and numerous, prestigious, Industry awards. In April 2014 he joined Herbie Hancock and a dazzling line- up of Jazz all-stars for UNESCO’s globally televised concert in Osaka to celebrate International Jazz Day, and his name regularly appears on the list of Most Influential Black Britons. 2014 saw him perform sell out shows across the UK, USA and Canada and mainstage appearances at Bestival, Love Supreme and the London Jazz Festival featuring music from his award winning, critically acclaimed, studio album ‘House of Legends’.
Described in The Observer as “a remarkable pianist by any standard”, Zoe Rahman has firmly established herself as one of the brightest stars on the contemporary jazz scene. A vibrant and highly individual pianist/composer, her style is deeply rooted in jazz yet it reflects her classical background, her British/Bengali heritage and her very broad musical taste.
Courtney explained the motivation behind the album, “I have always wanted to record a collection of my favourite ballads and there is nothing like performing in a duet for bringing out the intimacy of great songs”. These songs includes a mixture of originals by Pine and compositions by Donny Hathaway and Edward Howard, Duke Ellington, Sam Rivers, Thad Jones and the Brian McKnight hit “One Last Cry”.
Personnel: Courtney Pine (bass clarinet), Zoe Rahman (piano)
“Courtney Pine was once hailed as British jazz’s saviour… he still is” – The Independent
“Nothing short of breathtaking” – The Daily Telegraph
“In a Class of His Own” – The Times
Catalogue Number: 777102468X
Release Date: 16 March 2015