2019 has marked a momentous year for the New York’s Smoke Sessions Records. As the young label continues to grow, they’ve not only expanded their roster but continued to produce high quality recordings featuring some of the most reputable artists on the scene.
Steve Davis’ new album Correlations
kicked off their releases in March. The 11-track program features a band that had never played together, although each of their members have been connected in various ways previously. The multi-generational group includes Wayne Escoffery, Joshua Bruneau, Xavier Davis, Dezron Douglas, and Jonathan Barber.
April saw the release of Eric Reed’s return to his gospel roots on Everybody Gets the Blues
. Alongside Tim Green, Mike Gurrola, and McClenty Hunter, Reed sought to expose universal truths on this release and channeled those ideas through the songs of Stevie Wonder, Freddie Hubbard, The Beatles, Cedar Walton, and more.
Acclaimed vocalist Mary Stallings celebrated 80 years of life in music on her latest album Songs Were Made to Sing
in May. Stallings expresses herself 13 classics with a stellar band including Eddie Henderson, Vincent Herring, David Hazeltine, David Williams, and Joe Farnsworth.
Later this week, Al Foster’s Inspirations & Dedications
will be released in honor the two groups of people who are closest to him: his family, and the jazz giants he has been fortunate enough to play with. Foster is joined by Jeremy Pelt, Dayna Stephens, Adam Birnbaum, and Doug Weiss to reflect on those closest to him, including mentors like Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis.
At 90 years old, and vital as ever, iconic drummer Jimmy Cobb will be releasing his new album This I Dig Of You
in August. As the last surviving member of Miles Davis’ now 60-year-old historic Kind of Blue,Cobb reaffirms his place as a pillar of jazz here with Peter Bernstein, Harold Mabern, and John Webber.
Smoke Sessions Records has releases slated through the end of the year including: George Coleman’sThe Quartet with Harold Mabern, John Webber, and Joe Farnsworth in September; a Nicholas Paytonlive recording titled Relaxin’ with Nick featuring Peter Washington and Kenny Washington in October; and a Charlie Parker centennial celebration called Bird at 100 led by Vincent Herring, Gary Bartz, andBobby Watson with David Kikoski, Jonathan Blake, and Yasushi Nakamura in November.