7: Courtney Pine – Butterfly (feat. Omar)
No musician embodies more the dramatic transformation in the British jazz scene over the past thirty years than Courtney Pine. His debut album, Journey To The Urge Within in 1987, was the first serious jazz album ever to make the British Top 40, notching up sales to qualify for a silver disc.
Aside from being the preeminent figure in the resurgence of British jazz, Courtney became a renowned presenter and broadcaster, best known for his long running radio show for BBC Radio 2, ‘Jazz Crusade’. He was also awarded an O.B.E in the 2000 New Year’s Honours, and was also made a C.B.E in 2009 for services to Music.
As an artist always looking to work outside of and across established musical genres, it is easier to list the musicians and artists he hasn’t worked with, but now in 2017 Courtney releases brand new music featuring another British music legend of equal repute, his Freestyle Records label mate and an artist also honoured for his own creative endeavours; Omar Lyefook M.B.E.
Both tracks of this single are taken from Courtneys’ forthcoming album Black Notes From The Deep – the 19th of his stellar career. The exciting and fresh interpretation of Herbie Hancocks’ Butterfly demonstrates straight away that this is a dream team combination. With Alec Dankworth laying down the bass, Rod Youngs’ drumming underpinning the groove, the song also gives the outstanding keyboards of Robert Mitchell space to stretch out – Omars fantastic vocal performance rides sweetly on top of the dreamy backing vocals of Charleen Hamilton – and of course Courtneys’ flowing, imaginative and creative solo perfects this modern version of a much loved classic.
Rules is a brand new, collaborative composition by Courtney & Omar – the punchy drums and bass line patterns hints simultaneously at classic jazz and funkier club-centric sounds. Courtney cooks on tenor saxophone and also the organ – whilst Omar marinades the super catchy melody with that unmistakable voice.
As an introduction to the forthcoming album Black Notes From The Deep this single points the way to what 2 British legends, both exemplary in their own right – can come up with when joining forces.