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House of Legends CD

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (15 Oct. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Destin-E
  • ASIN: B0099ETKAY
  • Other Editions: Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 96,781 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product description

Product Description

'House of Legends' is Courtney Pine's fifteenth studio album and sees the acclaimed musician/composer return to the instrument he is best known for - the saxophone. This exhilarating album features his soprano saxophone exclusively for the first time and is deeply steeped in the traditions of the Caribbean, the musical styles of Merengue, Ska, Mento and Calypso, as played through the lens (saxophone) of a UK born artist with strong African-Caribbean roots.

Featuring a cast of well-versed musicians from Africa, the Caribbean and Europe, they perform the material as if they were born for it. Pine's band includes internationally renowned French/Martinique pianist Mario Canonge, Ghanaian bassist Miles Danso, US drummer Rod Youngs and long time musical associate Dominican guitarist Cameron Pierre. They are joined by special guests Jamaican trombonist Rico Rodriguez, flautist Michael "Bammi" Rose, and trumpeter Eddie "Tan Tan" Thornton (known for their sterling work with UK bands The Specials and Aswad) and South African trumpeter Claude Deppa.

The key idea behind the project is the simple act of communicating (through instruments) tales of life from a multicultural viewpoint. All of these musicians have such varied backgrounds but are able to speak with one voice through music. It's this kind of connection that drives Courtney to compose with such a strong sense of tradition, social functionality, justice and brotherhood. 'House of Legends' is a very different sounding Courtney Pine effort. The focus being a heartfelt tribute to the many strains of Caribbean culture that not only influenced jazz but also inspired the world!

Personnel: Courtney Pine (soprano saxophone), Eddie "Tan Tan" Thornton, Mark Crown (trumpet), Claude Deppa (flugelhorn), Rico Rodriguez, Trevor Edwards (trombone), Michael "Bammi" Rose (flute), Mario Canonge, Mervyn Africa (acoustic piano), Cameron Pierre (guitars, banjo), Dominic Grant (acoustic guitar), Lucky Ranku (electric guitar), Annise Hadeed (steel pan), Robert Fordjour (dube), Miles Danso (double bass), Rod Youngs (drums) and others

Review

...'Pine has created a marvellous patchwork of melodies and rhythms.'

--Dave Gelly, The Observer

'Unquestionably one of the most joyous albums Pine has ever made...brilliantly effective dance music...and a thoughtful exploration of the Caribbean heritage, with nods to South Africa and London.'

-- Alyn Shipton, Jazzwise * * * *

'An exceptional labour of love...Courtney covers everything from joyful reggae to lilting Zouk...never has his intense power been deployed with greater focus.'

--Jack Massarik, Evening Standard * * * *

'A joyous, dance-inducing celebration of his Afro-Caribbean roots...he focuses on soprano saxophone in this project, and has put together a new core band, featuring the ear-catching piano work of Mario Canonge.'

--Kenny Mathieson, The Scotsman * * * *

'...Pine is an expert at concocting a polyglot melange of multicultural music. Much more than a slick exercise in reproducing the ska it's a storytelling concept album that provides a microcosmic history of the West Indies. Plenty of jazz, peppered with dazzling bebop solos.'

--Mojo, Charles Waring * * * *

'A joyous, dance-inducing celebration of his Afro-Caribbean roots...he focuses on soprano saxophone in this project, and has put together a new core band, featuring the ear-catching piano work of Mario Canonge.'

--Kenny Mathieson, The Scotsman * * * *

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I love all the eras and styles that Courtney has played, from his early Marsalis produced full-on improv Jazz albums through his 'World' period, pop reggae, his modern jazz stories, his great cover versions like Lady Day John Coltrane and Bless the Weather, and his great homage to the wonderful Sidney Bechet; not to mention the triumph that was Europa and his live shows to support it when he showed what a true genius he is by putting the bass clarinet through its sweaty paces! Courtney is one of the most friendly and accommodating men I have ever met - he truly cares about his fans and he always surrounds himself with amazingly talented musicians and has full respect for their contributions!

It comes as no surprise that Courtney has produced another tribute to his Jamaican roots and also that it is an absolute corker of an album! This album features Courtney playing his custom-made silver soprano saxophone with great skill and dexterity along with the odd synth and alto flute for good measure! My sincere advice: when you are feeling down then put this album on and you will be happy in no time - it really is an excellent feel-good album! I would recommend that it be available through the NHS as a cure for SAD but I think it only fair that Courtney makes loads of money from this marvelous recording! For the purists, I have to warn you that the album features the use of a Steel Pan played by the tremendous Annise Hadeed to great effect, so if you are expecting a return by Courtney to mainstream Jazz then you will be a bit disappointed; but, if you have an open mind and love Courtney's eclectic mix of styles then you will also love this album!

Don't worry, buy this album, stick it on, prepare yourself a nice cocktail of Lilt and Scotch Bonnet, and be happy that you did!

=:^)
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Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
I am new to Courtney Pine although I've been aware of him for years, I've never been tempted to buy any of his albums. I saw this band on Jools Holland's show recently and was impressed by the steel drum player Samuel Dubois in particular. There is a great mix of very melodic Calypso, Reggae and Latin influenced tunes and concise soloing on the album. Courtney is the most exuberant of the soloists but allows all of the band a chance to shine at various points in this set. There is a good range of sounds and arrangements, including occasional strings, acoustic and electric guitars, saxophone synthesizer and aforementioned steel drum. The mood is almost consistently joyous and festive, it feels like carnival time, despite this being a winter release. I can find few reasons to criticise the album, if anything I enjoy more lengthy soloing in my jazz than is included here but this will certainly not be a problem for many listeners. In places I find the production a little too polished and not bold enough but in general a pleasure to own.
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Format: Audio CD
Most tracks allude to a musical style (African/African diaspora)
1 The Tale of Stephen Lawrence - piano and sax, about the victim of racist murder, sombre, contemplative
2 Kingstonian Swing - Jamaica, ska style
3 Liamuiga (Cook Up) - St Kitts and Nevis - great steel pan and warm-toned jazz guitar
4 Samuel Sharpe - Jamaica - Why is Pine playing an EWI (electronic sax) if he's got a sax made in solid silver by Rampone & Cazzani?
5 Ça c'est bon ça - Dominica, Santa Lucia, style of Zouk Love(popular in France)
6 Claudia Jones
7 Song of the Maroons - Jamaica, Pine plays flute beautifully - one wishes there were more of it!
8 House of Hutch
9 From the Father to the Son
10 Ma-Di-Ba - South Africa, great guitar (jangly jit-jive style)
11 Tico Tico - Brazil, not especially outstanding

Pine's liner notes are essential, as they tell the story behind each song, but the print is ridiculously small!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Great album! The only reason I rate this as four star instead of five is because I thought his first album "Journey to the urge within" and a later album "Europa" were so exceptional. Not being a "jazz buff", I had not heard anything of Courtney Pines work between those two albums. I had a copy of "Journey" when it was new and then I heard a couple of the tracks from "Europa", on a "live" performance on radio three just before the C.D was released, and bought it at the first opportunity. Now I'm playing catch-up!
"House of legends" is a celebration not just of the legends that each track is dedicated to but also of the musical heritage of the Caribbean. Calypso and blue-beat are woven into some wonderful playing and the result is music that can reach everybody.
Courtney Pine has the gift and, in common with Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and Roland Kirk, he can reach outside of the genre` and break down barriers. Give it a try and if you like it then search out the other two albums. You will love them!
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Format: Audio CD
Mr. C Pine has delivered with this album, a journey which takes you through a history of legends.

This is the first time on an album Mr. P has played the Soprano as his main instrument of choice, and it has done it with aplomb. He is renowned for his Tenor work, but he can play the Soprano as good as anyone on the planet and on this album he shows his dexterity on the instrument.

I will leave it up to the rest of you to make your own minds up, but I will just say this...

I commend this album to the House.

And that House is full of Legends, one being Mr.Pine himself.
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