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, and styles he hasn't fused with jazz, but now in 2017 Courtney releases a brand new album - the nineteenth of his career, one of his most varied and eclectic to date, ranging as it does from funk tinged foot tappers, to beautiful and tender ballads.
Black Notes From The Deep includes four tracks featuring another British music icon of equal repute, Courtneys' Freestyle Records label mate and an artist also honoured for his own creative endeavours; Omar Lyefook M.B.E. This is a musical pairing so wonderful it is hard to believe it didn't happen years ago, but the end results speak for themselves.
The highlights within this album are many - but the exciting and fresh interpretation of Herbie Hancocks' Butterfly seems destined to be one of the most remarkable, featuring as it does Omars' fantastic vocal performance which 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.
Courtney has been lauded as the most original, ceaselessly creative and inventive British jazz musician since the start of his career over 30 years ago - and Black Notes From The Deep proves that he still is.
01 – Rules (feat. Omar)
02 – You Know Who You Are
03 – Darker Than the Blue (feat. Omar)
04 – Rivers of Blood
05 – In Another Time (feat. Omar)
06 – The Morning After the Night Before
07 – A Change Is Sure to Come
08 – How Many More
09 – Butterfly (feat. Omar)
10 – A Word to the Wise