Blue Note Mode Out Now! Release Date: March 1st, 2024!

Jeanfrançois Prins

Jeanfrançois Prins has often recorded in Rudy Van Gelder’s legendary studio in Englewood Cliffs, and knew Rudy well. He wanted to reconnect with his New York scene after the pandemics, and return to that studio with musicians who are friends and/or people he admires and with whom he’d wanted to share music for a long time. All the artists featured on “Blue Note Mode” have strong personalities, combined with a deep knowledge of, and love for tradition. A real dream team: a quartet with himself on guitar (and vocals on one song), Danny Grissett on piano, Jay Anderson on bass, and E.J. Strickland on drums, plus two guests: Jaleel Shaw on alto sax and Jeremy Pelt on trumpet.
Jeanfrançois’ purpose was not to try and recreate the masterpieces of the past, but rather to pay tribute to so many of his heroes, and to present music as a 21st century jazz musician, who grew up to love modern jazz which grooves deeply, and is food for the body and soul, as well as for the brain. A large majority of those legendary recordings of the 60s and beyond were created in the Van Gelder studio. Having grown up in his mother’s record store, and with a three-generation veneration for (and production of) jazz, Prins felt like making a public love declaration for those countless masterpieces which keep on giving.

The album, entitled “Blue Note Mode”, whose release date in 2024 coincides with the 85th anniversary of the legendary Blue Note label, the centennial of Rudy Van Gelder, and the 65th anniversary of his mythical studio, is a celebration of modern jazz with a heart.

Jeanfrançois Prins penned four of the compositions recorded: the title track “Blue Note Mode” which exudes powerful positive energy, “Our Prayer for Peace” – a heartfelt appeal to all humanity to come to a culture of care and empathy, as love is the answer to all suffering, “Ornette-Lee” – a homage to the two alto sax giants who, after Charlie Parker, changed our music several times, Ornette Coleman and Prins’ second mentor, Lee Konitz, and “Move or Be Moved”, his personal take on New York City’s unique buzzing energy.

Other tunes featured on the album include music composed by such masters as Julian Priester, Wynton Marsalis, Clifford Brown, Wayne Shorter, Thelonious Monk, … As always, Prins plays melodies which were not originally meant for the guitar, and he breathes a new life into them with his own personal warmth and lyricism.

Although several connections already existed, this recording was the first time the band played together, but from the first moments the chemistry was magical, and the joy of sharing and interacting in music is evident all along the album. Deep, bluesy, spirited, lush, ebullient or embracing, let the “Blue Note Mode” take you on a luminous journey.

“it’s fair to say that at the helm of this playful sextet, Jeanfrançois Prins has not only delivered his best album to date, but has also pulled off a genuine masterstroke.” Jazzmania

“Blue Note Mode is a superb nod to tradition, with the resplendent sheen of the brand new.” Making a Scene

“There’s no hint of nostalgia in this music served up by an impetuous quartet augmented by two guests. While Jeanfrançois Prins takes on the role of leader to bring his project to fruition, he leaves his partners plenty of space to deliver a beautiful “lesson in jazz”, to the highest standards of a language that combines rigor, attention and freedom at every moment … This pulsation that runs Blue Note Mode through and through is that of hearts beating very hard for a musical cause whose flame, so beautiful, must be kept alive with love, whatever the cost. This is a very beautiful declaration.” Citizen Jazz

“Prins’ potent, clean-toned, clean-burning guitar is bolstered by solid work from his guests… Serious jazz-making and affectionate jazz lore adorn these tracks. The spirit underscoring the music is something at once nostalgic and new — a suitable modus operandi and mantra of jazz at its core.” Jazziz

★★★★★ “The 12 tracks radiate a powerful and positive energy. Epic!” inMusic

★★★★ “The covers here are songs that were not at all composed with the guitar in mind. Prins gives them a new color. There are two main guidelines for this music. First, the sound:
the Van Gelder studio has lost none of its qualities, and is magnificent. Then there’s the homogeneity of this group of artists: they may each have a blast playing stunning solos, but it’s their cohesion, their interactivity, their osmosis which shine through.” MAD – Le Soir


Référence : GAM 925


  1. Blue Note Mode (Jeanfrançois Prins)5:59
  2. I'm Movin' On (Kirk Nurock)6:04
  3. Our Prayer for Peace (Jeanfrançois Prins)8:43
  4. H and C's Dance (Michel Herr)9:20
  5. Blues Sea (Julian Priester)6:55
  6. Ornette-Lee (Jeanfrançois Prins)6:53
  7. Diana (Wayne Shorter)8:48
  8. J Mood (Wynton Marsalis)5:33
  9. Daahoud (Clifford Brown)5:27
  10. 'Round Midnight (Thelonious Monk/Cootie Williams)8:49
  11. Move or Be Moved (Jeanfrançois Prins)4:11
  12. Too Late Now* (Burton Lane/Alan Jay Lerner)2:58