Friday, September 16, 2016

Ross McHenry - Child of Somebody (2016)

Child of Somebody is the new album from multi-award winning composer, producer and bass player Ross McHenry. Known for his work as bandleader of The Shaolin Afronauts as well as his 2013 First Word release ‘Distant Oceans’, Ross has been described as “The Future of Australian Jazz” (PBS FM)
The album was recorded at Red Bull Studios in New York in mid-2015 alongside regular collaborators Mark de Clive Lowe, Myele Manzanza and Dylan Marshall as well as seasoned NYC players Marcus Strickland, Corey King, Tivon Pennicott and Duane Eubanks. The resulting album represents the arrival of a unique antipodean voice in modern jazz; one that sits comfortably alongside artists like Kamasi Washington and The Robert Glasper Experiment at the vanguard of contemporary improvised music.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Follow me to the PoPcorn (VA, 2016)

Originating in Belgium at the end of the 60s/early 70s, Popcorn was a scene with an emphasis on often obscure black American records. Drawing parallels with the Northern Soul scene from around the same time, young people flocked from all over Belgium to cram into a converted barn to dance to these exotic sounds. Whilst Northern favoured an often uptempo 60s soul sound, popcorn focused almost entirely on slower numbers.
There still remains some confusion as to what exactly Popcorn means in musical terms. Not following established genre conventions, The Popcorn sound is hard to pin down - there are Soul, Blues, Ska, Pop, Jazz and Latin records which are all Popcorn – and all are represented here.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Kandace Springs - Soul Eyes (2016)

Every so often a new singer emerges who’s able to assimilate multiple musical touchstones and still come off sounding remarkably fresh and unburdened by the past. Kandace Springs is one of those artists. The 27-year-old, Nashville-based singer, songwriter and pianist counts such stylists as Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Roberta Flack and Norah Jones as her heroes, but as evidenced by her sparkling full-length Blue Note Records debut, Soul Eyes,Springs mimics none of them.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Nat Birchall - Creation (2016)

 “Creation” is Nat Birchall's eighth album and his most fully realised to date. The group assembled for this recording features two drummers, Johnny Hunter and Andy Hay, and along with Nat, pianist Adam Fairhall and bassist Michael Bardon they create a sound and energy perfectly matched to reveal the deepest messages within the music. The group create enough kinetic energy for interstellar travel, which is exactly where the music takes the listener!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Miles Ahead (2016)

MILES AHEAD, inspired by events in his life, is a wildly entertaining, impressionistic, no-holds barred portrait of one of 20th century music’s creative geniuses, Miles Davis, featuring a career defining performance by Oscar® nominee Don Cheadle in the title role. Working from a script he co-wrote with Steven Baigelman, Cheadle makes his bravura directorial debut.
In the midst of a dazzling and prolific career at the forefront of modern jazz innovation, Miles Davis (Cheadle) virtually disappears from public view for a period of five years in the late 1970s. Alone and holed up in his home, he is beset by chronic pain from a deteriorating hip, his musical voice stifled and numbed by drugs and pain medications, his mind haunted by unsettling ghosts from the past.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Born To Be Blue (2015)

Ethan Hawke lights up the screen as jazz legend Chet Baker, whose tumultuous life is thrillingly reimagined with wit, verve, and style to burn. In the 1950s, Baker was one of the most famous trumpeters in the world, renowned as both a pioneer of the West Coast jazz scene and an icon of cool. By the 1960s, he was all but washed up, his career and personal life in shambles due to years of heroin addiction. In his innovative anti-biopic, director Robert Budreau zeroes in on Baker’s life at a key moment in the 1960s, just as the musician attempts to stage a hard-fought comeback, spurred in part by a passionate romance with a new flame (Carmen Ejogo). 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Mavis (2015)

Dir: Jessica Edwards
United States / 2015 / 81mins

Mavis! is the first feature documentary on gospel/soul music legend and civil rights icon Mavis Staples and her family group, The Staple Singers. From the freedom songs of the ’60s and hits like I’ll Take You There in the ’70s, to funked-up collaborations with Prince and her recent albums with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, Mavis has stayed true to her roots, kept her family close, and inspired millions along the way.
Featuring powerful live performances, rare archival footage, and conversations with friends and contemporaries including Bob Dylan, Prince, Bonnie Raitt, Levon Helm, Jeff Tweedy, Chuck D, and more, MAVIS! reveals the struggles, successes, and intimate stories of her journey. At 75, she's making the most vital music of her career, winning Grammy awards, and reaching a new generation of fans. Her message of love and equality is needed now more than ever.