Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

Quasimode - Sounds of Peace (2008)

Japan's finest and TwistedJazz favourites return with another smash in 2008

A deeper sound than usual for Quasimode -- and that's saying a lot, given their previous albums! There's a fullness here that's really amazing -- a further extension of their already righteous approach to jazzy grooves, into territory that's even more mindblowing, soul-searching, and perfectly played! As before, there's lots of upbeat acoustic rhythms on the set -- club jazz, but not of the fake variety -- topped with searing horn work that includes guest performances from members of Sleep Walker, Soil & Pimp, and Jazz Collective! But almost even better are the few vocal cuts -- featuring either Dwight Trible or Carmen Lundy -- both singers we totally love from a classic jazz perspective, sounding even more wonderful here in the company of Quasimode. The whole thing's great -- an album we'd stack proudly next to our older favorites on Impulse or Strata East -- and titles include "Take The New Frontiers", "Finger Tip", "Young Black Horse", "One Possibility", "Rumble In The Jungle", "Midnight Flower", and "Sound Of Peace". © 1996-2008, Dusty Groove America, Inc.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Friday, November 7, 2008

Lonnie Liston Smith - Expansions (1974)

When Lonnie Liston Smith left the Miles Davis band in 1974 for a solo career, he was, like so many of his fellow alumni, embarking on a musical odyssey. For a committed fusioneer, he had no idea at the time that he was about to enter an abyss that it would take him the better part of two decades to return from. Looking back upon his catalog from the period, this is the only record that stands out — not only from his own work, but also from every sense of the word: It is fully a jazz album, and a completely funky soul-jazz disc as well. Of the seven compositions here, six are by Smith, and the lone cover is of the Horace Silver classic, "Peace." The lineup includes bassist Cecil McBee, soprano saxophonist David Hubbard, tenor saxophonist Donald Smith (who doubles on flute), drummer Art Gore, and percussionists Lawrence Killian, Michael Carvin, and Leopoldo. Smith plays both piano and electric keyboards and keeps his compositions on the jazzy side — breezy, open, and full of groove playing that occasionally falls over to the funk side of the fence. It's obvious, on this album at least, that Smith was not completely comfortable with Miles' reliance on hard rock in his own mix. Summery and loose in feel, airy and free with its in-the-cut beats and stellar piano fills, Expansions prefigures a number of the "smooth jazz" greats here, without the studio slickness and turgid lack of imagination.

Lonnie's Official Page

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Lizzy Parks - Raise the Roof (2008)

"A work of art – with its dense, panoramic and majestic soundscape”
Raise The Roof, Lizzy Parks’ debut album on Tru Thoughts, is a euphoric, original and unforgettable introduction to one of the most talented and distinctive singers of the moment. Deftly produced by Ben ‘Nostalgia 77’ Lamdin and with rich, dramatic orchestration from Riaan Vosloo of the acclaimed Nostalgia 77 Octet, ‘Raise The Roof’ embodies Lizzy’s fresh and modern personal twist on the singer-songwriter tradition, encompassing elements of various styles from retro jazz and boogie soul to ambient experimental music...
(Text from Blues & Soul mag)
Lizzy Parks Official Page