Monday, December 28, 2009

10 years of TruThoughts records (limited 3cd edition, 2009)


Brighton's Thu Thoughts is easily one of the UK's best independent labels, regardless of whether its audience is energetically twitching on the dancefloor or bobbing about in a chilled boudoir. Variegation is a natural force, as the roster effortlessly embraces funk, hip hop, soul, ambient, electro, jazz, drun'n'bass, Latin, reggae and Afrobeat, sometimes favouring the full flow of the songwriter’s craft, and at other times stripping down to a minimalist beat-hardness, designed for maximum DJ spinnage.

This lavish three-disc set arrives in the form of a hardback booklet, detailing the label's history so far. The first two discs select highlights from the existing catalogue, whilst the third unveils a host of new music, whether hot off the laptop or dug up from old sessions. The cuts were apparently chosen in typically democratic fashion, with much canvassing of the extended Tru Thoughts posse.

The majority of tracks are perhaps understandably culled from the last five years or so, but the presence of Bonobo harks back to the first Tru Thoughts album release in 2000, which was already successful enough to make founders Robert Luis and Paul Jonas consider the reality of a professional record company future. Disc one has the courage to open with a restful flotation, slinking from Bonobo to the bewitching Nostalgia 77, with singer Alice Russell livening up by track three, yet still keeping things slinkily soulful.


Disc two points out the Tru Thoughts predilection for a new form of soul authenticity, as The Quantic Soul Orchestra start to impersonate digital means with a full live band. A snagging guitar figure dominates their Super 8, with whiplash funky drumming and a flooding bass sound as bonuses. The label's latest batch of soul swivellers are represented by Belleruche, with yet more pinpricking guitar, along with Kathrin DeBoer's distinctive vocals, on Northern Girls. It's an updating of vintage production values that typifies the Tru Thoughts ethos.


The set's third disc of unfamiliar material is mainly instrumental, but most of its peaks happen to feature vocals. Domu's We Can makes a beguiling skip through a strong tune, Hint's Tape Packs gets ultra-robotic and Saravah Soul's Alforria splices into a strange new Brazilian-afrobeat hybrid. The label's best new signing Stonephace provide a fitting climax with their Singularity, featuring breathy flute, automated Flamenco handclaps and heavy Ennio Morricone-styled guitar.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Quasimode - Daybreak (2009)


Amazing sounds from Quasimode -- one of the hardest-hitting, piano-driven combos you could ever hope to find! The album's their first full set of original work for Blue Note Japan, and it may well be their best set so far for the label -- a really massive batch of music that features the core quartet really riffing away, with some added horns to really enrich their sound! There's a deeply spiritual undercurrent to the tracks, thanks to the presence of heavy conga on most numbers, and bold use of classic modal jazz styles -- lots of 60s and 70s elements that lean heavy on the basslines, but also change things more into a Latin-modal approach, given even more focus on the congas here than before. Most tracks are instrumental, but two numbers feature vocals from China Moses, and one more from Wouter Hamel -- and as a special treat, Fabrizio Bosso also plays a bit of trumpet on the record.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

4HERO - Extensions (2009)

4hero present a compilation of original previously unreleased cover versions of their music, reinterpreted by a selection of hand picked artists. When presented with the idea of doing another remix album they felt a need to do something new and fresh, rather than calling up the usual remix suspects and getting dance floor club mixes 4hero have put together an album that would happily sit on the shelf of a 4hero fan. For this project they’ve sought out a range of forward thinking outts, orchestra’s & producers including some new discoveries to cover their music. 4hero played their part in the music supervision including some recording, mixing and co producing tracks on the album making the project that much more special to the 4hero fan base. The result is cinematic and dynamic in structure and styles. 4hero are well known for pioneering new electronic music genres including Jungle/D&B, Broken Beat and Nu Jazz. The “Extensions” recordings are the best way to define Nu Jazz.


Best Album of 2009: Build An Ark - Love pt. 1 (2009)



A perfect title for a perfect record -- especially given all the love we've felt from Build An Ark over the years! The album's a masterpiece through and through -- easily the greatest statement ever from this already-amazing band -- a contemporary ensemble, but one that we'd seamlessly rank right next to our righteous favorites on labels like Impulse Records, Tribe, or Strata East -- with all the political power and sense of social mission those references would imply! The song titles alone will give you a great idea of the beautiful vibe behind Build An Ark -- tunes like "Celebrate", "How Do We End All This Madness", "Love Is Everywhere", "World Peace Now", and "This Prayer For The Whole World" -- which re-ignite the Love Supreme candle first lit by John Coltrane in the 1960s -- burning brightly again in the 21st Century, and almost even more inspiring -- given the youthful energy of the group. As always, mainman Carlos Nino deserves a hell of a lot of credit for getting something this great, this right -- but the group is also very clearly a collective, and draws amazing energy from members who include Dwight Trible, Kamau Daaood, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Damon Aaron, Jim Lang, and others. In addition to above-mentioned titles, other tunes include "Sweet Thing", "World Music", "More Love", "In The Park", and "Play The Music".
© 1996-2009, Dusty Groove America, Inc.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Branford Marsalis Quartet - Metamorphosen (2009)



As on his recording Requiem, dedicated to his longtime friend and pianist Kenny Kirkland, Branford Marsalis dedicates this recording to his mentors, friends, and jazz icons who had passed away prior to its recording. The CD varies between his tenor or alto saxophone celebratory-led post and neo-bop compositions, or the somber, reflective slower songs featuring the soprano sax of Marsalis. This exceptional band, together for ten years, with drummer Jeff Watts, bassist Eric Revis, and pianist Joey Calderazzo, communicate with utter confidence and the mastery of expert professional musicians who need few verbal or charted cues to spring forth into action. Thelonious Monk's influence is recognizable on the jagged edged, quirky Watts composition "The Return of the Jitney Man," the straight, no-frills hard bop chaser "Jabberwocky" where Marsalis borrows a page from the book of Charlie Rouse, a take of "Rhythm-A-Ning" moves from straight-ahead to staggering funk, with most of the intact original line phrase, while "Sphere," composed by Revis, is an original angular adaptation of Monk's style without much paraphrasing . A tribute to the actor, "Abe Vigoda" is a crusty and dusty ballad, "The Blossom of Parting" a reverent, sad song for the departed, and "The Last Goodbye" a similarly themed ballad, all with Marsalis on the soprano. Perhaps the most original piece is "And Then He Was Gone/Samo," featuring an extended solo from Revis, intentionally messy and frustrated, followed by the finale, a funky 7/8 soul and spirit song. A fine, emotional and heartfelt effort from Marsalis, one of his best since Requiem, it faithfully pays tribute to those late heroes like Alvin Batiste, Michael Brecker, Freddie Hubbard, Dewey Redman, Max Roach, Willie Turbinton, et. al., while also staying true to himself.

http://www.allmusic.com

Friday, October 23, 2009

Barrio Jazz Gang - Chok-A-Block Avenue

The Quiet Nights Orchestra - Chapter One (2009)



Just when you thought the Swedish invasion was over, Do Right! Music is thrilled to present the QUIET NIGHTS ORCHESTRA, yet another awesome export from the stoopidly diverse Stockholm scene.
Don't be fooled by the QNO's placid sounding handle, there's nothing stodgy about these eight bold souls -- led by trombone titan Peter Fredriksson and featuring the seductively swoopingvoice of Sofie Norling -- are among the hottest young jazz talents in Scandinavia. Now they're poised to take on the world.
The QNO's astonishingly tight Chapter One debut combines the sophisticated swing of a classic Blue Note set with the cool precision and propulsive grooves that exemplify the very best of the Nordic jazz tradition. But this creative crew isn't stuck in the past. The QNO's club ready joints, like their Latinesque heater The Search, and their modalicious Helsinki (recently given a broken beat retouch by Nils Krogh), are already getting spins from tastemaking selectas like BBC ace Gilles Peterson, dancefloor don Nicola Conte and Belgium's DJ Nova from Beyondjazz who know a good thing when they hear it. You'll know it too!


text from Do Right Music


Bonobo - The Keeper featuring Andreya Triana

video

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Quantic and his Combo Barbaro - The Dreaming Mind

A multi-cultural band of exceptional musicians giving an explosive sonic snapshot of the ever-evolving musical landscape of the Americas.


video

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mother Earth Discography





Mother Earth - Stoned Woman

Year released:1992 (30/04/1992)
The first Mother Earth LP.Featuring
Shauna Greene on lead vocals








Mother Earth - The People Tree

Year released: 1994 (21/02/1994)
Recorded at Peter Garbiels Real World studio
Acid Jazz studios










Mother Earth - You Have Beeb Watching

Year released:1995 (16/05/1995)
Includes a cover version of the Small Faces
song "Wham Bam Thank You Mam"









Mother Earth - The Desired Effect

Year released: 1996 (27/05/1996)
Live album recorded in Europe between
September and Octomber 1995









Mother Earth - Riot On 103rd Srteet


Year released:1998 (12/10/1998)
Compilation album that contains all the tracks
from the Mr. Freedom EP. Also includes a cover
version of Curtis Mayfields 'We're A Winner'







Mother Earth - Time Of The Future

Year released:2001 (02/04/2001)
Compilation album that includes all the tracks
from the 'Freethinker EP'
Also contains cover versions of 'Small Faces &
Curtis Mayfield' song




SINGLES


Hope You're Feeling Better 1993
Mr. Freedom EP 1993
Grown Your Own EP 1993
Find It 1993
Jesse 1994
Jesse Line EP 1994
Institution Man 1994
Freethinker EP 1995
(Never Gonna Get) To War 1995
Compare Yourself 1996



Matt Deighton: Lead Vocals & Guitars
Bryn Barklam: Hammond Organ Piano & Fender Rhodes
Neil Corcolan: Bass
Chris White: Drums & Percussion

http://www.mother-earth.fsnet.co.uk/


video

Tim Maya the Soul of Brazil

Tim Maia (1942-1998) was one of Brazil's first exponents of North American-style soul and funk music, as well as one of the country's first rockers. In the late 'Fifties, he was in a rock band with future superstar Roberto Carlos; in '58 Maia moved to the U.S.A., where he stayed for several years before being deported for drug possession in 1964. His first handful of albums in the 1970s were watersheds for Brazilian pop -- along with Jorge Ben, Maia was one of the main architects of Brazilian funk, although Maia's taste ran towards softer pop material and later towards disco and synth-heavy pop crossovers. A party animal 'til the end, Maia suffered a heart attack while performing in concert, and died about a week later. Many of his songs are MPB standards, particularly with soul-oriented performers such as Jorge Ben and Daude, although he also enjoyed early success as a songwriter when jazz diva Elis Regina covered his material. His nephew, Ed Motta, took up the cause in the 1980s, recording his own mix of danceable funk and romantic soul.
video

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Nostalgia 77 Sessions feat. Keith & Julie Tippett


The appearance of veteran English artists Keith and Julie Tippett makes producer Benedic Lamdin's Nostalgia 77 Sessions an interesting prospect, with much of that promise realised over the album's 14 songs. The music covers the ground between blues, soul and jazz, but it's the left turns taken by the two stars that make it such an intriguing success.

Most immediately ear-catching is the brilliant piano solo taken by Keith Tippett on opener You Don't Just Dream When You Sleep. It's a real sit-up-and-notice experience that takes the music in a new, unexpected direction reminiscent of what may be Tippett's best known performance, his crucial contribution to King Crimson's Cat Food. Beginning with Julie Tippett's soul/blues-inflected vocals and Riaan Vosloo's rich bass tones, Keith steps in after a couple of minutes with slow single notes that spread out into a vigorous middle passage echoed in the outro.

Also remarkable is the strikingly mellifluous free passage that concludes the initially jazzy Sketch For Gary/Billy Goes To Town. It's an approach that finds its echo in the contemplative Lapis Blue, but instead of good-natured angularity, Julie Tippett sings gently into silence. Soothing The Rattlesnake sounds like it might do just that with keening and cooing accompanied by sparse, long-held notes on piano and bass. The group create a magical space that's both eery and strangely inviting. These sessions are notable for the balance they achieve between melody and freedom and the unexpected, but natural way in which one develops from the other.

By Colin Buttimer - BBC.co.uk

TruThoughts site - Nostalgia 77 official - @ MYSPACE -

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

El Michels Affair - Enter The 37th Chamber (2009)


Cinematic funky soul instrumentals from the El Michels Affair -- the loose NYC collective's long awaited full length nod to the Wu Tang Clan! The crew brings their tried and true slow rolling and dirty funk to their interpretations of classic Wu Tang tracks, with some straight up beautiful sophisticated soul backdrops, too, and Leon & the crew pull it all off masterfully! The RZA's sonic stamp is too innovative and idiosyncratic for a simple live band rehash, and the group is wise to use the famous crackling sample built soundscapes to craft both an homage to the Wu Tang's best material, as well as the 70s funk, soul, and cinema sounds that informed them in the first place. A few of the tracks first blew our minds as funky 45s, and this fully formed set was worth the wait -- from the moody organ funk of "Can It All Be So Simple", the funky drummer rhythms of "Uzi (Pinky Ring)", the string accented moods of "Heaven And Hell", the brass band and children's chorus cover of "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" and lots more! Other tracks include "Glaciers Of Ice", "Incarcerated Scarfaces", "Bring Da Ruckus" and more. The CD version includes an unlisted bonus track.
© 1996-2009, Dusty Groove America, Inc.

Truth & Soul rec entry - Last.Fm - On UTube -

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Paris Blues (1961) trailer

Paris Blues (Martin Ritt, 1961)

Paris Blues (1961) is an American feature film filmed on location in Paris, starring Sidney Poitier as expatriate jazz musician Eddie Cook, and Paul Newman as trombone-playing Ram Bowen. The two men romance two vacationing American tourists, Connie Lampson (Diahann Carroll) and Lillian Corning (Joanne Woodward). The film also features Louis Armstrong and jazz pianist Aaron Bridgers, was produced by Sam Shaw, directed by Martin Ritt from a screenplay by Walter Bernstein, and with cinematography by Christian Matras. Paris Blues was released in the U. S. on September 27, 1961.
The film's soundrack was written by Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington.

(Text from Wikipedia)

Paris Blues @ IMDB - AMG entry

Monday, March 30, 2009

Miles Davis & John Coltrane - So What

50th year anniversary: Miles Davis - Kind of Blue (1959)



Kind of Blue isn't merely an artistic highlight for Miles Davis, it's an album that towers above its peers, a record generally considered as the definitive jazz album, a universally acknowledged standard of excellence. Why does Kind of Blue posses such a mystique? Perhaps because this music never flaunts its genius. It lures listeners in with the slow, luxurious bassline and gentle piano chords of "So What." From that moment on, the record never really changes pace — each tune has a similar relaxed feel, as the music flows easily. Yet Kind of Blue is more than easy listening. It's the pinnacle of modal jazz — tonality and solos build from the overall key, not chord changes, giving the music a subtly shifting quality. All of this doesn't quite explain why seasoned jazz fans return to this record even after they've memorized every nuance. They return because this is an exceptional band — Miles, Coltrane, Bill Evans, Cannonball Adderley, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb — one of the greatest in history, playing at the peak of its power. As Evans said in the original liner notes for the record, the band did not play through any of these pieces prior to recording. Davis laid out the themes before the tape rolled, and then the band improvised. The end results were wondrous and still crackle with vitality. Kind of Blue works on many different levels. It can be played as background music, yet it amply rewards close listening. It is advanced music that is extraordinarily enjoyable. It may be a stretch to say that if you don't like Kind of Blue, you don't like jazz — but it's hard to imagine it as anything other than a cornerstone of any jazz collection.

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Official Site - Miles @ All About Jazz -

Friday, March 27, 2009

[Re:Jazz] Live in Yokohama (2008)


A really great live set from Re:Jazz -- one that's got an even more soulful feel than some of their previous studio work! The performance features a small core group -- acoustic piano from group leader Matthias Vogt, mixed with guitar, bass, and drums -- plus a range of saxes and flute from Oliver Leicht, whose contributions here really deepen the sound! The lovely Inga Luhning sings on a number of tracks -- with a warmly soulful feel that's great, and much more unified than the mix of singers you might have heard on the earliest projects from the group -- continuing the great sound she brought forth on the Expansion record. Re:Jazz have moved way past their initial gimmick by this point -- and the album has them working as a really tight ensemble who mix together jazz and soul for a contemporary audience -- recorded here with a beautifully crisp feel. Titles include "Cupid & Orlando", "Style", "Keep On Movin", "All Over", "Written In The Stars", "Can You Live", "Torch Of Freedom", and "People Hold On". Also features a bonus DVD, in PAL format -- with a 90 minute documentary "Re:Jazz In Japan" -- plus 30 minutes of bonus material that show the group recording with Alice Russell!

Text from Dusty Groove

Official Site - Doc Trailer - MySpace page - On YouTube - Last.Fm page

Friday, March 20, 2009

Clara Hill


Clara Hill is a musician born in Berlin, Germany. She has collaborated with artists like Stefan Leisering and Axel Reinemer ( Jazzanova / Extended Spirit), Dixon, Georg Levin, Marc Mac (4 Hero), King Britt, Vikter Duplaix, Atjazz, Charles Webster and more. Clara Hill recorded three studio albums: Restless Times, All I Can Provide, and Clara Hill´s Folkwaves: Sideways. All Lp's on Sonar Kollektiv.

At seventeen, Hill founded the acid jazz band Superjuice, together with her friend Funès. In the early nineties, at the height of acid jazz, the band toured through Berlin clubs and Germany, gathering a high-profile reputation. During these years, Clara made her first steps in live music. During one of her shows, she met DJ Alex Barck from Jazzanova, who was spinning records as a support DJ. In 1998 he introduced her to the producers of Extended Spirit (2/6 of Jazzanova): Stefan Leisering and Axel Reinemer, that produced a few tracks with Clara. And with Stefan Leisering the song "No Use" was composed which later appeared on the first Jazzanova album "in Between".
In the meantime Clara sang in another band: Stereoton. A band that was rooted in hip hop but played with jazz elements. With Stereoton, a 12" on Sonar Kollektiv was recorded and eventually an enduring cooperation with Jazzanova emerged cause later they produced her first album "Restless Times". Besides Jazzanova, Clara Hill though also was working with Berlin based house-producer DIXON and singer-song writer GEORG LEVIN. On his hit "(I Got) Somebody New", that was remixed by Masters Of Work, her voice can be heard alongside Georg Levin.
Clara Hill also worked with several musicians and producers like King Britt, Marc Mac(4 hero), Vikter Duplaix, Atjazz, Charles Webster, Sandboy, Slope, Volker Meitz, Rivulets.


(Text from Wikipedia)


Friday, March 13, 2009

Lorez Alexandria - For Swingers Only (1963)


One of the greatest albums ever from Lorez Alexandria -- an ultra-hip singer who recorded for Impulse and King, but who sounds especially wonderful on this rare date for Chess Records! The album's got a groove that definitely lives up to its title -- a jazzy, bouncy sort of rhythm that's definitely "for swingers only", and which is a nice contrast to overdone torch or standard jazz vocal modes. Alexandria's singing is completely sublime -- quite fluid, yet with a soulful depth that's really amazing -- and her backing combo is equally hip -- a group led by John Young on piano, and also featuring George Eskirdge on guitar, Jimmy Garrison on bass, Phil Thomas on drums, and Ronald Wilson on flute and tenor -- an obscure player whose reed work really makes the album sparkle! The song choices are great too -- a mix of some under-recorded gems and a few blue-toned classics -- all redone amazingly by Lorez with a sound that's quite unique. Titles include her classic Argo reading of "Baltimore Oriole", which begins with an amazing drum/bass passage that's worth the price of the album alone -- and other tracks include "The End Of A Love Affair", "Baltimore Oriole", "All Or Nothing At All", "Mother Earth", "Love Look Away", and "Traveling Down A Lonely Road".

© 1996-2009, Dusty Groove America, Inc.

Lorez Alexandria Last.Fm page - The AMG entry

Friday, February 27, 2009

Aaron Jerome - Time to Rearrange (2008)

Aaron Jerome combines his brilliant production skills with accomplished musicianship and a rising Dj career. Working at one of London's top independent record stores has not only secured him a myriad of contacts in the music industry, but also exposed him to a wide range of musical influences - as is readily apparent on his debut album "Time to Rearrange" which features plenty of young and up-and-coming guest artists such as Bajka, Simphiwe Dana (South African SAMA 6 times award winning artist), Mozez (Zero 7), Yungun and Kathrin deBoer (Belleruche).
Having DJ'ed in places from South Africa to Sweden and back to the UK and all places in between, Aaron has also been cutting his teeth for a while with remixes for established artists such as Roy Ayers, Bugz in the Attic, Zap Mama and Nitin Sawhney, but it was his remix of Nicole Willis' 'Feeling Free' that really got this young artist noticed. Fania also released his stunning re-work of Pete Rodriguez as part of the Fania DJ series on 12" late 2007.

Text from Soul Seduction


Page on BBE Music - LastFm page - On YouTube - MySpacePage -

Monday, February 23, 2009

Fertile Ground


Although they're considered new artists, Fertile Ground has seven years, countless performances, and dozens of recordings to their credit. After 2 years of extensive touring, writing and recording, the group unveiled their fourth full-length masterpiece, simply entitled Black Is... The highly-anticipated CD, is the sequel to the acclaimed 2002 release Seasons Change. This fourth full-length album, contains a range of ethereal classics such as "Yellow Daisies", a soulful jazz waltz ballad full of affirmation, the joyful noise of "Live In the Light"; and the introspectively revealing song "Naked," which gives us an example of how to truly connect with and reflect each other. Selling more than 125,000 albums , Fertile Ground has created the modern blueprint for independent music sales and become the leader of a movement. With a rebellious freedom and an undaunted genius Fertile Ground's founding leader and keyboardist, James Collins, started Blackout Studios to help get the band's music to listeners the best way possible. Where many artists believe the hype and opt to stand in the longest line waiting to be scooped up by a label, Blackout Studios recognizes that good music can be transmitted through the effective use of the underground.
Fertile Ground has shared the stage with such multi-platinum heavyweights as Cassandra Wilson, Hugh Masekela, Me'Shell N'Degeocello, India Arie, Wynton Marsalis, Jill Scott, Chaka Khan, and even Run DMC. The band is often classified as Soul-Jazz, but they spill out of any genre as a cross-cultural fusion of all things spiritual and funk-ridden. In this realm called good music, theatrics never replace integrity, nor does experience and success replace a creatively fresh approach to each project. Messages are heart-felt, conveying an unashamed spirituality, a firm political stance, or whatever the moment requires, and everything is heavily supported by raw, organic, often danceable compositions in the tradition of Fela Kuti, Stevie Wonder, Santana, and Earth Wind & Fire. With the requisite strength, depth and energy to electrify crowds, musicians, DJs, journalists, and promoters not just once or twice, but over and over again, Fertile Ground has been cementing their place as musical and social innovators.

New album out this fall 2009. Stay Tuned...

(Text from the Fertile Ground MySpace Page)