Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Nick Waterhouse - Is That Clear ep (2011)

I Can Only Give You Everything by Nick Waterhouse

Nick Waterhouse is a vintage R&B and rock enthusiast who, under the guise of his own Pres Records imprint in San Francisco, has recorded and released two killer 45s: the Allah-Las' "Catamaran" and his own "Some Place." It's not just the sound that's vintage, it's also the analog equipment Waterhouse uses, from the 60 year-old microphones to open-reel tape machines. His newest release is a digital four-song EP comprised of the "Some Place" 7" and the forthcoming "Is That Clear" 7"— due out September 15th. The EP, released yesterday, works like a time machine: the combination of Waterhouse's husky vocal delivery and fiery guitar play paired with bursts of brass from his backing band the Turn-Keys transport the listener to a smokey and crowded club in the 1950s where the house band is one fire and everyone's on the dance floor shaking hips and burning rubber. Vinyl fans: the sold out "Some Place" 7" is already fetching top dollar on Ebay, so don't sleep on this next release.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Nicola Conte - Love & Revolution (2011)

Nicola Conte - Love from the Sun by iRieFicus

With Love & Revolution, it's fair to say that Conte, a guitarist who almost never dominates and a musician that often doesn't even participate, comes into his own as a composer and conceptualist. It's a mature work that is more cohesive, satisfying and unique than just about anything Conte has attempted before. A hippy dippy vibe prevails here, as suggested by the retro cover graphics, recalling some of the Impulse work of Dave Mackay and Vicky Hamilton, whose “Here" is heard here. But that's more a superficial catch-all than what this music is all about.

As before, the tendency toward songs with singers prevails here and, as usual, Conte surrounds himself with a variety of young singers who give his music just the right touch of silky soul including José James ("Love From The Sun," “Here," Mal Waldron's “Temple of Far East" set to Conte's words), Gregory Porter ("Do You Feel Like I Do," Jackie McLean's “Ghana" set to Conte's words), Melanie Charles ("Mystery of Love," “Love and Revolution," Cal Massey's “Quiet Dawn,") and Hungarian vocalist Veronika Harcsa ("I'm the Air").

- Doug Payne (All About Jazz)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Beverley Knight - Soul UK (2011)

Beverly Knight is a brilliant soul singer, who grew up at a time when black British music wasn’t as united as it is in these days of grime riding high in the pop charts. High quality dance and soulful pop acts struggled to have more than one hit single, and very few – Rod Temperton’s Heatwave and Jazzie B’s Soul II Soul are notable exceptions – were able to maintain albums success and international fame.

Both those acts are referred to here on Soul UK. ‘Soul’ in this insistence is a fairly broad church, referring to the (generally brilliant) soul pop made in Britain over the last 30 years. As a testament to the often-overlooked music made in the days when RnB still meant Big Joe Turner, not Beyoncé, Soul UK is remarkably effective. The songs covered here are wide-ranging, from the Prince-like rock pop of Roachford’s Cuddly Toy to Heatwave’s gorgeous ballad Always and Forever. Knight’s memory and taste are impeccable – it’s nothing but a joy to hear Junior Giscombe’s Mama Used to Say or Princess’ Say I’m Your Number One again.

- David Quantick

The New Mastersounds - Breaks from the Border (2011)

05 Freckles by LordIce

The New Mastersounds have just released their first ever US recorded album, 'Breaks From The Border'. 'Breaks' marks a new era in the band's sonic landscape by topping their unique syncopated grooves with group vocal styling. Band tested, fan approved. Check out a glimpse of behind the scenes in Tornillo, TX of the making of 'Breaks From The Border' in this exclusive video created by Ben Mears and Christopher Doody for

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Sweet Vandals - So Clear (2011)

Throughout 2010 The Sweet Vandals have been focusing on writing and recording their third album So Clear. They have also spend their time on further developing their studio "Funkameba Studios" and their own label: Sweet Records. So Clear, released by Unique Records in May 2011 and, go on it's own musical journey, exploring new sound territories but at the same time staying loyal to the organic, warm, pleasant and timeless analogical way of work with a rough and gnarly touch. Real music without any digital tricks, played by real musicians for true listeners. The Sweet Vandals, who have naturally grown out of a mixture of classic Soul, Raw Funk and authentic groove will give the listeners something to talk about.

Eddie Roberts & The Fire Eaters - Burn! (2011)

When in touring and recording in Spain with his band The New Mastersounds, guitarist Eddie Roberts joined forces with The Sweet Vandals' rhythm section, adding Chip Wickham's (Nightmares On Wax, Rae & Christian, The Pharcyde) world-class flute and Taz Modi's funktastic organ from Leeds/UK, and he sensed that this could be the beginning of something special. Burn! is the proof that his feelings were true. The Fire Eaters, as the combo was called, recorded the album produced by Eddie Roberts himself in 2010, completed 12 tracks including a good number of originals as well as their versions of classic acid jazz & soul tunes like I Believe In Miracles, the Lope Song or Latona, travelling way back to the times when jazz had soul and there was freedom in the rhythm.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Submotion Orchestra - Finest Hour (2011)

[...] Finest Hour has been cut in magnum opus mode, so there is no real break between tracks, giving the work a seamless quality, even as it drifts between genres. Broody opener Angel Eyes begins with full orchestration before dropping down to drum’n’bass basics; Back Chat starts out sounding like Richard Clayderman attacking Nadia’s Theme, until raspy bass warbles soon remind that we are heading for the dubstep zone. Always has a pick’n’mix feel, and Hymn for Him has down-tempo minimalism; All Yours could be Sade gone acid, while Pop and Lock and Secrets merge skewered jazz and broken d’n’b to fine effect. And even if songs like Suffer Not and Finest Hour seem unnecessarily sentimental, the dub-wise element of each lends a sensation of infiniteness. By the time we reach the closing Perfection, the journey has been a quietly bewildering one, becoming only marginally more familiar on another spin. [...]

Finest Hour Album Preview by Submotion Orchestra

Omar - Sing (If You Want It) [2011]

One of TWISTED JAZZ absolute fav artists gets a TruThoughts treatment

of a modern lost classic!!!

Omar’s ‘Sing (If You Want It)’ album – featuring collaborators including Stevie Wonder, Estelle, Common and Angie Stone – released by Tru Thoughts on 18th July 2011 with the addition of two new bonus tracks

Omar’s sixth album, ‘Sing (If You Want It)’ is a bona fide soul classic and was all set to tip the UK soul sensation into the pop-star realm, once and for all, on its release in 2005. However, a series of setbacks – not least the sudden collapse of the record label involved, a week after release – severely dented its chances of breakthrough success. Hardly a flop, it impressively still sold over 50,000 copies, but as Tru Thoughts A&R and long-time Omar fan Robert Luis says, “it was so heavily anticipated, and with collabs from the likes of Stevie Wonder…well, everyone knew it could have sold ten times that”.