Monday, December 31, 2012

Tia Fuller - Angelic Warrior (2012)

Tia Fuller’s third release on Mack Avenue Records, Angelic Warrior, marks her deep-rooted evolution as an instrumentalist, composer and bandleader. After five years in Beyoncé’s band, the pop diva’s attention to detail in the studio rubbed off on Fuller. She has since developed a heightened focus in the editing, mixing and mastering process of Angelic Warrior, as the producer. And as the Assistant Musical Director for Esperanza Spalding’s Radio Music Society touring band, Fuller applies her pop and jazz chops on behalf of some of the hottest artists in music today.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Nils Landgren - Chistmas With My Friends III (2012)

The test of a great Christmas album is simple: will it sound good in August? Christmas With My Friends III should ace that particular test. Even those who derive most festive fun from repeatedly grunting "Bah, Humbug" at passing kindergarten children will be drawn into the spell of this music. Beautifully performed by some of the European jazz scene's finest singers and musicians, the gentle grace of the music comes to the fore and serves as a reminder of Christmas' spiritual quality.
This is the third Christmas album from prolific Swedish trombonist Nils Landgren, and features the same lineup of musical friends as Christmas With My Friends II (ACT, 2008). Recorded at two December 2011 concerts in Storkyrkan, Stockholm's largest church, Christmas With My Friends III boasts exceptional sound, thanks to engineer Lars Nilsson. This audio quality ensures that every nuance comes across clearly, transmitting the atmosphere of the live performances from those cold December nights.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cassandra Wilson - Another Country (2012)

Ms. Wilson needs no introduction to a legion of fans who have been captivated by her eight albums for the Blue Note label during the course of almost two decades with that esteemed imprint. With a million Soundscan albums to her credit in the U.S., she s one of the very few jazz artists whose artistic influence and contributions have been matched by unqualified commercial success.
Creatively, Cassandra Wilson has never rested on her laurels, and her new album, Another Country, is no exception to the rule. Nine of the ten songs are composed by Ms. Wilson and/or her collaborating partner, guitarist-producer Fabrizio Sotti, with the tenth a very special arrangement by the duo of the classic aria, O Sole Mio. Recorded in Florence, Italy, the entire sound of the album is intimate, guitar-driven, and lushly romantic. Launched by the lead single, Red Guitar, Another Country is poised to invigorate Cassandras intensely loyal fan base as well as greet new audiences.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Ariya Astrobeat Arkestra - Towards Other Worlds (2012)

Ariya Astrobeat Arkestra are back with their second album ‘Towards Other Worlds’. The UK- based 9 piece have built on the success of their debut album, described by BBC Radio 2’s Jamie Cullum as one of his ‘sounds and albums of 2010’. Afrobeat’s inimitable rhythm and language is evident and the band also owes part of their sound to the space jazz pioneers of the 70s and the free jazz trailblazers of the 60s.
Towards Other Worlds explores this diverse blueprint, taking in driving afro-funk, spiritual jazz, and Mulatu-esque Ethio-jazz. Built around a quote of the Sun-Ra film ‘Space Is The Place’ the album is split into two halves – the first represents Earth and it’s ‘sounds of guns, anger, frustration’ whilst the second is couched in the cosmos, where ‘the vibrations are different’, leading to a more progressive, peaceful sound.

Indigo Jam Unit - Rebel (2012)

 by Pyke
If there is one band that can be considered as the absolute TWISTED JAZZ band it's the INDIGO JAM UNIT. Exploding jazz tunes, prolific (a record each year) even in those blink-and-you'll-miss-it digital times, beautiful melodies, unexpected covers (remember that great Re:common cover record?). 
Anyone familiar with the IJU trademark sound would know by now what to expect. And that's exactly what's being delivered wrapped up in optimal quality and innovative playing. From the very first notes of the powerhouse calling card "Rebel" to the emotional centerpiece "Graduation Day" and latin tour-de-force "Danza Eterna" and all the way to the relaxing closing exercise "Reflection", the japanese trio is showing once again how confident, strong and adventurous it is by simply stretching its arms.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Re:Jazz - Kaleidoscope (2012)

German band Re:Jazz have just celebrated ten years together and 'Kaleidoscope' is their fifth studio album. It opens in wonderful style with the delightfully soulful 'Don't Push Your Luck' which features vocals from N'Dea Davenport. It's a great throwback to the best of the Acid Jazz years and it's every bit as good as anything that Ms Davenport's erstwhile employers, The Brand New Heavies, have ever come up with. The band's new, "regular" vocalist, Mediha, is out front on 'Wonders Of The World' which offers more of the same vibe.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Juice ‎– Feel Like Good Music / Catch A Groove (1976)



Holly Cole - Night (2012)

"The night time is the right time"… It's a musical statement the great Ray Charles and many others have made gloriously. But for singer Holly Cole, the feeling expressed in this classic blues/jazz motif is much more than just celebratory. To her, the comfort of the nighttime is central to her personal and artistic life. As is usual when it comes to this iconic Canadian songstress, this is an album that features a stylistically diverse and emotionally stirring collection of songs. Supported by musicians the singer recognizes as soul mates and companions, the album presents a fullblown reunion of the original Holly Cole Trio, featuring pianist Aaron Davis and double-bassist David Piltch. 

Moskus - Salmesykkel (2012)

Pianist Anja Lauvdal, bass player Fredrik Luhr Dietrichson and drummer Hans Hulbækmo are all in their early twenties, and have been part of the creative milieu in the Jazz Department of the Trondheim Conservatory of Music. Anja and Hans have already made a name for themselves as part of the critically acclaimed rock bands Your Headlights are On and The Avalanche/Snøskred. In 2011 Moskus was the first jazz band towin Grappa Record Company’s annual “Debut Artist Award”.
[...]their sound is unmistakeably Nordic, and fans of e.s.t., In the Country or Tord Gustavsen will probably find much to keep them happy here.[...] Salmesykkel is a quiet joy; a thoughtful, unshowy piece of work whose maturity and poise seems at odds with the tender ages of its creators.- Peter Marsh (BBCmusic)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Submotion Orchestra - Fragments (2012)

Bass, rhythm and soul are still paramount, but from the first few bars of 'Intro', with it's Philip Glass-meets Penguin Cafe pianos, it's clearly evident that the band have broadened their musical palate. It's also also clear they've made this expansion sound effortlessly captivating - ready to melt minds and bassbins alike.
"In making 'Fragments', we started to stretch out from the template of the first album", explains keyboardist Taz Modi. "There's a lot more colour and moods on this record; strings, woodwind and various new synth textures. We followed our noses to see where they'd lead us. There should be enough here to satisfy fans of 'Finest Hour', but hopefully there'll be quite a bit to surprise them as well...;"

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Menagerie - They Shall Inherit (2012)

Menagerie is the spiritual jazz project from the prolific producer, songwriter and guitarist Lance Ferguson, best known for his eclectic and highly acclaimed work under the Lanu and The Bamboos monikers, and here venturing out to explore new musical terrain. The first album, ‘They Shall Inherit’ is out in December 2012 on CD, vinyl and digital; featuring a guest appearance from the legendary US jazz/funk vibraphonist Roy Ayers, the album has gained early support from the authority on all things leftfield, Gilles Peterson (Worldwide/BBC 6Music).

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sonar Kollektiv 15 Years Of Volxmusik (comp, 2012)

You’ll always find a reason to party if you will. Sonar Kollektiv’s 15th anniversary is more than just another invitation to let one’s hair down though.
Sonar Kollektiv was founded in 1997 by Jazzanova. Designed as a platform for own releases it soon attracted numerous new discoveries and like-minded musicians to lead their trumps right here. Still it was never the intention of Sonar Kollektiv to pursue one specific sound or provide an already existing scene. Each and every release on the label (250 and counting) was at all times meant to illustrate the musical taste of the collective, its flavourful development and recollection of past sounds. The various compilations and label showcases played a big part of it. From the renowed „Secret Love“ compilation (No. 6 has been released in October 2012), the „Computer Incarnations For World Peace“ edition, the „...Boadcasting“ and „....Mixing“-series to the „Romanian Jazz“ label showcase Sonar Kollektiv continuously cares about broadening its own and the horizon of any type of music lovers. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Larry "Stonephace" Stabbins - Transcedental (2012)

Back in the '80s, British jazz had one of its intermittent flirtations with pop chart success. Much of it, with the benefit of hindsight, was as much about the cut of a trumpeter's trouser as it was about the cutting-edge nature of the music. Some of it was eminently justifiable, as the best of these musicians brought varied influences together to create music that was technically skilful and genuinely engaging in a physical, emotional and intellectual sense. Working Week was one of the bands that justified the crossover success. Larry "Stonephace" Stabbins, guitarist Simon Booth and singer Juliet Roberts were the band's core, but they also drew on key players from the UK scene—trumpeters Harry Beckett and Guy Barker, and trombonist Annie Whitehead all made guest appearances on the band's debut, Working Nights (Virgin, 1985).

Monday, December 10, 2012

Lund Quartet - Lund Quartet (2012)

Thnx to Billy P. "the neighbour" for pointing this out...(Twisted Jazz)

by  John Eyles(BBCmusic)
Once in a blue moon, a debut album makes it obvious the band in question is exceptional. Thirty seconds into Sequoia, the opening track of Lund Quartet, it is clear this is one such album. Immediately, the listener is drawn into an economic soundscape of piano, bass and drums overlaid with sampled trumpets, which help make it a compelling piece.
Lund Quartet is Simon Adcock on piano and theremin, double bassist Rob Childs, drummer Sam Muscat, and Jake Wittlin on turntables. They are from Bristol and have been together five years. In 2010, they rented out an industrial unit in a car mechanic’s yard and built their own studio, using equipment obtained from skips and friends.

Friday, December 7, 2012

GoGo Penguin - Fanfares (2012)

Manchester trumpeter Matthew Halsall's Gondwana Records has been documenting that city's vividly creative jazz scene – here he introduces GoGo Penguin, a young piano trio collecting a cult following in the region this year. The band cite Aphex Twin, Debussy and Massive Attack among their influences, but from a jazz angle EST, the Bad Plus, and maybe a little of the funky drive of Neil Cowley's trio play big roles. Pianist Chris Illingworth makes the EST connection explicit in the anthemic roll of the opening Seven Sons of Björn (written at the time of Esbjörn Svensson's premature death), a stirring theme in the manner of the Swedish superband, unfolded over Rob Turner's intense drumming. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Bryan Ferry Orchestra - The Jazz Age (2012)

If there was ever a musical icon and a decade destined to come together it is Bryan Ferry and the Roaring Twenties. The artist as creative powerhouse with a dazzling career of endless surprise, delight and innovation, and the decade - a time of modernity, decadence and bright young things - all driven on by the thrill of it all. So what better way to celebrate and mark the 40th year anniversary of Ferry's incredible career as a singer and songwriter, than by rearranging his own compositions and have them performed in a 1920's style by his very own Jazz Orchestra? 

A Bow and a Fond Farewell to...Dave!

David Warren "Dave" Brubeck (December 6, 1920 – December 5, 2012)

Dave Brubeck, designated a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress, was one of the most active and popular musicians in both the jazz and classical worlds. With a career that spanned over six decades, his experiments in odd time signatures, improvised counterpoint, polyrhythm and polytonality remain hallmarks of innovation.  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Kurt Elling – 1619 Broadway The Brill Building Project (2012)

With his new album, Kurt Elling – the outstanding male vocalist in jazz today – celebrates a legendary legacy from outside the jazz world. 1619 Broadway – The Brill Building Project honors a locale that the London Telegraph called "the most important generator of popular songs in the Western world." Even for the ceaselessly inventive GRAMMY-winning singer-lyricist, it's a hugely unexpected step, and one guaranteed to further solidify his reputation for bold innovation and superb craftsmanship.
"Having done so many projects about my love for Chicago," Elling says, "I wanted to make something that spoke of my love for New York." The two cities define his career. Elling developed his craft in Chicago, and recorded several of his early albums there – including his debut, Close Your Eyes, which catapulted him onto the national stage and earned the first of his many GRAMMY nominations. (All told, every one of Elling's nine albums has been nominated for at least one jazz GRAMMY – a streak unequalled in GRAMMY history.)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Jazz Convention - Sound Briefing (2012)

The long-awaited return of The Jazz Convention – a group we first grew to love for a late 90s release on Schema Records – finally back here with a set that's an equally great cooker! As before, there's a strong 60s vibe to the music – heavy soul jazz and modal elements – in a blend that's somewhere between vintage Blue Note, and some of the more grooving music of the European scene. The front hornline is wonderful – Fabrizio Bosso on trumpet and Gaetano Partipilo on alto – working with spectacular rhythms from the trio of Claudio Filippini on piano, Giuseppe Bassi on bass, and Fabio Accardi on drums. Bosso's trumpet is especially great – as soulful and sparkling as ever – and titles include "Yes I Can No You Can't", "Hozic", "Silly Toy", "In Volo", "Endless Dream", and "Silversonic".  
© 1996-2012, Dusty Groove, Inc.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Nostalgia 77 & The Monster - The Taxidermist (2012)

Nostalgia 77 has been heartily championed by the likes of Gilles Peterson (BBC R1/6Music) and Jamie Cullum (BBC R2), for his solo work as well as collaborations with an eclectic list of talents including Jeb Loy Nichols (Island), Beth Rowley (Universal) and Alice Russell, among others. His latest album under the main Nostalgia 77 alias was 2011’s critically acclaimed ‘The Sleepwalking Society’, his most heavily vocal album yet, which saw him working with the velvet voiced German singer Josa Peit and showcasing his songwriting skills, to high acclaim and heavy tastemaker support including Guy Garvey, Nemone and Stuart Maconie on BBC 6Music.

Dead Capo - Sale (2012)

Dead Capo are a quartet that fluctuate between the classic sounds of jazz, the attitude of rock and the trepidation of surf. All of this seasoned with the cinema sounds of Rota or Morricone.
It's been ten years since their debut LP, Dísculo, made waves with the national critics in Spain. Their new album is once again surprising and the band sounds as fresh as when they started their journey at the end of the 90s. Sale combines an extraordinary energy with passages of meticulous precision and goes from wild to calm in a way that is both unexpected yet natural. Thelonius Monk, cartoons, cinematic landscapes, rock's past, Africa, surf and the ballad come together in an album as great as it is as unpredictable.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Timo Lassy - In With Lassy (2012)

A relaxed effort in the vein of the classic ”cooking session” tradition of modern jazz. That is, the band came in, took hold of the new tunes penned by Lassy and his trusty drummer/producer Teppo ”Teddy Rok” Mäkynen, and fired on all cylinders. The result? Some of the most swinging no-nonsense in your face and under your feet jazz you’ll likely to hear this year or during most of the others. No gimmicks needed here, this jazz is cooking. The LP includes free digital download code and poster.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Life and Times of Hot 8 Brass Band (2012)

Hot 8 Brass Band’s second album, ‘The Life And Times Of… The Hot 8 Brass Band’, is out 12th November on Tru Thoughts, announcing the emphatic return of New Orleans’ premier purveyors of roof raising, jazz infused, funk and hip hop fuelled marching band music, straight from the heart and fresh from the second line parades.
This is Hot 8 Brass Band’s first new material since their acclaimed debut (2007’s ‘Rock With The Hot 8’, featuring their famous cover of “Sexual Healing”) put them on the global stage. In the years since – alongside their regular US headline shows, parades and community projects – the group have supported the likes of Mos Def, Lauryn Hill and Mary J Blige live, and played several international tours taking in Glastonbury festival, Roskilde and more. Highly respected among fellow musicians, they have guested on albums by the Blind Boys of Alabama and Basement Jaxx. Having appeared in Spike Lee’s original post-Katrina documentary When the Levees Broke, Hot 8 also featured in the follow-up, When the Creek Don’t Rise; and HBO recently included their remarkable story in the hit Treme television series. 

Tatham, Mensah, Lord, & Ranks (2012)

Musical families always evolve along unusual paths. The synergy that brings people together can be places, circumstance, school, college & family. In the case of Tatham, Mensah, Lord & Ranks the unifying force has always been the love of music. Having worked together in different configurations since the late 90′s this musical collective has grown stronger through separate projects coming together to enjoy the process and results of creating music. In 2010 based in different countries the 4 musicians/producers met up and began the first of four recording sessions lasting a week of almost continuous music. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Greg Foat Group - Girl and Robot With Flowers (2012)

It's been a year since the magnificent 'Dark Is The Sun' first enchanted listeners back in 2011 and the next installment of mesmerizing non-contemporary jazz by The Greg Foat Group with their new album Girl And Robot With Flowers is already out on Jazzman Records.
Evading the dreaded 'second album syndrome' with consummate ease, Girl And Robot With Flowers is a sonic soundscape of epic proportions that leaves Dark is the Sun in the dust while propelling the listener into infinity and beyond!
With a doff of the hat to sci-fi writer Brian Aldiss, we're whisked off on a thematic journey into the emotive and enthralling realms of cinematic jazz, seductive ambience and exciting, majestic drama. Often unpredictable and certainly never dull, British pianist/composer/arranger Greg Foat uses everything from brass bands and kettle drums, to Moog synthesizer and harmonium, to take us above and beyond the stratosphere of our senses.

Friday, November 9, 2012

London Jazz Festival

The London Jazz Festival, produced by Serious in association with BBC Radio 3, is the capital's biggest pan-city music festival, taking place annually in November. The Festival has long been acclaimed for showcasing a heady mix of talent from around the world. Widely acknowledged for delivering world-class artists and emerging stars, the Festival continues to take jazz to a massive audience, in one of UK's landmark music events. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Henri-Pierre Noel - Piano, 1979 (reissue 2012)

On moving to Canada from his original home of Haiti, pianist and singer/songwriter Henri-Pierre Noel brought with him much of the tropical island's influences. The 'Kompa Funk' sounds of his homeland, alongside contemporary North American jazz and disco, run throughout both of Henri's albums recorded in the late 1970s; Piano and One More Step. Both were released on very limited private presses and have since become holy grails of the black music scene.
 Henri-Pierre Noel is an incredibly versatile musician who uses the piano in a very percussive and syncopated way, almost like a drum. This particular technique naturally brings disco and afro-funk elements into his unique brand of dance floor fusion.

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Bow and a Fond Farewell to Terry Callier (1945-2012)

An immense influence to us all and a true Twisted Jazz forefather

Visioneers - Hipology (2012)

 Following on from the success of “Dirty Old Hip Hop” Marc returns with a new Visioneers record Hipology. “Hipology is a collage of some of my personal influences as a DJ/Producer growing up listening to Hip Hop; a real eclectic mix of Breaks, Beats, Soul, Jazz, and freaky squeaks and not a sampler in sight. Visioneers is about revisiting my love for Hip Hop; What is was and what it is; the musical influences and the culture...”. Features guest spots from John Robinson, TRAC & Baron, Notes to Self, Luke Parkhouse & The Ariya Horns. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club (comp - 2012)

Actor, stand up comedian, poet, radio presenter and club DJ, Craig Charles, has been a dedicated soul boy from a tender age. In fact, he was raised on the sounds of sweet soul, "My father came over from Guyana in the West Indies and he brought a load of records over with him. There was always Ray Charles playing in the house, The Platters, Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding. My Dad would play all this old stuff. In fact I was very close to getting called Otis when I was born! One of my earliest memories is my mum and dad dancing around the kitchen to Ray Charles' I've Got A Woman. I remember the look of sheer joy and exhilaration on their faces. I was hooked! 

Kostas Kouvidis Scholarship "You Are What U Do" [in greek]

- Η οικογένεια του Κώστα Κουβίδη και η αστική μη κερδοσκοπική εταιρεία "You Are What U Do – Κώστας Κουβίδης" αποφάσισαν να διαθέσουν το σύνολο της αποζημίωσης που καταβλήθηκε μετά από δικαστική απόφαση από την ασφαλιστική εταιρεία του δράστη του τροχαίου εγκλήματος συνεπεία του οποίου έχασε την ζωή του ο Κώστας στις 26 Απριλίου 2007 στους φυσικούς του κληρονόμους: νέους ταλαντούχους μουσικούς, κατά προτεραιότητα ντράμερ, που είναι αφοσιωμένοι στην μουσική και εστιασμένοι στην τζαζ.
- Το συνολικό ποσό ανέρχεται σε 200.000 ευρώ.
- Οι υποτροφίες θα χορηγηθούν σε: Νέους ντράμερ που προέρχονται από την Ελλάδα για να ολοκληρώσουν τις σπουδές τους στο εξωτερικό. Προυπόθεση είναι να έχουν προεπιλεγεί από την επιτροπή υποτροφιών του Berklee College of Music.
-Η χορήγηση της υποτροφίας θα ξεκινήσει φέτος στις ακροάσεις που θα πραγματοποιηθούν στις 9&10 Νοεμβρίου στην Αθήνα στο Ωδείο Φίλιππος Νάκας.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Quasimode - Soul Cookin' (2012)

Quasimode are definitely cooking on this sweet little set – picking up a rich array of influences they've never had before – including bits of Latin rhythms, and some soul music as well! A few of the cuts feature vocals – but in ways that are more straight soul than the group's previous experiments with jazz singers – yet the backings are still tightly jazzy, and played mostly live, in a bold flurry of trumpet, tenor, trombone, piano, bass, and drums – plus some occasional Fender Rhodes as well! The Latin elements really help expand the sound, and flesh out the positive vibe of the record – a soaring, sunny vision that reminds us of the jazzy joy we first found in the music of Monday Michiru.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Kylie Auldist - Still Life (2012)

The third album from Australian soul/funk singer Kylie Auldist is out now on Tru Thoughts. Entitled ‘Still Life’, the new LP sees Auldist singing straight from the heart and telling the stories of her life, exploring themes such as love, loss and the passing of time with an intelligence and depth that only experience can inspire.
By turns wistful, uplifting, poignant and simply smoking hot, ‘Still Life’ is brimful of bright, accessible funk and sultry soul, served up by the velvety voiced diva with a healthy dose of disco inspired boogie. The album was co-written and produced by close collaborator Lance Ferguson (Lanu/The Bamboos), whose versatile production skills – as showcased across his many Lanu and The Bamboos releases – snap into action here with a classy updating of the ‘70s dancefloor sound. Exquisite string and horn arrangements on the record sit amongst emotive piano melodies, driving drums and the strut and snaking groove of Ferguson’s guitar.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The New Mastersounds - Out On The Faultline (2012)

As their live shows continue to charm audiences in USA, Japan and Europe, The New Mastersounds have built on their own impressive musical heritage and produced a soulful, funk-drenched eighth studio album - real instruments, recorded this time in downtown San Francisco.
The record opens with a classic slice of organ funk (think The Meters, but edgier), quickly followed up with other seriously catchy syncopated gems full of solos, inventive arrangements and gang vocals. There's a nod in the direction of jazz-house (à la Saint Germaine), a rolling-piano-&-spoken-word homage to New Orleans (where the band has performed for the past six consecutive years), then a massive horn track before the tone of the album gradually shifts to close out with a psychedelic Hammond-rock sound reminiscent of Brian Auger. Eddie Roberts' vintage production delivers warm soulful bass, choppy drums, funky organ & piano, and with Eddie's signature roughneck jazz guitar throughout.
Out On The Faultline is another corker of an album from the stalwarts of the global funk and soul-jazz movement.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Cactus Channel - Haptics (2012)

Hear that sound? Raw, loose and nasty funk, recorded straight to analog tape. It’s just like the old days, but so new it’s sporting a badass teenage moustache. Now that Melbourne funk sensation The Cactus Channel have graduated high school, they’re taking their own brand of high-octane, instrumental car chase funk and smooth soundtrack soul to the people with their debut, Haptics. On the road and on the airwaves, 2012 is the year The Cactus Channel come of age.
Back in 2009, the founding members of The Cactus Channel were already jamming on some classic soul feels, tripping on Eddie Bo, James Brown and their contemporaries, and using words like “Boss” and “Cat” while trying to make it through year 10 in 21st Century Australia. What began as experimentation in Junior Stage Band developed into outright insubordination in Senior Jazz Ensemble and by 2011 The Cactus Channel were an out of control ten piece funk orchestra with the momentum of a runaway train who could count The Dap Kings’ Tom Brenneck and soul legend Charles Walker as fans.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Christian Scott - Christian aTunde Adjuah (2012)

 by Patrick Jarenwattananon (npr music)
The collage artwork for the new Christian Scott double album seems to show the trumpeter and composer in a ceremonial outfit: full jacket, ornate beadwork, headdress and pink feathers jutting out in every direction. If you know about his personal history, you connect the dots quickly. He has long been "masking Indian" in the long-standing Mardi Gras tradition of his family — and of the black communities of his native New Orleans — and the album cover can be processed as a statement of pride in his heritage. Indeed, Christian aTunde Adjuah is even named that way — Scott has recently adopted the names aTunde and Adjuah as a way of declaring his West African past.

The Herbaliser - There Were Seven (2012)

There Were Seven sees a familiar split between instrumental and vocal-driven tracks, but this is a definite departure from the pop-edged soul of 2008’s Same As It Never Was, and the delight is in the detail. The Lost Boy conjures up images of a dark, edgy jazz club with smoke trails hanging heavy in the air as Hannah Clive’s sultry vocals glide over a James Bond-style backing.
Welcome to Extravagance forms the Herbaliser’s first, and highly successful, foray into dub reggae, while cut-up syllables from a 9/11 documentary provide a driving percussive bedrock for the brooding, electronic chill of Mother Dove, which somehow manages to be simultaneously relaxed and uneasy.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Menahan Street Band - The Crossing (2012)

By Len  Comaratta (Consequence of Sound)
[...] Menahan Street Band's The Crossing is front-loaded with the album’s two pre-release singles, the title track and “Lights Out”. The former bridges back to the debut’s closing number, a cover of Bill Conti’s “Going the Distance”, while the latter serves to set the tone for the remainder of the current album. Much of the material on The Crossing was recorded in the wee hours of the morning, when mood and mind are apt to wander down those lesser lit passageways. The songs are not necessarily a nocturne as much a carefully focused array of vibe, mood, and emotion often associated with the pre-dawn hours. But the slightly haunting, lower-timbre drive throughout most of The Crossing is occasionally set aside for lighter fare such as the titular opening number or “Everyday a Dream”, which has the feel of Young-Holt Unlimited’s “Soulful Strut” if Sly Stone and Burt Bacharach had been consulted.

The Souljazz Ochestra - Solidarity (2012)

Canada's hardest working super-group, The Souljazz Orchestra, are back! Since their last project together, 2010's Rising Sun, the band has been refining its sound on the road, and it shows on Solidarity which boasts a muscular, plugged-in sound that positively commands dancing. The album showcases a diverse set of influences, buoyed by the many featured vocalists, all of whom are connected to the group through the Canadian music scene, yet hail from a variety of backgrounds, from Senegal to Brazil to Jamaica and beyond. Recorded on vintage gear, the music packs a punch which is often lacking on contemporary recordings. The band will be touring internationally around the release, so look for them soon near you! (Strut Records)

25 years of ACID JAZZ records

Acid Jazz, the brainchild of Eddie Piller and Gilles Peterson was born in 1987 and immediately hit a chord in the UK by appealing to a cross section of serious fans from old school Jazzers, obsessive Jazz-Funkers, passionate Soulboys, sharp-dressed Mods, nodding Hip-Hoppers and even laid back Dreads. Before long the tentacles of the Acid Jazz movement were spreading throughout the world and what began as a bedroom label between two mates soon became a mecca for various tribes who had become disenfranchised from other scenes.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Double Yellow - Life in a Slow Lane (2012)

Dave "Double Yellow" Lilley, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, is a long-term collaborator with Diesler (AKA Jonathan Radford). With completely different approaches towards making music, and after many late night muso-chats, Dave Lilley and Jonathan Radford embarked on numerous collaborations that formed the backbone of most of Diesler's album outputs. Together they wrote much of Diesler's best-selling 2006 album, Keepie Uppies, which was shortlisted for Best Album in Gilles Peterson's Worldwide Awards for Radio 1 and received global exposure. And now the two are responsible for the Double Yellow album combining ingredients from a rich and deep larder of Barrelhouse Honky Tonk, Club Funk, Dixieland Jazz-Stomp, Swing.

Wolfy Funk Project

WOLFY FUNK PROJECT [W.F.P.] were formed in the summer of 2007 based on the needs of three musicians (D. Giotakis, K. Stamou, A. Diamantopoulos) to suit their musical pursuits. Adapting their personal sound to melodies and rhythms of familiar and non-familiar songs, from a wider musical range, but also creating their own compositions using as its main component the aggressive (“wolfy” as they name it) funk rhythm, started performing live in clubs, bars, music festivals and stages all across Athens. At the end of 2008, Nancy SiM (vocals) and Dimitris Faris (tenor sax & keys) joined the band. Melodic lyrics and MC-ing in addition with the harmonic keys and the power of the horn, boosts WFPs current particular style, rehearsing new songs and performing more “wolfy” funky gigs. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Jimi Tenor & Kabukabu - Mystery Of Aether (2012)

 A sense of togetherness is at the heart of Aether, and not just in the concert hall. It permeates Jimi’s whole world-view, even embracing other worlds. Lyrically, the song ‘Resonate And Be’ captures what the LP is about, exploring the drama of the cosmos for our own spiritual and material well-being. Jimi explains, “in our view there is only aether. Everything material is the resonance of the aether. We are, because our particles resonate the song of cosmos. We are all one."
more here...

Friday, October 5, 2012

Bettye LaVette -Thankful N' Thoughtful (2012)

“Ms. LaVette now rivals Aretha Franklin as her generation’s most vital soul singer. She uses every scrape, shout and break in her raspy voice, with a predator’s sense of timing, to seize the drama of a song.” - New York Times

Bettye LaVette celebrates her 50th anniversary in the music business (note: can someone check this - there must be some mistake!) with the release of her new album, "Thankful N' Thoughtful", on ANTI- Records - as well as the publication of her long-time-coming book, variously described as 'engrosing', 'riviting', 'hair-raising' and only suitable for over 18s - the tell-it-like-it-is autobiography: "A Woman Like Me", co-written with David Ritz, the highly-regarded author of books on R&B legends such as Ray Charles, Smokey Robinson, Aretha Franklin and Marvin Gaye.
"Thankful N' Thoughtful" turned out to be a companion piece to her autobiography as while she was writing the book, she was also recording the songs.

Afro Latin Vintage Orchestra - Last Odyssey (2012)

 By Thom Jurek (AMG)
The Afro-Latin Vintage Orchestra may not be well-known outside of Europe save for the track "Kingston Abeba," off their 2009 debut album Definitely Roots. It was selected for the Paris DJs' (Grant Phabao and DJouls) mixtape 21st Century Afro Extravaganza. Led by virtuoso percussionist Masta Conga, the French group is truly an orchestra, numbering ten or more players at any given time. Definitely Roots drew Euro raves for its meld of Afro-beat, funk, old descarga, rhumba, reggae, and Western and Ethiopian jazz. They followed it a year later with the stellar Ayodegi: A Modern Afro-Fusion Ensemble, which was rooted in '70s-era jazz funk. Last Odyssey, issued by Ubiquity, is the group's debut international release and provides a stellar introduction to their ambitious musical vision as well as their virtuosic instrumental talent. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Tucci and Mannutza - Lunar (2012)

Pretty great work from the team of Lorenzo Tucci and Luca Mannutza – two artists we normally associate with much straighter jazz material, but who really take off here together! The format is still definitely jazz, but the energy is quite free a times – just drums and effects from Tucci, and shifting piano, Fender Rhodes, and Hammond from Luca Mannutza – played in these really flowing lines that sparkle amidst Lorenzo's energy on the drums – all in ways that are inside enough to swing, but in ways that really go beyond conventional jazz! The format is a wonderful development for both players – and really helps us appreciate their rich talents even more than before – hardly a trick or gimmick, and instead a compelling collaboration that almost makes us feel like ECM has collided with Schema Records. Titles include "Jet Lag", "Jungle & Space", "Lunar", "Moon Boots", "The Voyager", "Avaria", and "Inception".

The Cinematic Orchestra presents In Motion pt.1 (2012)

Jason Swinscoe of The Cinematic Orchestra has long been intrigued by the link between vision and sound. From TCO’s re-soundtracking of Man With A Movie Camera, through his “soundtrack to an imaginary film,” Ma Fleur, to his band’s name itself, Swinscoe has continued to pick away at the issues and emotions found at this intersection. With In Motion #1 he continues this process by inviting some of his favourite musicians and producers to provide soundtracks to or musical re-imaginings of seminal work by great avant-garde film-makers.
Responding to visuals which run from René Clair’s surrealist classic "Entr’acte" (The Cinematic Orchestra) right up to Peter Tscherkassky’s “Outer Space” (Dorian Concept & Tom Chant), the musicians wrote for and worked with a string quartet to create music of remarkable emotional reach. The results are so vivid, so complex yet immediate, that they can be enjoyed as freestanding pieces in their own right.

De Phazz - Audio Elastique (2012)

The freedom of jazz and pop are the ease of the two defining elements of Dephazz. On audio Elastique, the ninth album, there are swinging sound collages between chanson ("Men, the trophies kiss," "Not Sally"), Smash-bits ("The Ball Is My Friend") and classic jazz ("Prelude"). Electro-organic is probably the most apt description for the sound of the 16 songs on audio lastique, coined by Pit Baumgartner's distinctive mode of production: Cut & Glue - audio splitter to cut out from their usual musical environment and stick on another site. Through various filters, effects and audio-rotation yields the elastic atmosphere, sometimes close to the radio play. However, whenever the singer Pat Appleton appear, Karl Frierson, Barbara Lahr or Sandie Wollasch to compress the audio components to groovy jazz or pop rolling. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Flying Lotus - Until The Quiet Comes (2012)

By Andy Kellman (AMG)
Rewarding as it was for most lovers of 1983 and Los Angeles, Cosmogramma was so complex and knotted that Steven Ellison's next step could have gone beyond the challenging and into the self-parodic. On his fourth album, Ellison not only peels away layers from his sound but organizes his tracks into a gracefully flowing sequence. The producer once again draws from numerous instrumentalists and vocalists, from Brainfeeder associates Stephen "Thundercat" Bruner and Austin Peralta to the likes of Erykah Badu and Thom Yorke. Bruner has the most presence. His tremulous basslines are on nine of the album's 18 tracks, and his spaced-out, quasi-oracular vocals poke through on occasion, such as on an 80-second track that is titled after a natural psychedelic compound and references the title of Ellison's 2010 EP. 

Hidden Orchestra - Archipelago (2012)

‘Archipelago’ is the second album from Hidden Orchestra. Following the release of their 10,000 selling debut, ‘Night Walks’, their intricate yet viscerally emotive and energetic sound has won them critical acclaim and a diverse fanbase, from bass and hip hop heads to jazz and classical aficionados to indie and rock fans. ‘Archipelago’ follows the “Vorka”/“Spoken” single which premiered on The Line of Best Fit and Wax Poetics and continues to gain heavy tastemaker support including Stuart Maconie, Nemone and Huey Morgan on BBC 6Music, Ally McCrae (BBC R1), John Kennedy (XFM), Monocle 24, The Selector and more. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Chico & Rita (2010)

Chico and Rita (Chico & Rita) is a Spanish animated feature-length film with Spanish and English languages directed by Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal. The story of Chico and Rita is set against backdrops of Havana, New York City, Las Vegas, Hollywood and Paris in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The film was produced by Fernando Trueba Producciones, Estudio Mariscal and Magic Light Pictures. The film was nominated for Best Animated Feature Film for the 84th Academy Awards (the first time that a Spanish full-length animated film is nominated) and has won in Spain the 2012 Goya Award for best animated film.
A gifted songwriter and beautiful singer chase their dreams – and each other – from Havana to New York and Las Vegas. Chico is a young piano player with big dreams. Rita is a beautiful singer with an extraordinary voice. Music and romantic desire unite them, but their journey – in the tradition of the Latin ballad, the bolero – brings heartache and torment.