Friday, March 30, 2012

Gang Colours - The Keychain Collection (2012)

Melodic and atmospheric sounds from Gang Colours – fragile and tuneful material that’s somewhat of a surprise from the Brownswood label! I guess we shouldn't really think of what Gang Colours does here as that much of a departure for the label, given their unpredictable oeuvre is never all that easy to pigeonhole, yet it still caught us off guard – in the best kind of way. Piano and synth float over intermittently spare and busier beats, vocals and textural waves of sound. What really sets it apart is the mood – we don't want to call it somber, but it's definitely got a haunting feel! Includes "Heavy Petting", "Forgive Me?", "To Repel Ghosts", "Pebble Dash", "Tissues & Fivers", "Botley In Bloom", "Fancy Restaurant", "On Compton Bay", "Rollo's Ivory Tale" and more. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Macy Gray Covered (2012)

Macy Gray, newly signed with 429 Records, is ready for the release of her stunning new album "COVERED"-- a collection of all new recordings of handpicked songs she's chosen to reinterpret in her own inimitable fashion. With a buzz kicked off by an announcement in Billboard and Rolling Stone, Macy is already confirmed to appear on prime media outlets including Howard Stern, Conan, Late Show with David Letterman, Tavis Smiley and more. Produced by Hal Willner (Lou Reed, Metallica), Zoux and Macy Gray "COVERED" tackles material largely drawn from indie rock songs from the last decade--interpretations her fans will be familiar with as she's been performing them live over the years. The album contains biting, dark signature tracks such as Arcade Fire's "Wake Up" or My Chemical Romance's "Teenagers" which Gray subversively overhauls into something wholly her own. Also included are short skits featuring J.B. Smoove, Nicole Scherzinger and a guest appearance by Idris Elba.

Atomic - Here Comes Everybody (2012)

Quite possibly the greatest album to date from Atomic – a set that steps out with a bold, rich sound right from the start – giving the whole thing the feel of some lost classic slice of avant jazz, but with a freshness that definitely marks the set with plenty of Atomic energy too! The horns are amazing – fierce interplay between the trumpet of Magnus Broo and reeds of Fredrik Ljungvist – locking together at times with these raging lines that have almost an ESP sort of feel – then breaking out with soul-drenching solos on their own – especially when Ljungvist handles the tenor. Paal Nilssen-Love's drums are on fire throughout – Havard Wilk barrels away on piano – and Ingebrigt Haker Flaten rolls things along strongly on bass. Titles include "Morphemes", "HCE", "Milano", "Kreuzberg Variations", "Panama", and "Unity Toccata"

Incognito - Surreal (2012)

A powerful new album from the UK’s favourite soul/funk/jazz band, with the addition of outstanding new male vocalist Mo Brandis and established UK jazz singer Natalie Williams, who join Maysa and Vanessa Haynes.  A fresh sounding Incognito reflecting the energy of their live shows. “Surreal” is full of beautiful songs delivered over a bed of fluid bass lines and irresistible drum grooves - Incognito at their creative best, with the addition of two vocal newcomers - soulful 26-year-old Mo Brandis and an established favourite on the UK jazz scene Natalie Williams. Mo Brandis makes a big impact with the lead single, the hooky “Goodbye To Yesterday” and “ Don’t Wanna Know”, while Natalie is outstanding on the sultry “Above The Night”.  And long-time band favourite Maysa kicks the album off with “The Less You Know”, under-pinned by a driving bass groove.   The album has only one cover song, vocalled by Vanessa Haynes in Loleatta Holloway-esque style - a little-known 1976 disco tune “Ain’t It Time”. The Incognito faithful will be happy with the familiar trademark instrumentals, and another stunning Maysa performance on the mid-tempo “Capricorn Sun”.  The band will be playing extensive live dates around the UK and Europe in support of the album, with a London date set for May 25.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Esperanza Spalding - Radio Music Society (2012)

Esperanza is one of the hottest jazz stars to have emerged in the last 10 years. She is the first ever jazz musician to win the Best New Artist Grammy and has released four very exciting solo albums including the highly acclaimed 'Chamber Music Society'. Her amazing bass playing and vocals have also been highly sought-after by other artists including Terri Lyne Carrington, Stanley Clarke, Nicholas Payton and Joe Lovano.
But her new album 'Radio Music Society' shows a more funky side of Esperanza's music focusing on her songwriting skills and incredible electric bass playing. The new project merges R‘n’B, pop and neo-soul with her jazz roots, featuring compelling original songs alongside covers such as Stevie Wonder’s ‘I Can’t Help It’ and an incredible bass'n'scat closing take on Wayne Shorter's complex classic 'Endangered Species'. Alongside Esperanza's band, there's an incredible lineup of guests including drummers Terri Lyne Carrington, Jack DeJohnette and Billy Hart, saxophonist Joe Lovano and vocalists Lalah Hathaway, Gretchen Parlato and Q-Tip.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Club Des Belugas - Forward (2012)

German nu-jazz project Club Des Belugas drop their sixth album, Forward, with a host of guest singers on board for this silky smooth voyage through jazz hooks and downtempo beats. "Straight To Memphis" for example sees main men Maxim Illion and Kitty The Bill explore a Nina Simone-esque swing, while "Peanut Vendor" evokes the big band bop of exotica artists like Esquivel mixed with a South American bounce. A very enjoyable mix of songs that take in everything from lounge jazz to rootsy, bluesy stomps.

Robert Glasper Experiment - Black Radio (2012)

 On February 28, 2012, Robert Glasper Experiment released Black Radio (Blue Note Records/EMI), a future landmark album that boldly stakes out new musical territory and transcends any notion of genre, drawing from jazz, hip hop, R&B and rock, but refusing to be pinned down by any one tag. The first full-length album from the GRAMMY-nominated keyboardist’s electric Experiment band—saxist Casey Benjamin, bassist Derrick Hodge, and drummer Chris Dave—Black Radio also features many of Glasper’s famous friends from the spectrum of urban music, seamlessly incorporating appearances from a jaw-dropping roll call of special guests including Erykah Badu, Bilal, Lupe Fiasco, Lalah Hathaway, Shafiq Husayn (Sa-Ra), KING, Ledisi, Chrisette Michele, Mos Def, Musiq Soulchild, Meshell Ndegeocello, and Stokley Williams (Mint Condition).
Throughout the Experiment wears its eclecticism on its sleeve, presenting new collaborative originals and surprising cover songs. They transform the Afro-Cuban standard “Afro Blue” with Erykah Badu, Sade’s “Cherish The Day” with Lalah Hathaway, David Bowie’s “Letter to Hermione” with Bilal, and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” with Casey Benjamin’s vocoder vocal.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Gerardo Frisina - Moderno Primitivo ep (2012)

Gerardo Frisina goes back to the roots of the sound which has made him famous worldwide: the latin sound of classics like “Descarga” or “The Latin Kick” (both previously released on Schema).
“Moderno Primitivo” is an EP about the encounter of the ancient Afro-cuban tradition (the core of Frisina’s artistic DNA) with a refined electronic taste. This component enriches drums and percussions and gives more edge to the whole production with details like pads and effects.
In “Moderno Primitivo” the latin ensemble headed by Frisina takes us into a jam session where percussions, piano and trombone play happily.
The “Latin House Mix” is a club version where the rhythmic element and the groove take control of the mix. The melody is broken and a Hammond plays over a ostinato bass. The flavour is definetely tribal.
“Cogele El Ritmo” is a trip into Frisina’s latin world. Slower than “Moderno Primitivo”, still has a solid hook to the dancefloor and is a triumph of joy and colour.


VA - Sounds From The Soul Underground (2012)

Tracks by some of the greatest contemporary acts from all over the globe, working within the genres of soul, funk, afrobeat, latin and jazz.
With a hard to find rarity from Ray Camacho & The Tear Drops, a DJ Format remix of a Speedometer single, brand new, previously unheard material from Nick Van Gelder, new Freestyle signing Jessica Lauren Four, and The Andy Tolman Cartel as well as a smattering of recent dance floor destroyers from established Freestyle acts and like minded artists and record labels across the globe, Sounds From The Soul Underground provides an eclectic snapshot of the magnificently healthy international underground music scene.

Friday, March 9, 2012

VA - Spiritual Jazz vol. 2

 ‘Esoteric, modal and deep jazz from the European undergound, 1960-78’ 

As the ‘60s progressed, cultural and political revolutions occurred both in the US and in Europe. Jazz was both a victim and a saviour, with radical developments in the music occurring in both continents. In the US, artists took control of their own musical destiny as small labels broke away from the mainstream, expressing new and creative visions of freedom and peace against a backdrop of civil unrest, repression and war.
 In ‘60s Europe the jazz community forged ahead with a different revolution; that of breaking away from mere emulation of their American counterparts. A distinctive, European jazz sound began to develop that combined traditional music from across Europe and around the world with the creative freedom so abundant in American jazz. Over time the most forward-thinking creative talents of the post-Coltrane European jazz generation crafted and nurtured sophisticated and multi-faceted styles of jazz that were as radical as they were beautiful, giving modern jazz a characteristically European flavour.

Jerker Kluge's Deep Jazz - The Meeting (2012)

December 2010: The group “Deep Jazz” is playing a concert at “Studio 2” of the Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation, this time in a new nonet formation. Leader and bassplayer Jerker Kluge wrote nine completely new compositions for the group, chose two classics of the genre for a new interpretation and arranged the material for the new exceptional and very special line-up.
Very special indeed are the two voice vocals, the horn section (flute/alto, tenor and bassclarinet) as well as the concert harp. Together with the rhythm section and additional percussion, they form a unique line-up.
Two days later, the musicians enter the Mastermix-Studio in Munich to record the new compositions. The outcome of this studio session is this brand-new CD “The Meeting”! The music of Munich bass player Jerker Kluge is deeply rooted in the jazz music of the 60ies, as released on legendary labels “Impulse” and “Blue Note”.
The core is the spiritual and modal jazz from this era, but of course Kluge´s own musical ideas and influences are added, creating a very own musical cosmos, that is additionally spiced by the individual talents of the involved musicians.