Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Samuel Jon Samuelsson - 4 Hlidar (2013)

The Samúel Jón Samúelsson Big Band was originally formed in 2000 by Samúel for a set of live performances in Reykjavík. They play Samúels original funk/afro/jazz music. They released “Legoland” a live recording from their debut concert in 2000 that year and played at the Reykjavik Jazzfestival. in 2007 the band was reformed for a new record called Fnykur (old Icelandic word for something stinky, smelly or funky) featuring 10 tracks of original funk and groove music. Fnykur was released in Japan in 2008. Samuel has since 1998 been one of leading members of the Icelandic funk unit JAGÚAR. The group has released 5 albums toured trough Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Austria, Zwiss, UK and USA including gigs at Londons Jazzcafe and The Summerstages festival in New York. In 2004 the band opened up for James Brown in Reykjavik. Apart from working with Jaguar, Samuel has worked as an arranger and session man for various Icelandic artists such as Sigur Rós, Mugison, Reykjavík Big Band, Trabant, Mezzoforte, Tómas R. Einarsson and long list of local Icelandic act.

The coolest music we've heard so far from this fantastic funky talent – served up here in an ultra-cool package that also offers up four different cover images over two separate pieces of music! Sammi's got a name that's a bit unwieldy, but he serves up the groove with a sound so tight, we almost feel like we're back in the glory days of a good Quincy Jones funky soundtrack – thanks to a tight punch that Samuelsson brings to his large lead ensemble, which often moves here with the sharper sound of a much smaller funky combo! The arrangements are amazing – and the grooves run between styles that include touches of 70s Afro Funk, European-styled MPS jazz funk, and the promised blacksploitation modes mentioned above. Instrumentation is wonderful throughout – and honestly, there's nobody out there making music like this at the moment – and certainly nobody who gets the sound so right, tight, and on the money as Sammi!  - DustyGroove

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