Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Takuya Kuroda - Rising Son (2014)

Ascendant trumpeter & composer Takuya Kuroda makes his Blue Note debut with the February 18 release of Rising Son, produced by José James. The album finds Kuroda stepping forth to helm James’ remarkable band (keyboardist Kris Bowers, bassist Solomon Dorsey, drummer Nate Smith, trombonist Corey King) plus vocal contributions from James (“Everybody Loves The Sunshine”) & a guest appearance from imaginative guitarist Lionel Loueke (“Afro Blues”). Listen to the track premiere of "Afro Blues" on The Revivalist!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Jef Gilson - Chanson De Jazz (2013)

The French chanson is a song that’s as inextricably linked to French culture as crêpes, croissants and cognac. Their poetic, romantic lyrics are set to music that’s characterised by following the rhythms of the French language rather than those of English, and have been used as serenades since time immemorial. Even in recent years many French artists, from Édith Piaf to Serge Gainsbourg, have added their own particular gems to the roster. Here is a small yet perfectly formed collection of some little known chansons - with a twist of jazz – produced by French jazzman extraordinaire, Jef Gilson.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - Give the People What They Want (2014)

For over a decade, the band has traveled the world, blowing minds with their explosive live performances and their raw, hand-crafted studio recordings.  While other artists have ridden the crests and troughs of passing fads, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings have bypassed the hype-and-hit superhighway and taken a detour straight to the hearts and bodies of their listeners, transcending fleeting trends and demographics and delivering a visceral rhythm and soul sound to an ever-expanding base of deeply loyal fans.  Give the People What They Want is poised to become not only an iconic album from a prolific band, but a fixture in the canon of Soul Music.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Zara McFarlane - If You Knew Her (2014)

Listening to Zara McFarlane's new album you can't help but thinking that she is 21st century Alice Coltrane or Nina Simone soaked up in London drizzle and with a warmth in her soul that these fine ladies somehow lacked. In her follow up to that absolutely marvelous ep from 2010 (on heavy rotation in the TJ headquarters ever since) Until Tomorrow, and she's already broken away from any comparison to any other artist whatsoever. See for example how she appropriates Junior Murvin's Police and Thieves moving it into the new millenium and giving it more space to breathe and a whole new context (I'm thinking about the London riots here but it just might be me) to be associated with.
There are tracks in this record destined to become modern classics. Angie La La featuring Leron Thomas on vocals trumpet is one of them, a jazz zen love song equal to the best work of say an Abbey Lincoln god rest her soul.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Nick Pride & The Pimptones - Rejuiced Phat Shake (2014)

Newcastle’s finest funk and soul outfit Nick Pride & The Pimptones return with their second full length album „Rejuiced Phat Shake“, a collection of 14 smart grooves and a fearless blend of soul, jazz & funk tinged with rhythm & blues, disco, Latin, New Orleans Brass and Northern Soul.

After the strong impact of their debut album „Midnight Feast Of Jazz“ (released in 2011 on Record Kicks from Milan/Italy) guitarist, composer, arranger and producer Nick Pride was determined to take his vision a step further towards connecting the grit and power of original soul music with the immediacy and joy of a cool, modern pop song. „I was always a fan of amazing pop songwriters like Burt Bacharach and Holland-Dozier-Holland, but on the other hand, being a dedicated musician, I love the raw energy of being on stage with a funk band.“ With the Pimptones’ regular rhythm combo, a tight horns section and the additional presence of a soaring string quartet, the new album „Rejuiced Phat Shake“ is a well-crafted studio work, while Nick Pride was able to focus on his skills as a songwriter: „I am happy to have a rock solid foundation with my guys, it means we can try all this funky and diverse stuff in the studio, while also being a tight unit on stage.”

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Foreign Exchange - Love in Flying Colours (2013)

Representative of how the Internet can aid in creating music, the Foreign Exchange started when Little Brother rapper Phonte heard a beat on by Dutch producer Nicolay and asked if he could lay some vocals over it. Nicolay agreed, and the song "Light It Up" appeared shortly after as the B-side to Little Brother's 2002 single "Whatever You Say." Relying mainly on instant messaging and email, the duo continued to work together, with Nicolay sending beats to Phonte, who would add vocals and send them back until they had enough tracks together to form an album. 
Not once during the entire process of making their debut, Connected, which came out in 2004, did the members of the Foreign Exchange speak over the phone or in person. Due in part to an increasing production load, Nicolay moved to the States, and Leave It All Behind, the second FE album -- more R&B-oriented than the debut -- was recorded. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Heidi Vogel - Turn Up The Quiet (2013)

Heidi Vogel debuts her solo album ‘Turn up the Quiet’ following on from her many successes with the critically acclaimed Cinematic Orchestra (Ninja Tune). A deeply moving collection of classic 60s/70s Brazilian songs, interpreted and presented in a unique, intimate fashion and with a timeless sound.
Heidi has a voice that comes from the deepest places of the heart. Her honest interpretation of songs, and powerful stage presence make her an utterly beguiling performer and this is the blend that emerges from her debut solo album ‘Turn up the Quiet’ where she elegantly interprets songs of great composers such as Antonio Carlos Jobim, Vinicius de Moraes and Joe Henderson.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Claudia Quintet - September (2013)

Led by composer, drummer and three-time Grammy nominee John Hollenbeck, The Claudia Quintet have quietly but firmly and definitively recast jazz into shimmering new shapes inflected by classical minimalism, new music, progressive rock and post-rock. They are one of the most influential stylists on other musicians in cutting-edge jazz today and the sound of jazz and what jazz can be in the in our time has changed because of their sound and stance.
Hailed by Nate Chinen of the New York Times for their “clockwork intricacy and crisp premeditation ... [striking an] accord between the factions of progressive jazz, classical Minimalism and low-glare experimental rock,” the Claudia Quintet tackles Hollenbeck’s highly demanding works with a wry improvising spirit and a backbone of surging, mesmerizing rhythm.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Reggie B - DNA (2013)

DNA strings of ancient and new dimensional funk interweave to reclaim the pyramids of our time. Travelling light years from Mars to Orion, new horizons of perception and vibration become clear, taking the listener on a quest for more funk and fantasy in their life.
This is Reggie B's musical DNA, a personal testament of his unique funk straight from Khemit. Additional juggernauts featured on this 74 minute space odyssey include B. Bravo, DJ Spinna, Donald Hayes, Kevin Pierce, Onra, Salva and more.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Mighty Mighty - See The Light (2014)


Mighty Mighty comes blazing forward from the flourishing Finnish jazz scene. The creation of pianist-composer Kari Setälä, this collective of Helsinki jazz A-listers navigates effortlessly between various flavours of jazz, leaping from energetic straight-ahead into swinging hard-bop and vintage jazz-funk – and everything in between.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Indigo Jam Unit - Milestone (2013)


Regular Twisted Jazz readers know our obsession with this incredible band very well.  They also know that apart from few exceptions we do not write our own reviews for a number of reasons (first and foremost because these days it's pointless to describe when you can post a a track or stream the whole album and let the reader decide what it sounds like). Indigo Jam Unit is this kind of band which you can't do otherwise than write, speak, hum and let as many as you can into their magnificent world. All the energy and melodic hooks which became the staple sound through the last years are back as this record 'threatens' to become their ultimate signature, career defining "Milestone" album. 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Hex - Hex (2013)

One of the coolest new Japanese combos we've heard in awhile – a group who have some of the live jamming of the club jazz generation, but who also touch on some of the noisier elements of an earlier generation of Japanese avant players as well! The blend is great – never too free or far outside – but a really fresh reinvention of the kinds of core sounds we've been digging from groups like Quasimode or Indigo Jam Unit. Like both those groups, the lineup here is relatively lean – both piano and keyboards played at the same time, with acoustic and electric bass, and heavy drums and rhythms from Midorin – who we know for his work in Soil & Pimp Sessions!