Saturday, March 29, 2014

VA - Footprints ep (2014)


Jazz & Milk is back with a brand new compilation series featuring previously unreleased tracks by international label artists, friends & family!
Everyone familiar with Jazz & Milk probably knows about the importance of musical diversity to the label's spirit. However, once you listen closer you will definitely hear the connecting force, a rhythmic and soulful foundation of these 15 tracks. The sum of the album's musical influences lead back to Africa and its long lasting impact on numerous modern music genres throughout the world. A good many times such musical footprints are shining through on this record ranging from Jazz, Funk, Afrobeat, Cumbia, Ethio-Jazz to Hip Hop, deep House and Bass music. While each style is unique, they have a strong rhythmic element in common.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Spandettes - Spandex Effect (2014)


The Spandettes are a fiercely energetic disco band hailing from Toronto, Canada. Drawing inspiration from jazz-funk, soul and rock-steady, their original music combines a classic 70's disco approach with a fresh and contemporary edge. The band's leading ladies, Alex Tait (co-producer of the album), Maggie Hopkins and Lizzy Clarke lead this dynamic 10-piece outfit through musical terrain that balances sugary sweet vocal stylings, air-tight horn passages and hard hitting grooves from their stellar rhythm section.

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Cookers Quintet - Volume One (2014)


The Cookers Quintet are a Toronto-based jazz combo, with a sound firmly rooted in the ‘50s and ‘60s hard bop movement. 
The Cookers core members each bring their own unique qualities to the band’s sound. Saxophonist Ryan Oliver’s fat, full tenor tone might bring to mind heavyweight Dexter Gordon, but it’s blended with sophistication and subtlety. Oliver shares the front line with Tim Hamel, a trumpet player that can bring a hot, uptempo number to a boil and then carry a ballad with lyricism and beauty minutes later. The rock solid foundation of all this is bassist Alex Coleman, who’s clearly grounded in the Ray Brown/Paul Chambers school of keeping the bass steady and swinging. Rounding out the group is pianist Richard Whiteman, a veteran of the Toronto music scene, and Vancouver native Morgan Childs on drums.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Eminent Stars - Sittin' In (2014)


Music is the depth of the soul and we ain't talking about some figurative spirit that escapes to heaven when we kiss our last breath goodbye. Nah man, this the deep soul of music that triggers the feet to keep moving. It is the soul that swings survival, get down boogie good times, cause these times, keep getting heavy!
The Eminent Stars, founders saxophonist Ben Mendes and drummer Toon Oomen love the feel of Dr. John, Freddie King and The Meters. The musical energy that emerged like lightening from cities like New Orleans during the 60's/70's. After various get downs and musical happenings, the two planned to record a session with some great musician friends. Tracks were layed out and etched in, live. All in one dusty old room with some vintage equipment to capture the sounds of an old but not forgotten groove. Joined by American singer-songwriter Bruce James and vocalists such as Imelda, Lana Gordon and Steffen Morrison make the Eminent Stars complete.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Ambrose Akinmusire - The imagined savior is far easier to paint (2014)


After the stunning modern jazz trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire delivered on the acclaimed When the Heart Emerges Glistening in 2011, he plays it anything but safe on the imagined savior is far easier to paint. With his working quintet — tenor saxophonist Walter Smith, drummer Justin Brown, bassist Harish Raghavan, and pianist Sam Harris — he expands the frame to include guitarist Charles Altura in a sextet or alternating with Smith. In addition, vocalists Becca Stevens, Cold Specks, and Theo Bleckman (all of whom contribute lyrics) appear, as do the Osso String Quartet and flutist Elena Penderhughes. Akinmusire self-produced this set and showcases a diverse range of carefully scripted, genre-blurring compositions — modern classical, vanguard pop, spoken word — in addition to jazz. the imagined savior is far easier to paint is provocative: its moodiness, myriad musical directions, and 79-minute length may be initially off-putting. What is revealed with repeated listening, however, is that this set's achievement is commensurate with its ambition.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Citrus Sun - People of Tomorrow (2014)


Incognito founder Jean-Paul ‘Bluey’ Maunick presents his alter ego – eight-piece band Citrus Sun featuring acclaimed UK guitarist Jim Mullen.
Says Bluey: “Citrus Sun is a project born of my love for Jim’s playing and the desire to be part of a band with him.  We are now good friends and I have collaborated with him on several projects, including Terry Callier and Mario Biondi, but as a teenager in the Seventies I was just a fan. He is an amazing musician.”
Mullen’s credits in a 40-year career include Brian Auger, Average White Band, Kokomo, Jimmy Witherspoon and the pioneering British jazz funk band Morrissey-Mullen.
The obvious difference from Incognito is that Citrus Sun is largely instrumental,  with vocals from Valerie Etienne (of Galliano and Jamiroquai) on “What’s Going On” and Terry Callier’s “What Color Is Love”.    There was an earlier Citrus Sun album released back in 2000, which also featured Jim Mullen in the line-up, and the new album “People of Tomorrow” is a renewal of that relationship.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Christine Tobin - A Thousand Kisses Deep (2014)


‘A Thousand Kisses Deep’ is a beautiful re-working of eleven Leonard Cohen songs and is Tobin’s 2014 salute to the legendary Canadian singer, songwriter and poet in the year of his 80th birthday. In her own songwriting, Christine Tobin specializes in idiosyncratic, highly musical poetic vignettes with a strong sense of story, so it's no surprise she weaves such magic with the profound, sensual and mysterious songs of Cohen. She has been a lifelong fan and has always included one of his songs in her live programme since the mid-90s.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The SoulJazz Orchestra - Inner Fire (2014)


Inner Fire, the latest from Pierre Chr├ętien & co. sees The Souljazz Orchestra perfecting their global music fusion, and treading some extremely funky territory while they’re at it.
Recorded using the Orchestra’s signature analogue techniques at their studio HQ  in their home city of Ottawa, the new set continues the band’s expansive musical journey as they effortlessly fuse intricate Eastern influences, Afro beats, Egyptian jazz, Latin styles and spiritual elements into their unique musical melting pot.
The secret to the band’s sound remains a true openness to global music of all kinds and the individual experiences of the Orchestra’s band members. “We all have very wide tastes, we’re always digging for new sounds, and we’ve had the chance to work with master musicians from all over, from Nigeria to Rwanda, from Cuba to Haiti, so each band member ends up bringing different vibes and ideas to each of our albums,” explains keyboardist Chr├ętien.

Monday, March 3, 2014

The New Mastersounds - Therapy (2014)


Therapy is the ninth studio album by The New Mastersounds, the now multi-national funk band originally from Leeds/England. With a new perspective in sound and vision, Eddie Roberts (Guitar), Simon Allen (Drums), Joe Tatton (Keyboards) and Pete Shand (Bass) recorded 12 fresh tracks in Denver/Colorado USA, aiming for a forward thinking sound mixing vintage funk with raw soul, smart jazz and original disco.

Music and the creation of music has always been my therapy,” says Eddie Roberts. “It has been a way of working through ideas, feelings, frustrations. In creating music, especially instrumental music, it is an incredible outlet for pent-up emotions. People often tell me how much energy they draw from our music, often in a therapeutic way. I find the idea incredible that from my feelings, turned into music, that same music then generates feelings in the listener. It is an exchange much like the physics of music itself: from a string vibration into an electrical signal, and back from electrical signal into vibrating sound waves. I hope that this album will be as therapeutic and valuable to the listener as it was to me creating it.”

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Lady Daisey - In My Headphones (2014)



Lady Daisey (Daisey Traynham - Brooklyn, NY) is a soul/funk singer who spent her childhood touring the U.S. with her parent’s band. Raised on the road, home-schooled and surrounded by music, it was natural for her to blossom into the artist that she is. Since then, she’s been following her musical path and developed her own playful style, ranging from sultry love songs to powerhouse feel-good old-school soul. Lady Daisey has played venues and festivals around the globe, spreading her message of love and positivity, soulfully presented over head noddin' Batsauce beats. A small woman with a huge voice, Lady Daisey is sure to grab the attention and steal the hearts of everyone within ear's reach.