Review: Miles Davis and Marcus Miller's third and final fusion session, Amandla brought the partnership's triptych to a delightful close in 1989 with some of the most upbeat and funkiest compositions and jam sessions of the set. With Miles's trumpeteering and Marcus's iconic slap-bass going toe-to-toe on each track, the pair mischievously play chicken with each other as both hop and skip between the spotlight. The same can also be said for the devilish arrangement as we flicker from game show funk ("Jilli") to epitaph soliloquies ("Mr Pastorius") all within a tangible 80s production context. This has aged remarkably well.
Review: Timed to coincide with the upcoming 2016 Olympics in Rio, the $tateside label comes through with a 7"-shaped celebration of Brazilian music featuring two classic cuts from the archives of Airto Moreira and Gilberto Gil. Even if you don't know it by name, Moreira's "Celebration Suite" should be instantly familiar, a jazz-fusion/samba batucada anthem that truly lives up its joyous name!! Flip it over and Gilberto Gil is on hand for a more mellow accompaniment in the shape of bossa samba standard "Maracatu Atomico," lifted from his 1975 album Viramundo. Comes as a yellow and green samba seven special!
Review: It never fails to impress us just how sharp Ryucihi Sakamoto's experimental instincts remain, despite his advancing years. For proof, check the line-up of artists he asked to provide remixes for this "remodeled" companion piece to last year's sublime Async full-length. Predictably, almost all bring their A-game. Check, for example, the sweeping cinematic brilliance of Oneohtrix Point Never's interpretation of "Andata", the mournful, ultra-atmospheric wonder of Alva Noto's take on "Disintegration", the wall-of-sound sonic textures and neo-classical movements of Fennsez's version of "Solari", and the chopped-and-screwed headiness of "Async (ARCA Remix)". For the most part, all involved have somehow managed to emphasize the depth of feeling in Sakamoto's compositions, most of which were inspired by his well documented battle with cancer.
Louie Ramirez & His Orchestra - "Manha De Carnaval" (3:07)
Flora Purim - "Islands In The Sun" (interlude) (1:21)
Review: Stateside have produced quite the compilation here, literally thanks to a vault of rare and Brazilian funk and disco from the larger-than-life Warner imprint. Where do we even start? Well, there are eleven solid Brazilian dance grooves by the country's finest talents, and most of them hard to come by on vinyl these days. There are too many favourites on here, but the ones that we've left ton repeat are: Gilberto Gil's carnival anthem "Today Menina Baiana", the gloriously deep and tropical "Maria Fumanca" by Banda Black Rio, Azymuth's "Circo Marimbondo", and the jazz-funk masterpiece "From The Lonely Afternoon" by Flora Purim. Sublime.