Review: Originally pressed (on a limited run) in 2013, LA Latin funk troupe Boogaloo Assassins have reissued these two spellbinding cover versions again due to public demand. Still on a highly limited run, both cuts need to be in your collection: Dawn Penn's "No No No" gets a strict samba switch with lavish percussion and consistent vocal harmonies throughout while Sonny Henry's "Evil Ways" (best known from its Santana cover) gets the dreamy instrumental treatment where the horns and glocks do the narrating over a tight bed of wood blocks, shakers and liquid Rhodes. Killer stuff and Juno is one of the few stores outside of USA which is carrying the 45. Don't Sleep !
Review: Acclaimed pianist Greg Foat is a mainstay of the current UK jazz revival thanks to works on Jazzman and Athens of the North. He draws on soul and library music for his inspiration and serves up lush symphonies that are rich in detail, layer and emotion. This new album, which makes use of pedal steel for the first time, goes even more widescreen in its approach and includes powerfully uplifting tracks like "Anticipation" as well as more sensual and slower groovers and languid movers like "Island Life." It is the sound of an artist and composer at the very peak of his powers.
Review: This release marks something of a departure for Athens of the North, a label predominantly known for reissuing ludicrously rare funk and soul sevens. For starters, it's a brand new album, written, performed and produced by jazzman Greg Foat and Warren Hampshire, who's best known for being a member of The Bees. Then there's what it sounds like. While there are nods to the organic, immaculately produced soul of Rotary Connection, for the most part Galaxies Like Grains of Sand is a luscious fusion of hazy, Cinematic Orchestra style jazz, folksy downtempo compositions, and the blissful, head-in-the-clouds bliss of new age influenced ambient. Surprising or not, it's an utterly beguiling album
Review: Tastemaking US jazz label International Anthem serves up this special 7" from Angel Bat Dawid in response to Emma Warren's 2019 book "Make Some Space", which told the story of London DIY music space Total Refreshment Centre. Featuring clarinets, keys and drum machines, both tracks are hugely conversational, with emotional pain and power ebbing and flowing through both originals pieces. A-side "Transition East" overflows with ideas and narrative while "No Space For Us" is more cautious and subdued, but both leave a lasting impact. The track features Angel with Ben LaMar Gay and Brazilian talents Edbrass Brasil, Romulo Alexis, Tadeu Mascarenhas, Nancy Viegas and Germano Estacio.
Review: As part of his Gondwana label's 10th anniversary, masterful Manchester trumpeter and contemporary jazz trendsetter Matthew Halsall has put together a special deluxe edition of his beautiful "Colour Yes" album with thick reverse board sleeves, silver block letter foiling and two printed inner sleeves. First released in 2009, the album showcases Halsall's deeply emotive style across the 8 achingly good, supremely spiritual tracks that glow with gorgeous piano playing, gently lilting drums and his own fantastic leads.
Review: With no less than nine releases on the label to their name already, Black Cash & Theo AKA Thelonious Beats are Galaxy Sound Co's most experienced editors. Here they deliver another fantastic "45" packed with righteous grooves and life-affirming jazz moves. It's the latter that comes to the fore on side A's "Flute Thing", a sweet and seductive drift through picturesque jazz territory with some additional loose-limbed drum solos edited in halfway through. "Do What You Gotta Do" on the other hand is a simmering, string-laden soul treat rich in killer instrumentation, sumptuous orchestration, chunky grooves and hazy vocals. It's a fine edit of a superb cut and easily the record's standout cut.
Everyday I Have The Blues/Stormy Monday Blues (Blues Medley) (8:01)
Little B's Poem (3:07)
Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head (4:38)
Love From The Sun (5:30)
People Make The World Go Around (4:47)
Review: Before she made a name for herself with a string of killer disco, jazz-funk and fusion records in the late '70s and early '80s, Dee Dee Bridgewater was a rising star on the global jazz underground. This period of her career is best exemplified by 1974 debut album "Afro Blue", a fine vocal jazz album recorded in Tokyo with a backing band made up of husband Cecil (a top trumpeter) and high-quality Japanese session musicians. As this reissue proves, the album has lost none of its allure. There's much to set the pulse racing throughout, from the breezy soul-jazz shuffle of opener "Afro Blue" and the emotive "Blues Medley", to the superb slowed-down jazz cover of "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" and blissful "People Make The World Go Round".
Review: There's always been a spiritual bent to some of flautist and saxophonist Chip Wickham's music, but rarely has it been so explicit as it is on "Blue To Red", his third full-length excursion. Surrounded by becalmed harps, spacey electric piano keys, languid double-bass, ear-catching cello and bustling drums, Wickham's breezy flute solos sound like a cosmic call to arms for all those who love the more spiritual side of jazz. It's a smart blueprint that Wickham and his cohorts happily apply to both up-tempo and downbeat moments, in the process delivering a set of inspired instrumentals that remain accessible entertaining and pleasingly alluring.
Review: Like many of her previous Black Earth Ensemble projects, Nicole Mitchell's latest album was directly inspired by the work of African American science fiction author Octavia E Butler, and in particular the latter's "Earthseed" concept: an egalitarian philosophy and spiritual practice that promotes independent thinking, community action and acceptance of change in a dystopian world. Mitchell's musical interpretation, which was written with vocalist and musician Lisa E Harris and recorded at the Art Ensemble of Chicago's Fullerton Hall back in 2017, is impressively experimental in tone, mixing elements of free-jazz and spiritual jazz with nods towards opera, spaced-out electronica, neo-classical and the storytelling structure of musical theatre. A brave, important and undeniably impressive work.
Review: During the 1970s, Dale O. Warren's ever-changing 24 Carat Black project delivered some of the finest hybrid soul-jazz music around, with the project's 1973 debut album considered something of an underground classic. "III" is the collective's third "official" album and was put together by Numero Group following the discovery of a number of 1980s recordings by the late, great Warren (with vocalists Princess Hearn, Vicki Gray, and LaRhonda LeGette) in a storage lock-up. Sparse but warm, languid and jazzy, it's a leisurely, soft-touch collection of cuts stripped of production trickery but high on dewy-eyed vocals, organic drums and tactile instrumentation.
The John Sangster Quartet - "Exploration Of The Sun" (3:14)
Galapagos Duck - "Kate Did" (8:20)
The Brian Brown Quintet - "Wildflowers" (4:59)
Peter Gaudion's Blues Express - "People Make The World Go 'Round" (7:18)
Review: "Pyramid Pieces" is a long overdue retrospective of the golden years of Australia's modern jazz scene in the 1960s and '70s. It could hardly be called a well-known scene - it was barely celebrated in Australia, yet alone elsewhere - but over the course of two decades produced a string of fine releases showcasing fresh interpretations of then contemporary jazz from the USA and Europe, as well as a homegrown style known as 'Eco-Jazz'. Highlights are plentiful, from the magnificent modal movements of Jazz Co/Op's "A La Coltrane" and the effortlessly evocative spirituality of "Exploration of the Sun" by the John Sangster Quartet, to the heady eco-jazz beauty of the Brian Brown Quintet's "Wildflowers" and Peter Gaudion Blues Express's winding instrumental cover of jazz staple "People Make The World Go round".
Review: Two years on from his last outing under the alias, Finnish drummer-producer Teppo Makynen dons the Stance Brothers guise for a typically on-point outing. Both cuts are freshly re-imagined takes on "Resolution Blue", a joint Makynen/Timo Lassy production first featured on the pair's 2018 collaborative album on We Jazz Records. The A-side rendition naturally features killer beats from Makynen, as well as a low-slung, Afro-funk influenced bassline and fluid vibraphone solos. Over on side B, "Where Is Resolution Blue" once again pushes the "vibes" to the fore, though the analogue synth-sporting groove that sits below is altogether smoother, jauntier and seemingly recorded with crushed velvet smoking jackets and smoky lounge clubs in mind. It's the kind of thing that fellow Finn Jimi Tenor once excelled at.
Review: Lascelle 'Lascelles' Gordon is the creative powerhouse behind Vibration Black Finger, and once again here he excels on a second album that furthers his magnificent jazz sound. Obscure spiritual sounds of the 70s are the melting pot from which he mostly draws, with plenty of like-minded collaborates all contributing their own skills to the mix. Collective empowerment and personal development all enrich the album and its progressive message, and it was all put together from old ideas on tapes and DATs that he had worked on over the years. Instrumental segues stitch together the thoughtful vocal pieces and moments of real gusto help it stick long in the memory.
Review: P Vine in Japan first put out a cd reissue of this 1971 album way back in 2007 and at last they reissue a Japan only edition of the album on wax for the first time since Vistone in the USA put out a version in 1990.Heavy brass funk fuelled jazz workouts led by Roy Porter on drums.