Review: It was two years ago when Finnish combo Bowman Trio (AKA trumpeter Tomi Nikku, double bassist Joonas Tuuri and drummer Sami Nummela) first rocked up on We Jazz to showcase their particular brand of "loft jazz". This fine single is the three-piece's first new material since the release of their eponymous debut LP in 2016. Both original compositions are pretty darn good, especially A-side "The Chase (Version 1)", where Tuuri's rubbery, "Bullit"-style bassline and Nikku's headline-grabbing trumpet solos brilliantly wrap themselves around Nummela's hybrid jazz/bossa-nova beats. The band opt for an altogether sunnier sound on flipside "The Hillary Step", an invitation to dance from the halcyon days of swing-time jazz that includes some killer stop-start sections and impeccable drum fills.
Review: Finnish trio Mopo earned plenty of plaudits for their most recent album (their fourth in total), "Mopocalypse". It's from that fine set that A-side "Riisto" is taken. Given that the track is a deliciously fuzzy, low-slung floor-rocker - think distorted, Afro-funk influenced horns, frenetic drums and a heavy, full-throttle bassline reminiscent of some of the heaviest '60s and '70s deep funk records known to humanity - it's an inspired choice of single. The B-side is pretty darn tasty, too. Groovier and more relaxed with decidedly psychedelic analogue synth action (presumably provided by guest collaborator Jimi Tenor), "Acid Panama" is every bit as inspired as "Riisto" in its own peculiar way.
Review: As part of the label's 15th birthday celebrations, the Tramp Records crew has decided to serve up some seriously heavy deep funk. Given that the imprint first found fame championing similarly weight, B-Boy-friendly funk jams, it's rather fitting. The two showcased tracks come courtesy of St Petersburg band the Vicious Seeds, who have slowly been picking up plaudits since making their vinyl debut in 2016. A-side "Illegal Delivery" is something of a dancefloor beast, with razor-sharp guitars riding sweaty, all-action funk drums and a booming, metronomic bassline. "Happy Lobster", on the other hand, is a little more relaxed but no less potent, with the Russian combo wrapping jazzy guitar motifs around a bustling groove.
Review: "Sweet Tea (With My Sweetie)" was originally destined for inclusion on Lucky Brown & The SG's 2018 album "Mesquite Suite", but for one reason or another ended up getting cut. Happily, Tramp Tapes has decided to make it available as a 7-inch single instead. As with previous Brown excursions, the title track sounds like it was recorded sometime in the late 1960s, with authentically fuzzy production, punchy horns, Meters style Hammond licks and sweet, eyes-closed guitar riffs riding a loose but punchy funk-soul groove. "More Sweet Tea" sees the assembled band offer up a jazzier, solo-heavy instrumental revision of the title track that's even dustier and heavier than the A-side.
Review: George Brown (Vocals, Bass) Johnny Prejean (Drums), Charles Conrad Greenway (Vocals, Keyboards) Cliff Faldowski (Guitar) and Henry Boatright (Sax) made for quite the ensemble under their Soul Brothers Inc moniker, a project that ran from the late 60s through to the mid 70s and one which defined the Texas soul sound thanks to countless releases through the infamous S.B.I. Records. "Put It On Him" and "Go On & Have Your Fun" featured on one of the 7" singles that the band put out in 1971, and they still sound as fresh and as funky today as they did back then. Most importantly, both tunes have a very definite 'Texan' sound running through them, nodding to a country living that could not be matched by artists from Detroit or Philadelphia. It's their city, their vibe, their sound - and it sounds damn fine.