Review: BBE's second trawl through late 20th century deep Japanese jazz is every bit as eye opening and essential as its predecessor, which caused many hearts to flutter when it was released 18 months ago. From start to finish, we're treated to a righteous range of largely little-known tunes, from the spiraling, sun-kissed spirituality of Makoto Terashita Meets Harold Land's epic "Dragon Dance", and the funk-fuelled dancefloor jazz brilliance of Mabumi Yamaguchi Quartet's "Distant Thunder", to the smooth, snaking seductiveness of George Kawaguchi Big Four's "Vietnam" and the synthesizer jazz-funk insanity of Electro Keyboard Orchestra's "Mother Of The Future". A superb selection of genuinely off-kilter and life affirming Japanese gems that should be an essential purchase for both serious and casual jazz fans.
Flying Fantasy (exclusive instrumental version) (4:35)
Rhodes E Serenidade (3:37)
Review: Small repress of the Modern Sun Records founder and experienced jazz-wise producer Marc Friedli AKA Skymark. A-side "Flying Fantasy" originally appeared on the Spanish producer's 2016 album "Resistance Sonore", but is here featured in instrumental form for the first time. If anything, it's better than the original version, largely because we get to revel in Friedli's mazy Fender Rhodes solos, rubbery jazz-funk synth bass and loose-limbed, West London style broken beats. You'll find plenty more jaunty jazz-funk vibes and liquid electric piano solos on B-side cut "Rhodes E Serenidade", which first slipped out way back in 2015. DJ Support so far from Dom Servini, Emanative,Red Greg,Kevin Beadle, Mike Chadwick,Dynamite Cuts & Rocafort Records so far
Review: It seems so obvious you wonder why it doesn't happen more often: Stefano Torossi's "Feelings" album from 2000 was made up of track titles that convey certain situations and emotions that he masterfully reflects in the music. This new double 7" includes the highlights, such as the racing jazz and trumpet stabs of "Running Fast," the sustained and uneasy chords of "Fearing Much" and "Feeling Tense," which is actually a pretty lush bit of smooth jazz. "Walking In The Dark" rounds off the double pack with playful guitars and luxuriant synths that are pure soundtrack goodness. Ace.
Review: Jazz Room Records is the work of legendary London jazz-dance DJ Paul Murphy, so it's perhaps unsurprising that the label's first outing is an essential reissue of one of his personal favourites: Hugo Heredia's spiritually-minded 1976 Latin-Jazz fusion masterpiece, "Mananita Pampera". Although it begins with a dense and psychedelic collage of Heredia's breathy flute playing, the album's genius lies in its' combination of heavy Latin percussion, skittish jazz drums and the bright and breezy instrumentation atop (piano, double bass and Heredia on sax). Of course, there are a few slower, laidback cuts to be found dotted across the album, but for the most part it's a sweaty, excitable dancefloor excursion that's been a staple of Murphy's sets since the 1980s.
Review: Rocafort Records has excelled itself once again with this release, a four-track journey into "oriental jazz" by a quartet of international musicians helmed by young Turkish pianist, composer and arranger Gokhan Surer. He describes his style as "world, fusion, jazz", which is a neat summary of the exotic, evocative and emotion-rich material on offer. Check first the warm occidental jazz shuffle of "Chimera" before recoiling in wonder at the Turkish strings, double bass, hushed percussion and jazz-funk style electric piano solos of "Dere". Over on side B, "Makam Rasta" is an inspired fusion of reggae, jazz-funk and Arabian instrumentation, while "Onbesli" is a rolling fusion cut underpinned by hip-hop style beats.
Review: It wouldn't be fare to accuse all jazz cats of overlooking Albert Dailey, but many are guilty of it. One of often unsung greats everyone should know about but few seem to namecheck enough, 'Renaissance' is one of just five full-length albums from a career that lasted over 30 years, so you can add the phrase 'under-recorded' to the list of regrets. Laid down in 1977, four years after his debut full length arrived, for those who do count themselves in the fan club this is not just seminal Dailey but seminal jazz. Expressive, overflowing with emotion and yet also delightfully playful, it veers between freeform segments, such as the closing sections of 'Mr Pogo', to the sophisticated, sensual piano solo of 'Autumn Rain', which brings this display of musical prowess to a grand- or rather intimate- finale.
Festa Para Um Rei Negro (Samba Enredo Do Salgueiro/71) (3:42)
Selecao De Mangueira (4:57)
Refem Da Solidao (2:19)
Review: Little is known about DIla, a Brazilian singer who tragically died in a car crash weeks after the release of her self-titled debut album in 1971. All that remains is the album - here reissued for the first time by Far Out Recordings - and a handful of references in the Brazilian media to her tremendous talents. "DIla" is a sensationally good album; a wonderfully summery, sun-kissed and soulful collection of samba songs that veers from bluesy jazziness (see the laidback and smoky "O Morro Nao Tem Vez"), to sweaty, carnival-ready dancefloor workouts (the brilliant "Saberas"), via the attractive, horn-heavy jauntiness of "As Paredes Tem Ouvidos").
Review: London's contemporary jazz scene is so strong right now that there's not a week that passes without the release of a killer new album from one of its leading protagonists. The latest comes from Ezra Collective, which finally delivers its' debut album following a string of inspired live performances and a handful of must-have singles. Kicking off with a breezy chunk of hip-hop-jazz, "You Can't Steal My Joy" sees the hyped five-piece confidently bounce between intense, spiraling epics ("Why You Mad?"), reggae-influenced aural sunshine ("Red Whine"), polyrhythmic Afro-jazz ("Quest For Coin"), bespoke soul (Jorja Smith hook-up "Reason In Disguise"), live boom-bap hip-hop (Loyle Carner collaboration "What Am I To Do"), bustling Afro-Cuban jazz ("Chris & Jane"), picturesque piano pieces ("Philosopher II") and much more besides. As debuts go, it's mighty impressive.
Review: George Otsuka Quintet were active in the Japanese jazz scene of the early to mid 70s, led by famed jazz drummer George Otsuka and with a modest grip of LPs to their name. It's been a while since anyone turned their attention to this visionary outfit, but now the stunning, freewheeling 1976 album "Physical Structure" has received the reissue treatment via Le Tres Jazz Club, and it's a good thing too. This incredible session finds Otsuka leading his band down limber, energised avenues of rhythm and groove, constantly skittering from scene to scene without missing a beat. The album even wraps up with a take on John Coltrane's evergreen "Naima" that leaps off the platter with joy in a fitting homage to the original.
Review: The Brazilian singer-songwriter and guitarist Joyce Silveira Moreno was born and raised in the middle of Copacabana, a short beach stroll from the epicentre of the bossa nova universe.Her father was a Dane that had settled in Brazil, but she was raised by her mother and step-father in a typical Portuguese-Brazilian household. Since her older brother was friendly with leading lights of the bossa nova movement such as Roberto Menescal and Eumir Deodato,she was steeped in the form at an early age and witnessed its key evolution first-hand. At theage of 16 in 1964, she was taken to the studio by Menescal to contribute to the coveted debut album by the mythical group Sambacana, assembled to record the work of composer Pacifico Mascarenhas when the meagre budget would not allow the vocalists he preferred. Knowingthat a full-time career in music was certainly not guaranteed, she began studying journalism in 1967, shortly before her controversial song "Me Disseram" reached the finals of Rio's second International Song Competition. The following year, her self-titled debut album was released by Philips, produced by Armando Pittigliani, with orchestration by Dorival Caymmi and arrangements by Gaya; along with her own compositions, the album also featured songs by her rising-star friends, including Caetano Veloso and Marcos Valle.
Review: Ill Considered is a fully live and improvisational jazz band made up of four members. They loosely pre-write themes then set to making music without communication or knowing where on earth they might end up going, or what they might sound like. It's a rule breaking approach that leads to rule breaking but brilliant music layered up with deep, walking bass, dense drums and freeform sax that feels impossibly alive. "8" is another bristling work of rhythm and conversational top lines that exudes a controlled sense of chaos, bubbled under with menace and remains thoroughly unpredictable and exhilarating from start to finish.