Review: Proudly pushing their music through Germany's Agogo imprint, the Hidden Jazz Quartett have always released stunning jazz music with a nod to the classics of the past, but with also an inherently modern twist to the sounds, arrangements, and mood. Their latest album, Raw & Cooked, is as smooth as silk, and instantly gets you in a soulful kind of mood with the sultry "High Heels", powered by the deep and luscious vocals of Omar. Tracks like "Tap On The Backdoor" are livelier, feature organs and push the jazz into funk territories, but then there's also plenty of downtempo via cuts such as the mighty "Kimberley Hotel", verging gracefully onto hip hop with the help of Anthony Joseph. All in all, this is the right kinda joint for those looking to get down, and zone out to some stone-cold future soul. Beautiful.
Review: David Hanke's Renegades Of Jazz project has been relatively successfully in achieving its initial aims, namely "bringing the jazz back to the dancefloor". After a three-year hiatus Hanke and company are back with a new album, "Nevertheless" - a funk-fuelled romp through bustling breakbeats, elastic double bass, fuzzy Stax style horns, jammed out piano lines and groovy guitar riffs. Hanke has roped in a number of guest vocalists and collaborators to put their stamp on the set, with stellar contributions from rapper Donnie Numeric (the hip-hop/jazz/funk fusion of "Hot Wired"), soul singer Clair Fallows (see the punchy floor-rocker "Light Me Up") and Afrika Fuentes (check the tropical funk brilliance of "Don't Break My Love").