Review: Retro soul fans rejoice. This is a superbly suave collection of instrumental soul and classic British library sounds that ooze class. The lush keys bring lounge goodies, the wind leads bring the feel of a 60s spy drama or detective show theme tune and the tight rhythm sections will bump on any floor. All the tracks have an inescapable sense of conversational narrative and while some strut their stuff in chest pumping fashion, others glide on more silky and seductive keys. If ever you want to imagine you're an international jet-setter, this is the perfect soundtrack.
Review: Those well-versed in New York jazz should recognise all of the musicians involved in this delightfully mystical collaborative album, as all have been active since the 1970s or early '80s. For the uninitiated, the all-star "supergroup" behind "Welcome Adventure" is made up of legendary drummer Gerald Cleaver, woodwind and brass master Daniel Carter (tenor sax, trumpet, flute), bassist Willian Parker and pianist William Parker. The resultant music is mostly magical, with highlights including the joyous, ever-building excitement of opener "Majestic Travel Energy" (a whirlwind of jaunty sax lines, bright piano solos, frisky drums and undulating double bass), and epic flipside cut "Ear-regularities" (an (at times) discordant and dystopian free-jazz number that rewards those who play close attention.
Review: It may not be one of Idris Muhammad's most celebrated albums, but "Kabsha" is arguably one of the most notable. For starters, the rollcall of musicians featured on the 1980 release is incredibly impressive, with Art Farmer collaborator Ray Drummond on Drums and George Coleman (once a member of Max Roach's regular band) and Pharoah Sanders taking it in turn to showcase their tenor saxophone skills. Musically, it sees the drummer and his distinguished guests offer up a fine selection of post-bop treats. Highlights include the bustling, loose-limbed brilliance of opener "GCCG Blues", the unshakeable energy of "St M" - which includes a series of virtuoso drum solos by Muhammad - and the fizzing joy that is closing cut "Little Feet".
Chatanooga Choo Choo/Don't Be That Way/Tributo A Martin Luther King (3:08)
Pourquoi/Arrasta A Sandalia/Morena, Boca De Ouro/Rosa Morena (7:42)
Birthday Morning/Can't Take My Eyes Off You (2:59)
O Dialogo (2:22)
Review: Pianist Luis Carlos Vinhas first rose to prominence during the height of Brazil's bossa-nova movement in the early 1960s. By the middle of the decade, he was releasing albums under his own name, and in 1968 delivered what would become his most colourful and exciting set: the effervescent Latin jazz psycehedelia of "O Som Psicodelico de Luiz Carlos Vinhas". As richly detailed and vivid as its accompanying cover art, the set still stands up all these years on - as this essential Mad About Records reissue proves. Backed by a big band, a guitarist with tons of effects pedals and recordings of Amazonian wildlife, the pianist delivered a set of tropical jazz/psychedelic samba fusion that sounds every bit as hallucinatory now as it did way back in 1968. In a word: essential.