Yellow Dandelion (feat Georgia Anne Muldrow) (5:04)
Gnawa Sweet (6:08)
Icy Roads (Stacked) (4:18)
(To) Know Where You're Coming From (6:10)
The Leo & Aquarius (feat Jehst) (5:34)
You Didn't Care (feat Nubya Garcia) (5:56)
Self:Love (feat Obongjayar) (6:21)
Review: Joe Armon-Jones has been a driving force in the resurgence of contemporary jazz and now makes something of a victory lap with this new album on the always essential Brownswood. It's a very modern mix of bass and dub, du jour club culture and his own jazz styles featuring peers like Moses Boyd and Nubya Garcia. Frankly, the whole record is silky, starry-eyed and sublime and the excellent artwork also hist at the cosmic subtleties of this album, but our picks of the bunch are the neo-soul, summery stroll through the park vibes of "Yellow Dandelion", "Gnawa Sweet" which glows with mellifluous Rhodes chords and the uncompromising yet accessible sax and big brass action of album highlight "You Didn't Care".
Review: While names like Azymuth or Marcos Valle have become synonymous with Brazil's infamous 'jazz-dance' scene, it's really thanks to artists like Victor Assis Brasil that the genre has become such a staple of the enlarged jazz and funk movement. Brasil was a saxophonist in primis, and the best out out there at the time; Toca Antonio Carlos Jobim was one of his earlier albums, and it's striking to hear just how fluid and at the cutting-edge of jazz this man was in 1970. The opener "So Tinha De Sir Com Voce" is a delightfully subtle number, backed by intricate guitars and gentle pianos, while "Wave" heads down a deeper, more pensive tone with the man's sax on the front lines. "Bonita" is sweet, seductive but still full of zest and Brasil's inimitable charm on his preferred instrument, and "Dindi" winds the momentum down to a peaceful tempo that bursts with the South American continent's unmistakable glow. Excellent.
Review: One of Baker's most iconic, enduring albums enjoys a reissue. Written and recorded two years after his debut with Vido Musso and as many years before he hit Hollywood and heroin, Chet's debut album is laced with his lullaby dulcets and a sombre, spacious musicianship that creates a bubble that somehow sits both in and ahead of its time. Regarded as one of his most important pieces of work and accepted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2001, while it's clearly Chet at his youngest and purest, scratch the surface (both sonically and with the art of hindsight) and his barbed future is softly embedded in the album's DNA.
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: Although Kiwi keys-man Mark de Clive-Lowe is currently a producer and session musician in demand, he still somehow finds time to pursue a solo career. Earlier in the year he delivered the contemporary jazz/jazz-funk classic in waiting "Heritage", and here we're treated to its sequel (or, more accurately given the short gap between sets, companion album). It's another belter, with highlights including the outer-space jazz/live drum and bass fusion of "Bushido II", the string-laden dreaminess of "Ryugu-Jo", the atmospheric Jap-Jazz epic "Shitenno" and the slick downtempo jazz-funk warmth of "Mirai No Rekishi".
Review: Afrosynth Records' latest must-have release comes from Mabuta, a Capetown-based collective headed up by jazz bassist and occasional electronic experimentalist Shane Cooper. "Welcome To This World" is naturally rooted in jazz, though it's spiritual movements and cosmic vibrations regularly include suitably intergalactic synth sounds and nods towards jazz-funk and Afro-beat. The latter influence comes to the fore on Buddy Wells collaboration "Log Out Shut Down", while the brilliantly out-there "Tafattala" wraps bustling, crashing jazz drums in mind-altering backwards instrumentation and Cooper's booming double bass. Mabuta is of course capable of providing good, old-fashioned laidback jazz moments, as the Cinematic Orchestra-esque "As We Drift Away" emphatically proves.
Review: Despite being 57 years old, Charles Mingus's 1959 full-length Mingus Ah Um still sounds incredibly fresh. It's rightly regarded as one of the greatest jazz albums of all time, an accolade based not only on the consistently high quality of the tracks, but also their musical variety. So, while "Goodbye Porkpie Hat" and "Self Portrait in Three Colours" are traditionally melancholic, down-tempo jazz explorations, the album also contains the gospel-influenced rush of "Better Git In Your Soul", the high-octane Duke Ellington tribute, "Open Letter To Duke", and the atmospheric late night blues of "Pussy Cat Dues". Thanks to the excellent re-mastering work audible on this vinyl reissue, Mingus Ah Um has never sounded so good.