Review: Finnish jazz scene heavyweights Timo Lassy (saxophone) and Teppo Makynen (drums) are old studio buddies. They've released a number of collaborative singles, but this self-titled set is their first joint album. After kicking off via the slow-burn ambient jazz creepiness of "Fallow", the pair shuffles through sparse but engrossing cuts that combine Lassy's meandering headline-grabbing saxophone solos with Makynen's ambidextrous drum rhythms and melodic percussion parts (think xylophone, marimba, kalimba etc). It's very experimental in nature and closer in spirit to free-jazz than some of their collaborative work, though the results are uniformly impressive and strangely alluring.
Review: Soul Jazz has previously dug deep into the back catalogue of American flautist Lloyd McNeill, reissuing a number of albums including two made with his acclaimed jazz quintet. Their latest rummage through the vaults has resulted in the reissue of one of his most sought-after sets - 1976 private press LP "Treasures", original copies of which now change hands for significant sums online. It remains a fine album, all told, with McNeill's breezy, ear-catching flute solos rising over backing tracks that are variously sublimely sun-kissed (the bright pianos and cheery madrigal mood of "Salvation Army"), suave and swinging ("As A Matter Of Fact") and effortlessly soft and seductive (the unfurling beauty of "You Don't Know What Love Is").
JB De Carvalho E Seu Terreiro - "Fui A Umbanda" (2:33)
Trio Ternura - "A Gira" (3:04)
Alcione - "Figa De Guine" (2:19)
Impacto 5 - "Longe Daqui Aqui Mesmo" (3:23)
Abaete - "Pisa No Taboado" (2:34)
Tobias - "Coisa Sentimental" (4:00)
Os Flippers - "Estrelar" (2:02)
SpaceArk - "Don't Stop" (unreleased long version) (4:09)
Pure Release - "I'll Know It's Love For Sure" (3:37)
Luther Davis Group - "You Can Be A Star" (4:39)
Kaleidoscope - "Let Me Try" (3:26)
Marumo - "Khomo Tsaka Deile Kae?" (3:43)
Splash - "Peacock" (4:51)
Gyedu Blay Ambolley - "Highlife" (5:00)
Harari - "Senyamo" (4:44)
Tokyo Academy Philharmonic Chorus Group - "Taharazaka" (2:57)
Cesar Roldão Vieira - "Ze Do Trem" (2:14)
Elias Rahbani - "I Want To Be" (3:21)
Elias Rahbani - "Dance Of Maria" (2:45)
Galt MacDermot - "Coffee Cold" (3:22)
Review: The crate-diggers behind the Mr Bongo label can usually be relied upon to showcase some seriously good tunes old and new. That's certainly the case on this third volume in their occasional "Record Club" series of compilations. Spanning sunshine soul, obscure samba, spacey jazz-funk experimentation, wide-eyed underground disco, fiery funk, weirdo rock, cheery South African bubblegum, synth-laden early '80s highlife, Ramsay Lewis style workouts and the psychedelic Middle Eastern disco-funk of Elias Rahbani, the compilation's 20 tracks are not only near faultless, but genuinely surprising and eye-opening. To quote a cliche, this collection genuinely is all killer and no filler.