Monday, 25 November 2013

Playlist: Welcome To Jazz Club Vol. 3

I wanted to wait until i had hit 250 subscribers across the first two Welcome To Jazz Club playlists before publishing the third, but it took a good 18 months to mature and get this set right.

I tend to base the track selection on personal discovery of music through various sources, whether a press recommendation, a friend, a late night internet discovery or hearing the song played somewhere.

This volume leans towards accessible end of Spiritual and Modal Jazz, because that's what i've been exploring more and more over the last 24 months. This includes both new and older more original aspects of the genre, and hopefully does a half decent job in linking them together. Pretty powerful stuff. This even influenced me to a point on the Campfire Surf Mix I did a while back.

So here's my take on a selection of tracks from this playlist (click to open and listen)

Kelan Philip Cohran And The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – Ancestral
It's usually pretty tough to choose an opening track and in the previous two playlists i went for upbeat openers, but Spiritual Jazz being what it is, i went for this standout from Kelan Phillip Cohran's self titled 2012 album.

Sathima Bea Benjamin – Music
Taken from the African Songbird album re-issued on  Matsuli, this was originally recorded and released in 1976 on Rashid Vally's As-Shams (Sun) label. Broody modal jazz.

Christian Scott – Who They Wish I Was
AllAboutJazz said this album was "an antidote to all that is wrong with jazz today." and for me this was a real stand out from the New Orleans Trumpeters album.

Darryl Reeves – Paradise (feat. Rasheeda Ali & Carmen Rodgers)
Really enjoyed the futuristic artwork on this and also it's link from jazz to hiphop and soul courtesy of some nice vocals. Brings some beats to the jam and a little slice of positivity "it's so nice, it's a paradise" on loop is just fine with me

Sunlightsquare Latin Combo – I Believe In Miracles
Taken from a good comp on BBE records this is a latin relick of the Jackson Sisters classic.

Lonnie Liston Smith – Golden Dreams
Everyone should hear his record 'Expansions' but his album Cosmic Jazz & Spiritual Sounds issued via Ace Records contained this gem

Mulatu Astatke – Yègellé Tezeta
Ethio jazz in it's prime with Astake leading the charge. If you enjoy this, the Ethiopoques series is well worth checking out. (it's also an album that has been played so many times in the office that it was added to the 'banned' list!)


Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Right Thing: Rosie Lowe

Music editors and industry shakers are currently compiling and indeed sweating over their Hot for 2014 lists including the much vaunted BBC 'sound of [insert year here]' poll. Whilst these lists tend to contain a bias of heavily funded major label artists, one artist getting my personal vote right now is Devonshire raised Rosie Lowe.

Produced by Kwes (Warp) and Dave Okumu of The Invisible (Ninja Tune), her debut EP presents some highly addictive moody, minimal RnB with some fairly straight up lyrics telling things as they appear. The EP includes this frankly stunning promotional video for Right Thing, which contains enough mystique to make us want to know and hear more.

Fans of Banks, Maya Jane Coles and Jessie Ware will enjoy this debut from the South Londoner, out Dec 2nd.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Theo Parrish: Black Jazz Signature

"From beginning to end the mix is beautifully rich and energetic—not to mention enlightening."-Resident Advisor 

Detroit techno legend Theo Parrish, widely influenced by Jazz, recently compiled a set exploring the Black Jazz label from 1971-76

Although Parrish is usually bunkered in the studio creating intelligent electronica, the influence of jazz remains strong in his production work.

I wasn't too familiar with Black Jazz Records until i heard about this superb compilation, but Parrish has done a fantastic job of picking out some truly wonderful, rare jazz moments.

Occasionally cosmic, often expansive and with superb musicianship on display, the 11 tracks here contain Parrish's take on the best of the catalogue, with the label sending him every album they had on vinyl.

Highlights for me include Gene Russell's take on 'My Favourite Things', The Awakenings 'March On' with it's excellent 1 minute drum solo and hiphop break, the strutty 'Criss Cross' by Calvin Keys and album closer the organ tastic 'Blue Bossa' by Walter Bishop Jr.

It's not on Spotify but it is available on Amazon and iTunes. If you buy the CD on Amazon then auto-rip will actually let you download the 22 track digital version which comes with the tracks separately to the mix as well, so pretty good!