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Jazz Recommendations Best of 2017

Juno Recommends Jazz

Juno Recommends Jazz

Jazz Recommendations Best of 2017
12 Dec 2017
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1
Cat: BWOOD 0157LP. Rel: 07 Nov 16
Jazz
  1. Black Focus (4:29)
  2. Strings Of Light (8:31)
  3. Remembrance (8:56)
  4. Yo Chavez (3:59)
  5. Ayla (0:45)
  6. OG (0:47)
  7. Lowrider (4:26)
  8. Mansur's Message (2:08)
  9. Wing Tai Drums (1:18)
  10. Joint 17 (8:10)
Review: Brownswood Recordings has high hopes for this debut album from the previously unheralded Yussef Kamaal, which brings together hyped producer Kamaal Williams (AKA Henry Wu) and fast-rising Afrobeat drummer Yussef Dayes. With such talent to draw on, you'd expect Black Focus to be rather good. Happily, it is, with the duo delivering a typically London-centric take on jazz funk. That means that they take as much inspiration from the work of Kaidi Tatham as, say, Herbie Hancock. The key to the album's success - and, yes, it is generally as special as Gilles Peterson suggests - is the fluid combination of Dayes' brilliant drumming and Williams' superb synth solos and effortlessly groovy Rhodes playing.
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out of stock $15.86
2
Cat: YT 171. Rel: 02 Oct 17
Jazz
  1. Desire (4:36)
  2. Humility (2:48)
  3. Knowledge (3:51)
  4. Perspective (3:25)
  5. Integrity (3:45)
  6. Truth (13:25)
Review: The music that makes up Harmony of Difference, Kamasi Washington's first EP of note since the release of acclaimed 2015 album The Epic, was premiered live as a "six-track movement" earlier this year. The "suite" - here stretched across both sides of an essential 12" - sees Washington continue to explore the idea of what it means to be black in America in the 21st century. Musically, the EP contains some of his smoothest and most laidback compositions yet, with all his musical collaborators being on fine form. The headline attraction is undoubtedly 14-minute flipside "The Truth", an almost operatic jazz epic full of swelling choral contributions, fizzing drum solos, rising horns and, of course, plenty of Washington's distinctive saxophone.
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 in stock $8.89
3
  1. Om Rama (9:40)
  2. Om Shanti (6:52)
  3. Rama Rama (7:35)
  4. Rama Guru (5:53)
  5. Hari Narayan (4:37)
  6. Journey To Satchidananda (10:52)
  7. Er Ra (4:59)
  8. Keshava Murahara (9:44)
  9. Krishna Japaye (5:29)
  10. Rama Katha (11:41)
out of stock $19.74
4
The Awakening (1 per customer)
Cat: BEWITH 020LP. Rel: 26 Jun 17
Jazz
  1. The Awakening (6:16)
  2. I Love Music (7:20)
  3. Patterns (6:18)
  4. Dolphin Dance (5:06)
  5. You're My Everything (4:42)
  6. Stolen Moments (6:29)
  7. Wave (4:28)
Review: The Awakening is the seventh and final studio album from The Ahmad Jamal trio. It was originally released way back in 1970, and in the years since has become something of a must-have for jazz collectors. Given that finding original vinyl copies is getting increasingly difficult, this reissue is more than welcome. Musically, it's a boisterous and hugely entertaining affair, with Jamal's virtuoso piano playing taking centre stage. With an accompanying drummer and double bass player providing steady, if unspectacular, backing, Jamal tickles the ivories like a man possessed. Along the way, he doffs his cap to a number of then popular jazz styles, remodeling them in his own image.
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out of stock $28.09
5
Cat: BGPS 056. Rel: 27 Feb 17
Jazz
  1. Selim (3:30)
  2. The Man (2:41)
 in stock $7.52
6
Cat: HR 12S004. Rel: 22 May 17
Jazz
  1. Song For Unity (feat Tomoki Sanders) (12:58)
  2. Mission (6:45)
Review: Super limited Japan only 12'' sublime jazz release, in a glorious paste-on board sleeve. Juno is one of a handful of shops outside of Japan to sell this Record Store Day release.
out of stock $37.27
7
Cat: PH 45010. Rel: 23 Jan 17
Jazz
  1. Tinoge Ya Ta'a Ba (part 1) (3:27)
  2. Tinoge Ya Ta'a Ba (part 2) (2:45)
Review: Following their surprise reunion and Strut-release album We Be All Africans last year, Idris and The Pyramids return... This time on Max Weissenfeldt's Philophon imprint. Laying down a spiritual arrangement so frenetic and full of its own life it takes up two parts, Idris's sax plays duet with Philophon's own vocalist Guy One. Gutsy, raw and full of surprises, it's another out-of-body experience from the longstanding jazz troupe.
 in stock $9.45
8
Cat: SC 715. Rel: 27 Mar 17
Jazz
  1. Spooky (4:10)
  2. Hurt So Bad (3:45)
Review: A timely revisit to two of the stand out covers on Italian jazz/lounge posterboy Andrea Balducci's 2012 album Bloom. "Spooky" is a soft, sweet and succinctly measured take on Shapiro and Middlebrooks' mid 60s standard while "Hurts So Bad" is a respectful twist on Weinstein, Harshman and Randazzo's similar era classic that was made famous by Linda Ronstadt years later.
out of stock $7.52
9
  1. Introducing The Soul Trio (2:26)
  2. Martha's New Moment (5:01)
Review: Longstanding horn boss Jukka has been cooking up rare gold for over 10 years now in various troupes and forms. The Soul Trio is his latest project, having sparked the fire last year on We Jazz. The fire now heating up with every toot, this Timmion 45" is a jazz funk inferno. "Introducing The Soul Trio" is a snare-rattling, organ-snapping entry tune while the clipped, hooky riff on "Martha's New Movement" is the finishing move. Victory is Jukka's.
out of stock $6.95
10
  1. Home Rule (6:03)
  2. Just 71% Moor (8:22)
  3. 2504 Cliffborne Pl (5:59)
  4. Fountain In The Circle (2:23)
  5. City Tryptych (16:31)
  6. Fountain In The Circle (part 2) (1:45)
out of stock $23.35
11
Cat: BWOOD 166. Rel: 17 Jul 17
Jazz
  1. All Africa (4:50)
  2. All Africa (alternate take) (6:46)
 in stock $8.34
12
  1. Roy Haines - "Quiet Fire" (8:13)
  2. Don Rader - "Don't Touch" (7:49)
  3. John Lee & Gerry Brown - "Infinite Jones" (6:41)
  4. John Thomas & Lifeforce - "Maryke" (5:52)
  5. Banda Metalurgia - "La Em Guayaquil" (2:54)
  6. Belair - "Samba For A Cold Warrior" (8:25)
  7. Francisco Mara Catlett - "Samba De Amor" (7:05)
  8. Louis Hayes Group - "Little Sunflower" (feat Leon Thomas) (6:41)
  9. Lee Willhite - "The World Is A Ghetto" (5:21)
  10. Clarice Labbe & Charlie Hampton - "No Other Love But You" (3:26)
  11. Ronald Snijders - "Latinetta" (4:02)
  12. Finn Savery Trio - "Misturada" (3:24)
  13. Ira Sullivan - "The Kingdom Within You" (6:11)
  14. Webster Lewis - "Do You Believe" (alternate version) (17:22)
Review: Three years on from the release of his last Private Collection compilation, British jazz survivor Kev Beadle returns with a third selection of little-known "independent jazz" from the 1970s and '80s. As usual, it's a pleasingly varied affair with a clear dancefloor focus. Beadle, a man with an enviable record collection, variously showcases South American jazz-funk fusion (see Banda Metalurgia's fantastic "La Em Guayaquil" and Francisco Mara Catlett's thrillingly upbeat, "Brazilian Love Affair" style smasher "Samba De Amor"), Nat King Cole style smoothness (the Leon Thomas voiced "Little Sunflower" by Louis Hayes Group), dazzlingly positive extended workouts (Clarice Lebbe and Charlie Hampton), heavy percussion jams (Finn Savery Trio) and confirmed jazz-dance classics (the soul-jazz stomp of Webster Lewis).
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out of stock $25.03
13
Cat: MM 110. Rel: 28 Jan 19
Jazz
  1. The Night (3:47)
  2. I'm A Green Lamp (5:45)
  3. Orient Trip (4:11)
  4. Black Sea Waves (2:08)
  5. Play For Me (4:51)
  6. Marimba (Mother Of Music) (6:10)
  7. It's For You All (3:52)
  8. I'm Muslim Man (4:40)
  9. Moriva (7:37)
out of stock $26.14
14
Cat: NR016 LP. Rel: 15 May 17
Jazz
  1. The City Evening Concert (9:20)
  2. Lifted Up To 210 Meters (8:29)
  3. Beats In The Depth (8:45)
  4. This Early Broadminded's Emptiness (8:56)
 in stock $16.41
15
Cat: SS 007. Rel: 23 Oct 17
Jazz
  1. The Way It Should Be (4:30)
  2. Eso Guede (2:34)
  3. Easy (4:01)
  4. Nathalie (5:23)
  5. Piano A Marius Cultier (4:34)
  6. Qui Coule Manman-Ou (3:18)
  7. Nestor: Ti Patte (3:02)
  8. Ochung (4:36)
  9. Zouk (5:13)
  10. Ce Roule Man Ka Roule (4:56)
out of stock $43.37
16
Cat: NOAJ 003. Rel: 31 Jul 17
Jazz
  1. El Tren De Tom (4:30)
  2. Paolinho (3:46)
  3. Zimbao (3:33)
  4. Managua (7:34)
  5. Sambaiana (7:39)
  6. Casas De Invierno (5:53)
  7. Palmeiras (7:35)
out of stock $20.01
17
Cat: CA 133. Rel: 27 Mar 17
Jazz
  1. Guarapachanga (8:32)
  2. Can I Get A Dolla (6:08)
  3. Guarapachanga (Bae Bro remix) (3:26)
  4. Guarapachanga (A Nicholson Miquifaye remix) (9:14)
  5. Guarapachanga (A Nicholson Miquifaye reprise) (5:56)
Review: The New York-based (U)nity is made up of Michael Valeanu, Axel Tosca Laugart, Chris Smith, Max Cudworth and Amaury Acosta. They formed the band in 2006 as a project to explore Afro-Cuban jazz, funk, soul and contemporary electronica. They say they've been influenced by everyone from Chucho Valdes to Art Blakey to Led Zeppelin to Kendrick Lamar, and you can definitely hear all of that in this jawdropping work. "Guarapachanga" is special in that it was the first song written by the band back in their days as music students at The New School. It's derived from the style known as guarapachangeo - the most advanced form of Cuban rumba, heavily improvisational and based on very complex rhythms and melodies. On this recording, (U)nity is graced with a guest performance by Grammy Award winner Pedrito Martinez, a master rumbero, one of the greatest conga players ever, an innovator who has left a permanent mark on Cuban music. Martinez is also a priest in the Yoruba religion and a historian of Cuban culture.

Over its eight and a half minutes, "Guarapachanga" twists and turns and journeys through a mind bending array of different tempos and modes, from Latin jazz to hip hop, ultimately ending with a trippy ambient soundscape. The whole thing is overlaid with free spirited melody, soul and the Afro-Cuban essence that is the band's lifeblood. The white-hot live playing gives it the feel of the best early-morning jam session, yet it packs a sonic punch that will make it sound incredible on a good sound system in the hands of adventurous DJs in the world-beat or spiritual-house vein. If you didn't know "Guarapachanga" was a contemporary work you might mistake it for a Loft classic; yet it's also as fresh and exciting as anything you'll hear this year.

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out of stock $18.90
18
Cat: JA7 701. Rel: 26 Sep 16
Jazz
  1. Esimene (3:24)
  2. Tuulte Tants (4:23)
out of stock $10.00
19
Cat: LMNK 54CD. Rel: 13 Mar 17
Jazz
  1. La Sombra
  2. Sling Shot
  3. Red Planet
  4. The Detour
  5. Pushed Too Far
  6. Tokyo Slow-Mo
  7. La Leyenda Del Tiempo
Review: Arguably better known for his work as Kid Costa - or, for that matter, as part of Blue Mode - Roger "Chip" Wickham returns to Lovemonk with his first solo release for nigh on six years. It's a biggie two, marking his first trip into the full-length format. It sees him explore his love of jazz in all its form, flitting between Dave Brubeck-esque funkiness ("Sling Shot"), Kyoto Jazz Massive style workouts ("Red Planet"), spiritual epics (see "Tokyo Slow Mo"), cinematic fare ("Pushed Too Far") and thrillingly uptempo jazz-dance hits ("Le Leyenda Del Tiempo"). Throughout, his impeccable flute playing remains a constant feature.
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out of stock $10.57
20
Cat: FARO 195LP. Rel: 13 Mar 17
Jazz
  1. So Tinha De Ser Com Voce (4:01)
  2. Wave (9:49)
  3. Bonita (6:41)
  4. Dindi (5:04)
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.
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out of stock $18.35
21
  1. Pista Libre (part 1) (4:49)
  2. Pista Libre (part 2) (3:23)
Review: Percussionist Takashi Nakazato is no newcomer to the Japanese nu-jazz scene, having been a regular contributor to Jazztronik records since the dawn of the millennium. Pista Libra Parts 1 & 2, though, is his debut solo 7". He kicks things off with Part 1, when ascending and descending Latin piano lines and snaking sax solos ride his own impeccable, salsa-tinged percussion. As the track progresses, Nakazato introduces some delightful jazz guitars, too. On the flip, "Part 2" is an altogether heavier beast, with Nakazato fully showcasing his range of percussion skills while sharp funk guitars and manic drum solos rage above. It sounds like the sort of sweaty jazz-dance workout that many would associate with British percussionist Snowboy.
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out of stock $15.02
22
Cat: FARO 196LP. Rel: 27 Mar 17
Jazz
  1. Chica (3:13)
  2. Vamos Donatear? (4:19)
  3. Notes Over The Poetry (3:31)
  4. Recado Pravoce (4:17)
  5. For You To Know (7:19)
  6. Hues (3:44)
  7. Salvadora (4:30)
  8. State Of Music (2:39)
out of stock $10.00
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