Jazz Carnival (Space Jazz mix - Global Communication remix) (11:15)
Review: We hear on the grapevine that there could be some seriously desirable Global Communication vinyl reissues on the way in 2020. To tide us over until then, Far Out has decided to reissue one of the legendary West Country duo's most celebrated and sought-after remixes: their 1996 "Space Jazz" remix of Azymuth classic "Jazz Carnival". Pritchard and Middleton's version is a spacey deep house epic of intergalactic proportions, with subtle elements of the Brazilian band's loose and languid '90s re-recording of the track (the B-side "LP Mix") weaving in and out of a warm, rich and hypnotic groove. It's one of the most dancefloor-friendly of all Global Communication remixes - many were straight ambient or downtempo rubs - but also one of Mark Pritchard and Tom Middleton's finest.
Review: Having teased the jazz fraternity with a cheeky 7" earlier on this year, Andrea assuages our ears with this super smooth full lengther. Pristinely polished and produced with a big band feeling, there's a distinct Rat Pack feeling as we stride confidently through big choruses and sassy sambas ("I Will Never Stop Loving You") before diving headfirst into mournful smoky saxophone and piano laments ("The Meaning Of Love"). A common face performing on the French Riviera, hopefully this should take Balducci to the broader audience he deserves...
Review: French jazz musician Antoine Berjeaut has never made what you would call "standard jazz". His previous album, 2014's "Wasteland", was made in collaboration with American alt-rap hero Mike Ladd, while this belated follow-up bears the production stamp of drummer and experimental beat-maker Makaya McCraven. As a result, the set contains a lot of rhythmic variation, plenty of dancefloor-ready workouts, tons of dive-bar blues guitars, and an overall air of hazy late night hedonism that marks it out from other contemporary jazz sets. Dig further into the album and you'll also find some partly electronic jazz compositions that sound like the product of vivid late night hallucinations. In other words, it's both weird and wonderful. What more could you need?
Review: Jazzman's Juke Box Jams series continues unabated to offer up those one-shot killers from the tangled history of jazz, R&B and soul - essential nuggets worth repeatedly popping dimes in the slot for. Here, it's the turn of Bobby Bland's "36-22-36", a heavy swinging and insanely catchy blast straight from 1962. Bland's voice is a perfect balance - cool as ice, but cracked around the edges - while the chorus line chants don't need a minute to get under your skin until you're singing along. "St James Infirmary" on the flip is a more downcast affair - one to drown your sorrows to, but certainly not the bottom of the bottle, as those hard stepping horns attest.
Review: Tribal, physical, psychedelic: Joe Claussell's Bolla project is one of his finest creative accomplishments for many fans, and his album Afrikan Basement: Makussa is the gift that keeps on giving. Having previously leaked limited 12"s, Joe's label Sacred Rhythm does it again with another super-limited, one-sided press. Hooky, insistent and far-out for the full 10 minutes, this is shaman material right here. Do not sleep.
Review: Hot Casa's latest deluxe reissue should delight all those who enjoy Afro-funk fusion from the early 1980s. It comes from Togolese artist Itadi K Bonney and is thoroughly obscure even by Afro reissue standards (if you can find an original copy for sale, it will cost you the best part of L900). Bonney and his backing band recorded and released it in 1983, filling the album with rich political soul, William Onyeabor style Moog motifs and thrillingly loose fusions of U.S funk, boogie and contemporaneous African dancefloor styles. This edition not only comes with an insert containing a rare interview with the now sadly departed singer, but also two previously unreleased tracks. In other words, it should be an essential purchase.
Review: Prior to this year, funk connoisseurs and collectors have known only one record from the 70s Bay Area funk troupe Brass Horizon. That was "We Just Want To Play" and it's been known to go over $1500 in the past. 39 years after its release Super Disco Edits have incredibly unearthed an unreleased gem! So large it takes over both sides, "Horizon's Theme" is a groove heavy instrumental jammed with that classic laid back Berkley vibe where all players get a chance to shine. Part one is all about the organs while part two lets the horns tear the groove a new one. What a find.
Review: Chaos In The CBD have quietly been building an impressive reputation for some time, with releases on Hot Haus, Amadeus and Needwant all hitting the spot. Here they transfer to Bradley Zero's Rhythm Section International with what's arguably their most mature and musically expansive EP to date. There's a decidedly dusty, eyes-closed deep house feel throughout, with hypnotic grooves laden with all manner of neat, often jazz inspired touches. This is perhaps most obvious on the St Germain style jazz-house goodness of "Observe" - all skipping cymbals, bouncy grooves and killer pianos - but can also be found on the deeper "Observe". It's there, too, on the lilting brilliance of "Midnight In Peckham" - think yearning trumpets and twinkling piano motifs - and the blissful "Luxury Motivation".
Review: This time last year, French combo Cotonete joined forces with Brazilian singer Di Melo to deliver what became one of the sleeper hits of last summer - the Latin disco/jazz-funk fusion of "A.E.I.O.U.". Here they continue their partnership with a first collaborative full length. It's a quietly impressive outing, with Di Melo's distinctive vocals rising above cuts that variously doff a cap to sultry Brazilian disco-funk, Azymuth-esque jazz-funk, soundtrack-friendly cinematic soundscapes, Astrud Gilberto style sweetness and humid salsa-funk (standout "Kilario (2019 Version)". It's a warm, loose and hazy set that feels authentically South American despite its Parisian roots.
Review: The DNA Edits label gets right to the heart of the music it reworks and adds to, subtracts from, or extends all the key elements required to make it absolute dance floor dynamite. DJ DSK is behind the sixth EP - which lands just ahead of a very fun 7" that is made up of short samples from various Street Fighter console games. Once again here the crate digging, breaks making splicer and dicer comes correct across a duo of beefy beats, sunny soul jams and funked up loops that will get you in the mood to groove.
Review: Selva Discos' Fernando Falcao reissue series continues via a fabulous new pressing of the Brazilian percussionist's experimental 1987 album "Barracas Barrocas". Like the artist's 1981 debut, it's a brilliantly eclectic and esoteric affair, offering up a heady - and uniquely South American - blend of off-kilter jazz, pastoral neo-classical compositions, academic ambient, jaunty tropical fusion, narrated soundscapes and heavy drum workouts. Given that it moves in a multitude of directions, the set actually holds together remarkably well, with Falcao's use of bespoke orchestration acting as a constant thread linking disparate sounds and styles. It's both utterly brilliantly and thoroughly mesmerizing, while the accompanying insert includes essays in Portuguese and English telling the story of the album and Falcao's little-known career.
Review: 17 albums deep and Lee Fields still has something to say. Arm in arm with longstanding band The Expressions, the troupe dig deep an impeccable roll of soul: The soft harmonies and yearning horns of "I'm Coming Home", the light electronic elements on the rhythm of the hazy, laidback torch song "Never Be Another You", the swooning blues of "Let Him In", the almost highlife sparkle to the guitars on "Where Is The Love"... Each of the ten tracks hits with a freshness, energy and realness that few - if any - 70s troubled troubadours could muster. Essential.