Review: First released in 1979 during the heyday of Brazil's jazz-funk movement, Antonio Adolfo's Viralata has long been considered an era-defining release by those who know. Given that original Brazilian copies are frustratingly hard to come by, this official reissue from Far Out Recordings - who previously worked with Adolfo on his 2007 set Destiny - should be an essential purchase for all those who dig Brazilian music. A little more jazz-focused than albums by contemporaries such as Azymuth, much of "Viralata" is slick, polished and incredibly well produced, with notable samba influences amongst the unashamed tributes to leading American artists. As you'd perhaps expect, the musicianship is astonishing.
Review: Back in 2012, Will "Quantic" Holland joined forces with Colombian musician Mario Galeano to form Ondatropica. The eponymous debut album that followed was quietly impressive, fusing traditional South American styles - cumbia, champeta etc. - with elements of hip-hop and funk, with the assistance of musicians from the vibrant Colombian scene. For this belated follow-up, the duo has tweaked the formula slightly, incorporating more from the Caribbean and African influences that have seeped into the music made around Bogota and Old Providence Island. While the palette of influences made be broader, the resultant music is every bit as enjoyable and entertaining as that found on its predecessor.
Review: Paris' Heavenly Sweetness label is rightly proud of this 30th volume in the Ethiopiques series. It's a cross-generational collaboration between legendary Ethiopian singer and keyboardist Girma Beyene - best known for his jazz work in the late 1960s - and contemporary Parisian band Akala Wube. Given that the latter is dedicated to creating music inspired by Ethiopian music of the '60s and '70s, it's little surprise to find that Mistakes On Purpose is a hugely enjoyable and authentic-sounding set (think funk, soul and jazz with an East African twist). To add an extra level of authenticity, Ethiopiques founder and East African music specialist Francis Falceto acted as producer.