Osmar Milito E Quarteto Forma - "America Latina" (2:46)
Review: A tale of two sides, Azimuth's classic "Manha" should be recognisable to many; taken from their self-titled LP in 1975, its golden harmonies and lavish, lolloping Bob James style jazz are as timeless as they were 40 years ago. Flip for "America Latina". Conjured by prolific collaborator Osmar Milito (whose discography features the likes of Sammy Davis Jr, Spanky Wilson and Liza Minelli), its striking, sing-along charms are no accident... It was actually created for 70s Brazilian soap opera Selva De Pedra.
Review: After a successful first 12" on Ya Basta! Roy Dubb (aka Gotan Project's CH Müller) is back with a follow up on his own label. He delivers this time two covers of jazz classics: Mongo Santamarias' latin jazz hit "Afro Blue" and Dizzie Gillespies' Bebop standard "A Night In Tunisia". Both tracks feature the beautiful and irresistible voice of Tatjana Heintz (aka Okou from the Five Corners Quintet) and talented young French saxophone player Jocelyn Mienniel whose beautiful instrument from 1942 suits perfectly Dizzie Gillespies' composition from the same period.
Review: Across two LPs and seven 7"s issued this week the Funky Chicken series looks to bring together some of the best dance music to have surfaced from Belgium throughout the early 1970s. Overall it's a compelling selection to work through, and where better to start than this inaugural seven which features tracks from Chakachas and Open Sky Unit. The label states virtually every music wave passed through Belgium in this period, and the two tracks here provide compelling evidence with "Stories" by Chakachas a perfect example of the long running group's mastery of Latin-tinged soul and funk. On the flip is the supple psyche funk of "Sunshine Star" by Open Sky Unit which has been something of a hidden compilation gem for a while (it featured on the ace Broad Casting comp by Karen P for Sonar Kollektiv a few years ago) and still sounds sublime.
Brotherson (Strings & vocal shorter album version)
Review: Repress of the sought after Mukatsuku Records 12 containing two remastered tracks of Atlanta musician Ojeda Penn presented here according to Ojeda officially for the very first time.The A side kicks off with the extended holy grail instrumental version of 'Brotherson' taken from the Happiness album. There were two versions of the album Happiness in 1980 on the IFE independent label. They looked almost identical but the first version contained the now rarer elongated 9 & half minute jazz fused instrumental version of 'Brotherson' and then a few months later Penn recut the same album but with a much shorter version of the main track but this time adding strings and vocals assisted by Tommy Stewart from 'Bump N Hustle Music' fame. The former version is now being sold up to 500 dollors so this 180 gram single is a welcome release to the reissue market. Juno copies come in an exclusive branded card sleeve + sticker
Review: You can always rely on 5 Borough Breaks for some top shelf hip hop. The label's latest missive is a legendary one from O.C. - "Time's Up" is a rousing, hard hitting beat with an even tougher verse that rides on the booming kicks. It also samples Les DeMerle's "A Day In The Life" which just so happens to be pressed on the flip and yes, it is in fact a cover of The Beatles. Here though, it becomes a stirring big bang jazz cut that forms an impressive wall of retro sound that will inject realness and rawness into any party. Like always with this label, quantities are limited so move fast to get your fix.
Review: Two hugely historic versions from Adidas's high-schooling Originals imprint. Odetta's 1970 original is a beautifully sexy, smouldering piece of smoky blues while Bo Diddley's cover (that came four years later) is much more upbeat and funk focussed with added horns and head-turning bass runs. Both have inspired every generation that's followed and have undergone myriad sample treatments. Return to the source and understand just why they've been so influential.
Review: Hats off to US label Electric Cowbell who unleash yet another funky 7 inch from another live band you may have never heard of! Orquesta El Macabeo are a 12 piece salsa band from Puerto Rico established in 2008, with two albums already under their belt. The music they play is not strictly purist salsa but it's heavily influenced by the style, incorporating accessible lyrics, catchy melodies and irresistible instrumentation. Two energetic tunes are presented here; ''El Sueno'' with its scatting Hammond, and on the flipside the more vocal led fast n furious ''Cogiendo''. Perfect examples of the genre for anyone with a smidgeon of interest in Latin music.
Review: Samba flavours do not come more authentic than this. The sixth in Mr Bongo's Brazil 45 series, here they unearth two foundation pieces from Rio collective Os Origianais Do Samba. Forming in 60s Rio, they're still highly active today and have a discography peppered with Brazilian gold. This 45 does well to showcase their breadth... "La Vem Salgueiro" is quintessential samba. Heavy rhythm, punctuated vocals and a dynamic that leaps from bold and delicate in a flash, it charms you instantly. "Tenha Fe" has a softer soul as it strums and sways and more of a folky sensation, tight harmonies and alluring naked instrumentation.
Review: YES! UK label Far Out Recordings re-enter the 7" game in fine fashion with this killer 45 issue from emergent Brazilian jazz troupe Otis Trio. Both "Otis Natu" and "Montag's Dream" are a seven inch shaped taster for what to expect from the band's upcoming LP for Far Out and it should be quite the set on the basis of these two cuts. The five years of experimentation and creativeness experienced and explored by the Otis Trio's core member sound out in rich and vibrant detail on both cuts that mix in their various influences of be-bop, free jazz, contemporary music with added sprinkles of rock, hip-hop and are finished off with dazzling improvisation.
Review: The Brazil 45s series from Latin diggers extraordinaire Mr Bongo reaches its 24th edition and its becoming clear Wilson Simonal de Castro is a favourite of the label curators. "Nana" is the Rio artist's fourth appearance in the series thus far and is a rather lush samba jazz affair with horns and strings aplenty backing Wilson's delightful vocal delivery. Originally issued as part of the 1964 album A Nova Dimensao Do Samba, this airing from Mr Bongos is the first time the track has appeared on 7" in 50 years and is complemented by "Rita Jeep", a early 70s track from Osmar Milito that was penned by the legend Jorge Ben!