Review: This album, the sole release from little-known contemporary jazz combo Jesse Sharps Quintet, first appeared on CD back in 2004. Surprisingly, Outernational has decided to reissue it on vinyl for the very first time. It's a good set, with the first three sides being taken up with heavy pressings of original JSQ album tracks. These have some subtle Afro-jazz influences, but for the most part are doff a cap to jazz greats of the 1960s and '70s. There's plenty of dancefloor-friendly material to be found, with the Kyoto Jazz Massive style "Question" and wild "Mike's Tune" standing out. As with the original CD release, the last track is a surprise bonus: an epic, 16-minute spiritual jazz excursion from Quintet member Horace Tapscott's Sun Ra-inspired Pan Afrikan People's Arkestra project.
Review: While moving from his long-term home Chicago to Los Angeles a few years back, Tortoise member Jeff Parker rediscovered a swathe of old home recordings - "beat projects" built around samples of dusty old jazz tracks. These became the starting point for New Breed, his most expansive solo album for some time. Full of his usual loose and evocative jazz guitar, the set sits somewhere between lo-fi post-rock/jazz fusion, experimental hip-hop, and softly spun electronica. Regardless of style, it's a hugely evocative and entertaining collection of tracks.
Review: "Paunetto's Point", by Bobby Vince Paunetto, is a landmark in seventies Latin and jazz music. Easily one of the most unique voices of his generation, Bobby's got an approach to melody that's all tied up in the rhythms - one that has most of the instruments in the group vamping along with the grooves, while solos take off in wonderful flights that soar to the skies on waves of sound and soul. Don't miss this historical slab of wax.
Review: Unusually, Duke Pearson spent his entire career releasing music on just one label: the legendary Blue Note imprint. Although he passed away in 1980 after a long battle with multiple sclerosis, his final album was actually released in 1996. It's this posthumous set - made up entirely of rediscovered recordings made between 1968 and '70 - that here gets the deluxe reissue treatment. It remains a superb set, with Pearson flitting between bluesy soul-jazz, bossa-nova-tinged Latin jazz breeziness, groovy post-bop workouts, samba-soaked soundscapes and breathtaking beautiful cinematic jazz (see the inspired "Theme From Rosemary's Baby"). This expanded edition not only includes previously CD-only tracks, but also an unheard gem: the melancholic, Vibraphone and flute-laden lament, "Dialogo".