Review: It's been a long time between drinks for Present Sense, a Finnish combo helmed by experienced jazz bassist Jarno Lappalainen. Research confirms that the previous Pressent Sense single landed way back in 2004. For this return to the studio, American jazz vocalist Dean Bowman has joined in the fun. His Gregory Porter style vocals seemingly soar above the band's lilting, emotion-rich jazz on A-side "In The Present", with each musician getting solo space in the track's magical final moments. Turn to the B-side for "The Time", a more up-tempo jazz workout full of alternating horn solos and superb double bass playing by Lappalainen.
Review: First up: Tito Puente (AKA The Musical Pope) with an epic live version of "2001 Space Odyssey". Recorded at Carnegie Hall in 1974 it's never been pressed to 45 during its highly sought-after 41 years. Flip for the hard jazz sounds of Sahib Shihab and "Om Mani Padme Hum" is riddled with thundering percussion and lightening crack pianos. It has flutes so frenetic they'd make Ian Anderson blush and takes its name from an ancient Sanskrit word. Biblical business.
Review: ** REPRESS ALERT ** 2019 marks 50 years since this timeless classic's original release. The Peddlers' "On A Clear Day You Can See Forever' is a sumptuous smooth jazz journey full of organ solos and deep vocal tones. The British soul/jazz trio is known for creating a unique melange of beat, jazz, cabaret, rock and soul that must be heard to be believed. Flip side "Comin' Home Baby" is like passing through a cloud composed of equal parts Tom Jones, Jimmy Smith, Georgie Fame, Mel Torme, Alan Hawkshaw and dozens of lesser jazz/lounge vibe-creators. Get this copy for a spine-tingling rush of harmony from the late sixties.
Review: The 62nd single in Mr Bongo's long-running Brazil 45s series is notable for containing Jose Prates' "Nana Imboro", a deep, hypnotic and intoxicating samba cut that was initially recorded and released way back in 1958. Relatively slow and steady by samba standards, its chanted refrain is thought to be the inspiration for Jorge Ben's much better known "Mas Que Nada". Wisely, Mr Bongo has backed Prates' sublime original with a 1960 cover by obscure Polish outfit Wroblewski Jazz Quintet. This dispenses with the chanting, instead increasing the number of intertwined horn parts. Given that original copies of the rare Polish EP it first appeared on will set you back serious money, it's great to see this fine cover included here.
Review: A modern day Scott-Heron, without the myriad of demons on his back, Grammy-nominated jazz singer Porter has such a distinctive voice, charm and band command. He clearly lends himself well to edit culture (as proved by the huge success of the many "1960 What?" versions in recent years) and this 7" from Expansion is no exception. "On My Way To Harlem" is straight up narrative jazz with fantastic attention paid to the subtle samba and solemn horns. "1960 What?" speaks for itself; far more authentic to the original than the other versions that have popped up, if you've not already got a favourite edit - Jazz & Cole have the answer.
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: Not to get all emotional and stuff but, as some of you may already know, Jazz Semai is officially the first jazz album to get recorded in Turkey. The 1978 juggernaut is a collector's item, seemingly impossible to find in its original format, so it's kind of a big deal that Rainbow 45 have managed to find the rights and press up some new vinyl copies for us all - a true xmas present! The infamous Erol Pakcan leads on drums, Tuna Otenel resides all over the pianos, and Kudret Oztoprak delivers the bass and extra percussive wonder. Together, these three conjured what is a beautifully diverse and playful jazz LP, full of twists and corners, subtle Turkish influences, but also plenty of sounds and styles adopted from the American school of thought. All in all, it's a special and important album, both musically, historically, and politically. Don't miss it.
Review: You'd be forgiven for not knowing the story behind Phrydderichs Phaelda - after all, the short-lived band only ever released one album in 1981, and that was a ridiculously limited, private-press affair. To fill you in, the jazz-fusion/jazz-rock four-piece was the brainchild of West German schoolteacher Friedrich Schepers, who roped in fellow teachers and students to play alongside him. Reissued here for the first time, "Bruchstuecke" is an extraordinary collection of tracks - a breezy, positive and hugely entertaining romp through loose-limbed fusions of off-kilter jazz rhythms, fizzing double bass, Pat Metheny style guitar solos and excitable electric piano lines. In other words, this is an essential new edition of one of jazz's most obscure buried treasures.
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".