Review: During the days of Dingwalls' legendary jazz-dance and rare groove nights in the 1980s, it wasn't uncommon to hear Nancy Ames "Caracara" surging from the speakers. An infectious Latin Jazz/Easy Listening floor-filler first released on the American singer's 1966 album Latin Pulse, it has long been something of a favourite amongst both DJs and dancers. Here, it gets the reissue treatment on 7" from the cool cats at Dynamite Cuts, backed with 1967 gem "Pow, Pow, Pow", a killer, bi-lingual cover of Sergio Mendes' favourite "Mas Que Nada". This, too, is simply superb.
Review: Since he released his first album 11 years ago, bandleader, trumpeter and composer Matthew Halsall has proved to be one of British jazz's standout talents. In recent years he's delved into soul-jazz and big band jazz territory, so it's intriguing to find that "Oneness" is a much more spiritual, pared-down and minimalistic affair. Using a mixture of droning Indian instrumentation, languid and leisurely harp motifs, selective horn solos, melancholic trumpet lines and occasional traditional jazz instrumentation, Halsall has conjured up a series of meditative pieces that count among his most beguiling works to date. It may surprise a few listeners, but many more will find it enchanting, otherworldly and emotion-rich.
Review: While he enjoyed a brief career as a musician in the 1960s, by the time he recorded debut album "Down On The Road By The Beach" in 1983 Steve Hiett was better known as one of the world's leading fashion photographers. In fact, it was at the suggestion of a Japanese gallery owner that he got back in the studio to record what has long been regarded as an impossible-to-find Balearic gem. Hiett's reverb and delay-laden Peter Green style guitar passages take centre stage throughout, winding in and out of languid grooves and ambient electronics to create what some have called "the ultimate desert island disc" - a record of such lazy, sun-kissed beauty that it sounds tailor made for drowsy days waking up on the beach.
Salvation (Act III: Upon Whose Shoulders We Stand) (10:30)
Theme For Cecil (7:47)
Virgin (Act IV: 400 Years: The Clotilda) (10:19)
The Last Slave Ship (5:01)
Dogon Mysteries (4:57)
Review: Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids' Shaman! is a bold and adventurous new record. It is a study in jazz that takes cues from myriad different sounds and scenes. Sub-Saharan jazz, Afrobeat, free-jazz, Afro-Cuban music, spoken word, and more all colour in the tracks which have been written by a large cast of musicians. The album was recorded din London and features Pyramids co-founder Simmons on flute, longtime band member Sandra Poindexter on violin, plus guitar from Bobby Cobb, and three new members from Europe in Jack Yglesias, Ruben Ramon Ramos, and Gioele Pagliaccia. It makes for an expressive but introspective world that draws you deep into its midst, where you will be oh so happy to get lost.
Review: P Vine in Japan first put out a cd reissue of this 1971 album way back in 2007 and at last they reissue a Japan only edition of the album on wax for the first time since Vistone in the USA put out a version in 1990.Heavy brass funk fuelled jazz workouts led by Roy Porter on drums.
Review: In 1979, vibraphonist and percussionist Billy Wooten joined forces with jazz guitarist Steve Wakely to put together a brand-new studio band. Some months later, they'd recorded their sole album, In This World, a suitably conscious affair that mixed narration from the softly spoken and thoughtful Wooten with inspired, partially improvised musical jams that sat somewhere between jazz-funk and jazz-fusion. Original copies of the album are now hard to find - or at least change hands for significant sums online - so Japan's P-Vine label has decided to reissue it. Rich in mazy vibraphone solos, jazzy guitar solos, and infectious jazz-funk grooves, the album is a delightful obscurity that's well worth a place in your collection.