Review: Since being touted as jazz's next big thing back in 2014, Moses Boyd has released very little music, though the few EPs he has put out have been uniformly superb. We'd expect plenty of hype around this debut album, but we can assure you it will be deserved. Boyd is a drummer by trade and it's the variety and quality of the rhythms - some framed by traditional jazz, others hip-hop, grime, dubstep, dancehall and Tony Allen style Afrobeat grooves - that really stand out, despite the presence of fuzzy, Fela Kuti style horn motifs, booming basslines, Juju guitar solos, liquid jazz-funk flourishes, dark trip-hop tropes and some suitably inspiring vocals. Boyd may have taken his time, but it was definitely worth the wait.
Review: The rightfully venerated John Coltrane recorded 'A Love Supreme' in one session in December 1964 at the famous Van Gelder Studios in New Jersey. He led a quartet that featured drummer Elvin Jones, bassist Jimmy Garrison and pianist McCoy Tyner and the results lead this to be one of Coltrane's best-selling and most critically acclaimed albums. Although 'Bluetrain' is often spoken about more often, many hold the four suites of this record to be his masterpiece. It is deep, spiritual and ranges from free jazz to hard bop with seamless transition. It is said the record had a lasting influence on the genre at large, as well as seeping into rock and beyond.
Review: Here's something to seriously set the pulse racing: a limited-edition quintuple "Brazil 45s" boxset curated by the effervescent DJ Format, and featuring ten tracks unearthed on his most recent crate-digging trip to South America. In keeping with his much-loved style, most of the material can be loosely described as "psyche break-beat", all of which was initially recorded and released in the 1960s and '70s. That means a blend of hallucinatory Brazilian funk and soul rich in sweaty, often densely layered drums, booming basslines, trippy vocals, eccentric production, mazy Hammond organ lines and rousing horns. The quality bar is set so high that picking individual highlights is tough; suffice to say, you need all ten tunes in your life (and in your record box).
Review: Originally released in 1972, Frank Foster's The Loud Minority album was one of the legendary tenor saxophonist's most accessible and commercially successful albums. The album's many qualities were best exemplified by the title track, an effortlessly vibrant and effusive number that cannily mixed jazz-funk style solos and elements of modal, fusion and big-band jazz. This 7" single marks the epic, 14-minute piece's first appearance on a single, albeit heavily edited and split into two distinctive parts. The first (side A) is positive, cheery, undeniably funky, and underpinned with some killer drum-breaks. In contrast, the second is an exceedingly energetic and occasionally discordant affair, as Foster and his accomplices trade solos and build towards a breathless conclusion.
Review: Since it was first released in the collective's native Brazil in 1978, the self-titled debut album from Guilherme Coutinho E O Groupo Stalo has become a sought-after item amongst collectors of Latin jazz. This reissue - the first of any kind - proves why. Offering a mixture of samba-soaked Latin jazz rhythms, sweet vocals, spacey analogue synthesizer sounds, Azymuth style electric piano motifs, MPB style songwriting and Brazilian jazz-funk stylistic tropes, it's a joyously sunny and quirkily off-kilter affair that impresses from start to finish. Production wise it's a little loose and fuzzy round the edges, but that only adds to the album's obvious allure. Recommended!