Alkebulan (feat Eric Harland & Kassa Overall) (2:50)
Understand Yourself (feat Chronixx) (5:05)
Review: The genius of trumpeter, composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Theo Croker's work has always been his ability to meld more traditional spiritual jazz sounds - not to mention modal and post-bop - with elements of contemporary soul, R&B and hip-hop. "Star People Nation", Croker's first album for three years, continues this approach, flitting between starry, decidedly intergalactic workouts ("Have You Come To Stay", "Subconscious Flirtations & Titillations"), seductive vocal numbers (the twinkling jazz-soul of the Rose Gold voiced "Getaway Gold"), deep, head-nodding jams ("Wide Open", "Portrait Of William") and fizzing dancefloor escapades (the brilliant "Just Let It Ride" and off-kilter Afro-jazz epic "Alkebulan").
Review: Unlike much of Ennio Morricone collaborator Alessandro Alessandroni's work, 1974 set "Prisma Sonoro" was not the soundtrack to a well-known film or TV show, but rather a collection of instrumental pieces composed for a music library. It's long been regarded as one of the finest examples of Italian library music around, so it's great seeing it get the reissue treatment. Much of it is pleasingly cheery, sunny and laidback, with Alessandroni doffing a cap to folk, samba and MPB as much as easy listening, classical and soundtrack style jazz. It's typical of his versatility, of course, with the intricacy of the arrangements and subtle musical details making it a set that you can return to time and time again.
Review: Jazz Re:freshed has a knack of snapping up rising stars of British jazz at just the right time. They're at it again, here, offering up the debut solo album from Sarah Tandy, a pianist best known for her work with Camilla George and SEED Ensemble. "Infection In The Sentence" is a hugely vibrant and colourful affair, with Tandy and her musical collaborators jauntily dancing through a sextet of bustling original compositions. There's a rich, warm and sunny feel to the meandering trumpet solos and twinkling pianos of "Nursery Rhyme", while "Bradbury Street" and "Under The Skin" are high-octane workouts full of sweaty thrills and spills. Arguably best of all, though, is "Timelord", a silky jazz-funk number that sits somewhere between Bob James and Tenderlonious' Ruby Rushton band.