Music Reviews

Show: New reviews | Artists beginning with: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0-9 | Compilations
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Farmarama / A Man Called Adam

A Man Called Adam - Farmarama

Other Records

Sally Rodgers and Steve Jones better known as A Man Called Adam return with their long awaited new release entitled "Farmarama". Like their previous releases "The Apple" and "Duende" their compositions embrace the Balearic sound we've come to expect from them. Their passion for an assortment of genres from disco to pop and house come into play here with impressive results. Evidence lies in the opener "Mountains and Waterfalls". This tropical dance track is filled with catchy loops and samples layered over an infectious percussion and horn riffs. The title track is a post-disco boogie tune with a thumping bass groove and a melody to lose yourself in. "Paul Valery at the Disco" features futuristic synths wrapped around a hypnotic groove that's bound to take you on a psychedelic trip. An engaging record that's filled with blissful as well as reflective moments. Rodgers and Jones emotive beats and rhythms will keep your head nodding from one track to the next.

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Reg Dancy, 02/19

Time to Rearrange / Aaron Jerome

Aaron Jerome - Time to Rearrange

BBE Music

This seems like it's taken ages to be released but I think that is due to hearing that Aaron was signed to BBE such a long time ago. I've been really looking forward to hearing it. Aaron has been around for a while now and has been producing some ace tracks/remixes over the last few years. Next year should see his profile explode with this cracking debut album. Some of the vocalists maybe unknown to the masses but most people in the scene will know all about Bajka, Kathrin deBoer from Belleruche, Mozez, Andreya Triana, Yungun and Simphiwe Dana, and boy do they sound good on all their tracks. There is no real point in highlighting any one tune because they are all something special and fans of the Cinematic Orchestra and 4Hero will enjoy Aaron taking things to another level. Essential!!

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Simon Harrison, 01/08

Invisible Cinema / Aaron Parks

Aaron Parks - Invisible Cinema

Blue Note Records

On his Blue Note debut, pianist Aaron Parks creates an acoustic jazz gem with cinematic soundscapes of the highest quality. Parks weaves between melodic piano excursions and spontaneous improvising that will captivate any listener that appreciates atmospheric free jazz. The musicians listed here are on the A-list of rising stars, particularly guitarist Mike Moreno. His soloing on “Peaceful Warrior” is spirited and hypnotic. “Nemesis” is a rock infused tune of boundless energy. “Harvesting Dance” is another winner that starts off with a beautiful piano solo before Mike Moreno takes us on a journey of harmonic explorations that is fluid and rhythmic. Drummer Eric Harland does a great job of laying down the rhythm that allows room for everyone to create. Aaron Parks is one of a handful of forward thinking musicians that are pushing the boundaries of jazz. “Invisible Cinema” displays his enormous talent as a composer as well as a pianist with great tonality. Once you come along for the ride of this wonderful disc you will not want to get off.

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Reg Dancy, 11/08

Al Rahman! Cry Of The Floridian Tropic Son / Abdul Rahim Ibrahim (Doug Carn)

Abdul Rahim Ibrahim (Doug Carn) - Al Rahman! Cry Of The Floridian Tropic Son

Heavenly Sweetness

Following his releases on Black Jazz Records Doug Carn converted to Islam and took the name Abdul Rahim Ibrahim. Originally released in 1977 on Tablighi Records, the super rare ‘Al Raman! Cry Of The Floridian Tropic Son’ sees him fuse Islamic influenced spiritual jazz with Californian sweet soul. The result is breathtaking with immaculate cuts such as the lilting ‘Casbah’, the joyful ‘Tropic Sons’, the brooding ‘Al Rahman!’ and the Blaxploitation flavoured ‘The Watcher’.

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Andy Allen, 09/08

Madvillain Vol 1 / Abstract Orchestra

Abstract Orchestra - Madvillain Vol 1

ATA Records

The Abstract Orchestra made quite an impression with their debut lp "Dilla". With their sophomore release MF Doom is their source of inspiration. "Madvillain Vol. 1" finds the jazz based Orchestra seamlessly incorporating hip-hop into their compositions while exploring 70s soundtracks. "ALL CAPS" starts out with simple kick snare drum beat and soothing horns before seguing into mind bending improvisation and swinging. "Raid" is a funky fender rhodes driven tune surrounded by blissful horns and strings. Bandleader Rob Mitchell's arrangements navigate between the production of Madlib and the film scores of Quincy Jones. The results are deeply satisfying and definitely worth checking out.

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Reg Dancy, 01/19

El Camino / Adriana Evans

Adriana Evans - El Camino

Expansion Records

When Adriana Evans' self-titled debut was released in 1997 it impacted greatly on the newly emerging neo/organic soul scene. Although her follow up 'Nomadic' failed to spark the same level of interest this, her third set sees a return to form. It features all the traits of her first, strong beats, infectious horn arrangements and of course Adriana's delectable vocal tones. She particularly shines on 'Hey Now', 'Calling Me' and 'Undercover' along with the mellow samba 'Blue Bird In Bahia' and the Latin flavoured 'All For Love', all of which are like a breath of fresh air.

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Andy Allen, 03/07

Ketukuba / Africando

Africando - Ketukuba

Sterns Africa

Fourteeen years and now 7 albums since the first came together, this is a tribute to the late Gnonnas Pedro who sang with Africando from 1996 until his death in 2004. The title song,being his last recording. This album also sees Pascal Dieng of Super Cayor and Basse Sarr of Orchestre Afro-Salsa de Dakar joining the Africando family. My pick is Madilu System who joins Africando for an excellent version of "Mario", which he originally recorded with Franco's T.P.O.K. Jazz. Superb.

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Graham Radley, 11/06

An Animal Orchestra / After Altamont

After Altamont - An Animal Orchestra

After Altamont

"An Animal Orchestra", is the debut from the London based group After Altamont. The seven track disc is an amalgamation of dreamy folk, electronica and live instrumentation. Founder Stavros Potamitis experimentation with electronics began during his early DJ tenure across Europe. From there he moved to London and cut his teeth with production and sound engineering.  His myriad of skills play dividends on this ambitious record. Among the highlights are "K-Band" featuring Shawni "Roots" featuring Kevin Davy White on vocals. "Yellow Circus" filled with haunting rhythms is spacious and dense. Potamitis's ethereal compositions augmented by enchanting vocals result in deeply satisfying listen.

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Reg Dancy, 10/16

Flight 602 / Aim

Aim - Flight 602

Atic Records

Aim aka Andy Turner is one producer whose productions I've always looked forward to hearing. Ever since his first 12"s on Grand Central, he's always been a name to watch out for. My interest is because I was brought up in a town not far from where Andy was brought up and still resides. I do remember seeing him at clubs around the area, back in the day. Whenever I have read reviews of his work, funnily Barrow-In-Furness always seems to get a mention and he way well be the only producer in the area making music. "Flight 602" is his third album and proves yet again he is a quality beats producer and serves up plenty of funkiness for prevailing dancefloors, especially with "Birchwood", "Smile" both of which should find a home with Quantic fans. Niko, Turner's wife features on vocals and gives the album a little more depth and variety. This is a great way to kick off Atic Records.

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Simon Harrison, 10/06

Ajoyo / Ajoyo

Ajoyo - Ajoyo

Ropeadope

Ajoyo is a seven piece collective spearheaded by saxophonist Yacina Boulares. Originally from Tunisia (North Africe), "Ajoyo" is a hybrid of rhythms emanating from Cameroon. Boulares cultivated this sound while working with an illustrious collection of Cameroonian musicians like Jojo Kuo, the former drummer for Fela Kuti and the late Martino Atangani, among others. This engaging eight track release has much to offer. "Chocot" is a blistering instrumental with funky horns and festive afrobeat rhythms. "Benskin" features lush vocals from Sarah Elizabeth Charles and spirited melodies from Can Olgun on keys. "The Pearl" is another uplifting tune with soothing horns which also features Charles.Overall Ajoyo is filled with strong yet understated musicianship and uplifting lyrics that touch on social issues. This is a glorious record filled with good vibes that will move your feet and lift your spirit.

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Reg Dancy, 07/15

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