Ba Cissoko - Electric Griot LandTotolo
Son of Kandara Cissoko (Ballet Djoliba) Ba Cissoko is a kora master who brings a fresh direction to the traditions of this instrument. His band features, Kourou and SÃ©kou Kouyate on bass, kora and electric kora plus percussionist Ibrahim Bah plus there's several special guests featured like K'Naan, Les Nubians, and Amadou Bagayoko. Grooving along with the best of them.
Graham Radley, 11/06
Baaba Maal - On The RoadPalm Pictures
A retrospective of his acoustic live shows taken from gigs over the past ten years. Listen to the beautiful kora playing of the late Kaouding Cissoko, or Koni featuring Ernest and then drift into Baaba’s divine vocals and find yourself in a very special place, he’s a genius and please can we have a new CD soon.
Graham Radley, 05/09
Baaba Maal - TelevisionPalm Pictures
This might well upset the purists but Baaba Maal has always been adventurous and here he brings in a strong pop element to a Senagalese core heavily featuring Sabina Sciubba and Didi Gutman from the New York electronica outfit the Brazilian Girls . This is his first new release for about 8 years and my only real gripe would be that I’d love to hear even more of the great man featured. I think maybe the purists will retreat to the traditional albums like ‘Missing You’ but hopefully this release will bring in a whole new audience who will also go on to savour his back catalogue . I love it.
Graham Radley, 08/09
Bahama Soul Club - Havana 58Buyu
The fourth release from the Bahama Soul Club builds on the legacy of their previous release "The Cuban Tapes" "Havana 58" fuses the Latin and Bossa rhythms of the past with the vibrant sounds of today. Some of Cuba finest vocalists and musicians are on board to add a bit of spice to an array of engaging compositions. Olvido Ruiz, the lead singer of the Bahama Soul Club showcases her range on three tracks. "Let God" is bluesy soul and "Muevelo Papi" boasts an infectious samba groove. Sexto Sentido, Cuba's premier vocal quartet shines on several tracks as well. "Meyer Lansky" features the quartet's warm harmonies over a seductive piano groove and hypnotic drum snare. "Tropicana Flight" shows they're equally adept at turning up the tempo on this guitar thumping boogie tune. "Havana 58" is poised to transport you to a musical culture that filled with generations of great music. You'll no doubt enjoy the ride.
Reg Dancy, 12/16
Bahama Soul Club - The Cuban TapesBuyu
"The Cuban Tapes" is a moody collection of dark seductive Afro-Cuban rhythms that captures the essence of mid-sixties soul and jazz. In addition the lineup of legendary vocalists take these compositions to greater heights. For starters there's Bessie Smith laying down her powerful vocals to "Moaners". Spanky Wilson contributes to the organ grinding soul-jazz number "I Warned You Baby". Other notables include Blues stalwart Ruthie Foster on the simmering "Grinning In Your Face" and the melodic piano driven "Tiki Suite pt1". This seventeen track release is an exciting adventure into the overlooked Cuban night club scene. I suggest you pull up a chair and enjoy.
Reg Dancy, 11/13
Bajka - In WonderlandChinChin Records
After fifteen years of performing on numerous projects for other artists such as Radio Citizen, Bonobo and Beanfield, Bajka finally releases her long awaited debut, “In Wonderland”. The Indian born and South African raised singer delivers an exceptional album inspired by “The Hunting of the Snark” a book of poems written by Lewis Carroll, author of Alice in Wonderland. In fact, each song is devoted to a chapter from the book and Bajka brings each song to life with grace and subtlety. Among the highlights is “The Bellman’s Speech”, a dreamy string laden beauty where Bajka weaves her unique blend of singing andspoken word artistry to perfection. “The Barristers Dream” is another treat that is filled with warm melodies and joyful rhythms. “The Baker’s Tale” features superb performances by Daniel Regenberg on piano and Rhodes as well as Jerker Kluge on double bass. They along with drummer Phillip Bernhardt provide a jazz flavored canvas throughout the disc that allows Bajka plenty of space to improvise. Not only is this record is a sheer delight that gets better with each listen, it should give this wonderful artist the recognition she rightfully deserves.
Reg Dancy, 06/10
Baker Brothers - Bakers DozenPeddlers Records
Yes, The Baker Brothers are back with another fine selection of all things funky. Vocals again are supplied by Vanessa Freeman, who always sounds great with whatever productions are thrown at her. Ensure you give "Winding Rhythm" a listen for proof. On the first few listens, I'm not quite convinced that "Bakers Dozen" is in the same league as their debut "Ten Paces" but there is more than enough quality here to ensure that you give it a listen and add it to your wants list.
Simon Harrison, 06/06
Barbara & Ernie -Fallout
Originally issued in 1972 on Cotillion Records, 'Prelude To' was Barbara Massey and Ernie Calabria's one and only album together. Due to the growing interest in the folk-funk sound this has become much sought after piece in recent years so top marks to Fallout for this timely reissue. Orchestrated by Eumir Deodato and featuring players such as Grady Tate, Ralph MacDonald, Joe Beck, Keith Jarrett and Richard Tee, it effortlessly fuses elements of psychedelic pop, folk, funk and jazz to create an outstanding collection. It includes the in demand 'Play With Fire' and 'Somebody To Love' but equally as good are 'Searching The Circle', and 'My Love & I.
Andy Allen, 06/07
Battlefield Band - Dookin'Temple Records
The title comes from the Scots word for what you do at hallowe'en - as in 'dookin' for apples. Mike Katz, Alan Reid, Alasdair White and Sean O'Donnell demonstrate why they are still one of the best bands around, 30 years on and still producing creative, quality music. Picks for me would be 'Gathering Storm' a song from Alan and 'Dookin' For Beetroot/The Head Rooster' from Mike Katz. An excellent collection.
Graham Radley, 11/07
Bauchklang - Many PeopleKlein Records
This Album from the excellent and diverse Klein label has got a serious groove. Blauchklang are six "heads" from Austria whose only previous long playing release was 'Jamzero' back in 2001. 'Many People' is like nothing else i've heard. It would be impossible to pigeonhole, but lies somewhere in the 'extremely soulful' category. Don't get me wrong you won't hear this on Trevor Nelson's show. It's far too good and left of middle for that. It just has to heard to be defined. Vocal's are a major part of the album, but the beats compliment down to a tee. Some of the vibe is totally uptempo whilst other grooves are slow and dark. Looking for something different that sounds like Prefuse 73 recording with Rhazel's throat on Sonar Kollektiv? This could be the closest your gonna get.