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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Good Things: The Story Of Saadia Records / Various Artists

Various Artists - Good Things: The Story Of Saadia Records

Jazzman Records

Jazzman is one of my favourite re-issue labels and has been responsible for me spending hours trying to get more information on the artists that have been released on their collectable 7" and 12" series. The albums Gerald has put together over the years have always been well thought out with informative sleeve notes and saved us a fortune because some of the rarities featured are well out of my price bracket. Good Things: The Story Of Saadia Records continues with more quality selections and includes all the information you would want to know. Saadia was based in Miami in the 60s and released many rare, one-offs but the most important thing being that the music is top quality which shines through on tracks by Pearl Dowell, Robert Moore and Little Beaver.

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Simon Harrison, 01/07

Groove On Down 2 / Various Artists

Various Artists - Groove On Down 2

Soul Brother Records

More boogie business this month from Soul Brother and their 2nd volume of 'Groove On Down'. Classics of the genre are present and correct; Cheryl Lynn's 'Got To Be Real', the Larry Levan remix of 'Seventh Heaven' by Gwen Guthrie and Carol Williams' 'Can't Get Away (From Your Love)' which was recently covered by Only Freak on Freerange Records. Also included are Brooklyn Express' version of Eddie Kendricks' 'You Need A Change Of Mind' and 'Help Is On The Way' by The Whatnauts which Fat Larry's Band lifted the groove from for their 'Act Like You Know' a year later (1982). The real winners here though are Mandrill's intoxicating 'Stay Tonite', 'Bizzaar' by Rhyze which has more than a hint of the Spinners' 'Ill Be Around' and the super slick production of 'Our Hearts Will Always Shine' from Ozone.

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Andy Allen, 07/06

Here Comes Treble O / Various Artists

Various Artists - Here Comes Treble O

Treble O

Treble O began life as a digital label back in 2006, with the intention being that it would provide a kind of general outlet for Domu’s multifarious musical projects and monikers. Things soon evolved though, and the label quickly became a home to other artists and producers, covering a broad range of styles and sounds. ‘Here Comes Treble O’ then is effectively a showcase of their output to date, with contributions coming from the likes of Simbad (with Philly’s Rich Medina), Daedelus, Probe DMS and, of course, the tireless Domu himself. The music comes in the form of some excellent Detroit House (Rondenion’s mix of DJ Marin’s ‘Love Fantasy’ is quite superb), some high quality Hip Hop, Broken Beat and Nu-Jazz, and a smattering of soul, which lets the side down a little by sounding somewhat dated.

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Tom Breslin, 05/08

Hungarian Jazz Anthology / Various Artists

Various Artists - Hungarian Jazz Anthology

Cosmic Sounds

Tom Wieland is back again with yet another excellent selection of Hungarian Jazz and as with all previous Cosmic Sounds compilations, this is stunning. Tom has been travelling to Hungary for a number of years DJing, and, of course, on the look out for quality records, making him the perfect choice. Most of the tracks here are from the 60's, with a number taken from the Modern Jazz Anthology series released on the Hungarian state label, which of course are well sought after now. Tom's done all the work for you, all you have to do is support with your hard earned cash.

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Simon Harrison, 10/05

If Music Presents - You Need This / Various Artists

Various Artists - If Music Presents - You Need This

BBE

"You Need This",is a hand picked collection of rare gems from If Music label head Jean Claude. This compilation includes an array of spiritual jazz recordings from a host of highly respected musicians slightly off the radar but worth your attention nonetheless  Among the highlights are "He's Gone", composed by Trombonist Charles Greenlee, which features Jean Carn on vocals. Out of all the musicians here, Saxophonist John Stubblefield may be the best known due to his work with Charles Mingus among others. His composition "Going Home" is an engaging tune layered with inspired soloing from a sorely underrated band that included pianist Mulgrew Miller, bassist Charnett Moffett and drummer Victor Lewis. "Saudi", is filled with fluid and atmospheric soloing courtesy of drummer Lenny McBrowne. This superb compilation is just another reminder of the deep well of hard bop recordings waiting to be rediscovered. A real treat that deserves your attention..

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Reg Dancy, 02/16

IF Music Presents You Need This - A Journey Into Deep Jazz Vol. 3 / Various Artists

Various Artists - IF Music Presents You Need This - A Journey Into Deep Jazz Vol. 3

BBE

Jean Claude, the founder of the London record shop IF Music continues to resurrect hidden gems from every corner of the universe. With "A Journey Into Deep Jazz Vol 3, he blesses us with an eclectic collection of tasty treats from all parts of the globe. Among the highlights are "24 Caret" from Gazor Szabo. The legendary Hungarian guitarist incorporates folk with deep jazz over a scintillating fourteen minutes that's filled with melodic passages. "Manteca" features a flurry of piano melodies courtesy of the underappreciated Phineas Newborn Jr. "Hasla La Victria Siempre" is infectious Latin Jazz from Copa Salvo. Ten solid tunes that will certainly fill your jazz appetite. As Jean Claude says: "These rare jazz nuggets need to be given their day in the Sun". We couldn't agree more.

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Reg Dancy, 08/19

If Music Presents: You Need This - World Jazz Grooves / Various Artists

Various Artists - If Music Presents: You Need This - World Jazz Grooves

BBE

Over the past fifteen years If Music's label head Jean Claude has built a well deserved reputation by securing quality obsure vinyl recordings. His latest "You Need This World Jazz Grooves" is no exception as he joins forces with fellow record collector Victor Kiswell. Kiswell has traveled the world in search of rare gems and returned with some quality gems here. Among the highlights are the spoken words of Billy Bang Survival Ensemble on "Illustration". "Timbuktu" is a infectious jazz tune brimming with explosive horns and percussion from Dutch Clarinet/Composer Theo Loevendie Consort. "Itwenty Five" is a tender ballad from atloist South African exile Joe Malinga. Jean Claude has delivered yet another impressive compilation. As the compilation title says, "You Need This"!

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Reg Dancy, 02/19

Impossible Ark - A Compilation / Various Artists

Various Artists - Impossible Ark - A Compilation

Impossible Ark

Impossible Ark is a record label created by Nostalgia 77’s Ben Lamdin, Hugo Mendez and Riaan Vosloo. The idea was to create a home for some of the finest Jazz artists performing in the UK today and given the quality recordings presented here, it was a great idea. The style varies from 60’s bebop to soulful folk compositions and it all comes together in the end. Among the highlights are “African Mailman” by the Rhythmagic Orchestra, a collective made by members of the Nostalgia Octet, the Alex Wilson Band, Jazz Jamaica and many others. Together they create a spirited mix of Afro-Cuban rhythms with an infectious groove and ear splitting percussion. The Fiction Trio are clicking on all cylinders with “Haitian Fight Song”, reminding us how entertaining the trio can be. Now while I don’t know who the musicians are, I do know that the drummer creates plenty of space for the piano player’s intense but beautiful playing. Jeb Loy Nichols shines on the relaxing and peaceful “Day that never came”. “Orange Gold” is a wonderful cinematic ballad that takes you through many levels, a gorgeous brass section one minute, superb piano playing the next and lush strings throughout that builds to a crescendo. The Nostalgia 77 team continues to bless us with quality jazz music of the highest order. This is an exceptional record that belongs in your collection. Highly recommended.

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Reg Dancy, 10/09

Influences: Compiled &amp; Mixed By DJ Marky / Various Artists

Various Artists - Influences: Compiled &amp; Mixed By DJ Marky

BBE

When you think of DJ Marky, you immediately think of drum n bass. “Influences” provides a view of the music that helped shape the career of the mix master from Sao Paulo. DJ Marky has dug into his crates and has pulled out some gems like the old school hip hop classic “It’s All In Mr Magic’s Wand” by Whodini, just to name a few. As you might expect, there are many Brazilian influences here like drummer Ronald Mesquita’s “Balanca Pema”. “Adeus Maria Fulo” by Os Mutantes is another highlight. A pleasant surprise for me was to hear “Thousand Fingered Man” by Candido. This percussion laden Cuban jazz hit has been a staple on dance floors for three decades and still sounds fresh today. We couldn’t possibly listen to this disc without hearing a couple of drum n bass tracks. There are two here that really standout. “Casino Royale” by DJ Zinc is pure fire with its pulsating beats and melodic synths. “You Held My Hand” by Manix just explodes through the speakers with stunning energy. “Influences” is a very entertaining disc that allows us to see where DJ Marky has been and offers a glimpse of where he’s going. Come along and enjoy the journey.

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Reg Dancy, 09/08

Innervisions Where We At / Various Artists

Various Artists - Innervisions Where We At

Sonar Kollektiv

Sonar Kollektiv are by far one the busiest and most consistent labels in the electronic dance industry. They have some superb artists on their roster and most of the compilations they bang out are sheer class. This 'Innervisions' album is no exception! It sets the groove immediately with Chateau Flights elegant 'Baroque' which slips into Ame's 'Req', probably one the best tunes to ever be released on SK. There are some belters by Tokyo Black Star, Atjazz and Stefan Goldman, all tinged with a lil' Detroit / Berlin influence. The album finishes off with the exquisite collaboration between Ame, Dixon and Henrik Schwarz, a 4am treat of tune with good old Derrick Carter on shouty vocals. Brilliant! Per se from SK.

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Jax, 01/07

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