Drawbar - Flight of the TempestCounterpoint Records
In the world of Drawbar the Hammond organ is undoubtedly king. For the humble Hammond is the musical centrifuge around which every one of the eleven tracks on ‘Flight of the Tempest’ rotates and that, as it happens, is no bad thing. Admittedly, I wasn’t immediately taken with the Drawbar sound - thinking that I had heard it all somewhere before - but I can now say that it’s a definite grower. It’s a simmering stew of soul, jazz, a little Hip-Hop and a lot of funk that’s been bought to the boil under the heady influence of film scores and library music. Not at all bad for a crew of organ fanatics from Hastings!
Tom Breslin, 10/08
Dub Colossus - In A Town Called AddisReal World Records
African dub blending Ethiopian traditional with afro jazz and Jamaican dub recorded in Ethiopia & the UK from this new band formed by Transglobal Underground founder member Count Dubullah (aka Nick Page) . The recording features several amazing vocalists including Sintayehu Zenebe (the "Ethiopian Edith Piaf) Tsedenia Gebremarkos,. Bahta Gerbrehiwot and Teremage Woretaw, listen out to for some superb piano from Samuel Yirga and brilliant saxophonist Feleke Hailu. This really is a wonderful album.
Graham Radley, 08/09
Dubble D - Reachin' Out2020 Vision Recordings
I was being given a lift around Leeds with the manager of 2020 vision at the end of 2004 and in his car stereo was a track from 'Reachin Out'. The track in question was 'Switch' which features vocals from legend Flora Purim. I could not quite believe my ears and I can see why that was chosen for the first single. Danny Ward has invited some excellent guests, which include Diane Charlemagne, Qball and Curt Cazal [QNC], Kate Rogers and Nightmares On Wax. 2020 vision are known for their quality house productions but here Danny really pushes the boundaries on just about every style known to man. There's the bluey 'Rain', the house anthem 'Switch' and hiphop monster 'Would You'. What else do I need to say?
Simon Harrison, 06/05
Duke Hugh - CanvasRhythm Section
In just three years, Rhythm Section International has become one of the premier record labels in South London. They're been relentless in debuting an impressive array of newcomers and Netherlands native Duke Hugh is no exception. "Canvas" is his impressive full length debut that demonstrates a deft touch for arranging laid back grooves as well as an ear for melody. Highlights include "Greenleaf", a breezy tune with tasty guitar riffs. "Home" is another mid tempo tune filled with bouncy drums and synths. "Canvas" is a pleasant portrait of Hugh's creativity as a producer. These are tunes you'll want to bring along for your chill out moments. He's certainly one to keep an eye on.
Reg Dancy, 05/17
Dusty - Keep It RawJazz and Milk Recordings
Jazz & Milk founder Dusty has created an amalgamation of various sounds with funk being the underlying foundation throughout this disc. Whether it’s the soul jazz arrangements of the title track, a funky organ grinder number that utilizes elements of Miles Davis “Kind of blue” or the pulsating rhythms of “Salsa Step”, the funk is the engine that drives this record. There’s plenty more that you’ll find enjoyable. The ultra talented Carla Val appears on two cuts here. The standout track, “Just an illusion” is a soul-jazz gem. “An exotic Breed” is a funky dub step treat. “Voodoo” explores afro beat rhythms with great results. Overall “Keep it Raw” is a deeply satisfying and entertaining set. Fans of soul jazz, afro beat and latin all wrapped into one session will find this record a worthy candidate for your collection.
Reg Dancy, 07/09
DWH (deeperwiderhigher) - Follow MeCounterpoint Records
After two ace singles the Deeper Wider Higher collective deliver their debut album and what a treat. With a whopping 17 tracks in total which includes a few remixes thrown in for good measure, this keeps up the quality we've come to expect from Counterpoint records. "Follow Me" mixes soul and jazz with beautiful vocals from Genifa Edwards, a name I've not heard of before but I'll certainly keep my eyes pealed for future projects. This is a must for fans of Fertile Ground and The Rebirth and given time will easily generate as much hype and respect. I hope these guys get on the road soon and show us what they are made of.
Simon Harrison, 10/06
Dwight Trible - InspirationsGondwana
The list of musicians Dwight Trible has performed with ranges from hard bop musicians such as Bobby Hutcherson to the late J Dilla. For his latest project entitled "Inspirations" Trible teams up with trumpeter Matthew Halsall on the Gondwana records imprint. The two share a love for transcendental and spiritual jazz and they mesh seamlessly here. On "Tryin Times" Trible's baritone complements Halsall's rich tone on the Donny Hathaway composition. Pianist Taz Modi's tender melodies strike deep emotions on the Coltrane classic "Dear Lord". Bassist Gavin Barras's shivering grooves establishes the overall sound for the group. There are other glorious covers such as "Feeling Good" and "What the World Needs Now is Love". What you need to do now is simply hurry up and purchase this wonderful record. Trible's totally identifiable voice combined with Halsall's phrasing and production will no doubt result in repeated listens.
Reg Dancy, 07/17