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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Dub Plates From The Elephant House Vol 3 / G Corp & The Mighty Tree

G Corp & The Mighty Tree - Dub Plates From The Elephant House Vol 3

Endulge

The Birmingham collective hook up with some of the city's finest reggae musicians - Moses and Jaffa from the excellent Crucial music plus Conrad Kelly (Steel Pulse/UB40) aka the Mighty Tree who set down a mighty rhythm structure for the GCorp team to weave in their dub magic. You also get a limited edition cookbook with original recipes for classic West Indian food plus original artwork by Ninety. Absolutely ******* brilliant, the queue starts here for Volume 4!

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Graham Radley, 09/07

Batik / Gabriele Poso

Gabriele Poso - Batik

Soundway Records

Percussionist Gabriele Poso returns with "Batik", his first release on Soundway records. He first appeared on Osunlade's Yoruba records label in 2008 and has recorded for Infra Com, BBE, and Agogo as well. Poso along with his Organik trio compose a brillant album ripe with Afro-Cuban rhythms merged with jazz and house. The title track kicks off the disc with Poso on vocals alongside a heavenly chorus layered over a potent groove, tropical beats and moog synths. "Equitoreal" also makes a splash with thunderous percussion, hi hat rhythms and a sensual house groove. "Goldfish" is a blissful instrumental that will instantly create images of blue skies in the Caribbean. Poso lends his vocals on most of the recordings while enlisting renowned vocalists such as Nailah Porter, Nina Rodriguez, Quetzal Guerrero and Sofia Rolio. DJ/Producer Kiko Navarro provides the right balance of beats and programming to make you want to dance or simply kick back and listen. Poso is developing into one of the premier percussionists on the scene today and this album is evidence of that.

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Reg Dancy, 01/20

Roots Of Soul / Gabriele Poso

Gabriele Poso - Roots Of Soul

InfraCom

Gabriele Poso’s sophomore release “Roots of Soul” is a wonderful record that blends Latin, African and other cultural rhythms together with sterling results, Poso is surrounded by an ensemble of multi-talented musicians that help his compositions take flight and you’re certain to enjoy the ride. For instance “Dona Flora” is a mid-tempo tune that features warm piano melodies from Giuseppe Magagnino while Poso culminates with a controlled flurry of rhythms ranging from percussions to congas and timbales. There are also a number of superb vocalists that add color to these compositions. Dionisia Cassiano vocals soar on the uplifting “With Me Come Fly” and Nailah Porter’s vocals will make you shiver on the beautiful ballad “A Night with You”. Gabriele’s debut “From The Genuine World” displayed so much promise and on “Roots Of Soul” he has definitely delivered. In turn he’s carving out his place as a superb percussionist as well as a great composer who merits serious attention.

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Reg Dancy, 08/12

Gadjologie / Gadjologie

Gadjologie - Gadjologie

Milan Records

Oh this is very tasty, recorded ‘live’ in the studio, the French gypsy jazzers like to use their two guitars, violin and double bass to take us from chilled to punky with accomplished playing and freedom of spirit. Take a listen to their take on Frank Zappa’s ‘Blessed Relief’ with a guest accordion player adding that extra something. Excellent.

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Graham Radley, 07/08

From The Corner To The Block / Galactic

Galactic - From The Corner To The Block

Anti Records

Back in the day there were so many funk bands that it would be impossible to mention all of them here. While some have faded away, very few have picked up the torch. Unknown to many however, Galactic has been jamming for quite a while now. Their fifth studio album contains their usual brand of high octane New Orleans funk. In addition, they have invited an eclectic assortment of some of today’s hottest mc’s. “Think Back” featuring Chali 2na from Jurassic 5 is some serious funky swamp music. The title track “From The Corner From The Block” is hip hop with plenty of gumbo mixed in, thanks to Juvenile and the Soul Rebels Brass Band. Ladybug Mecca also stops by to assist on the mid-tempo Tina Marie inspired “Square Biz”. All in all another great effort by Galactic. Perhaps maybe they will finally receive the recognition they rightfully deserve.

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Reg Dancy, 04/08

Flapjacks From The Sky / Gandalf Murphy & The Slambovian Circus Of Dreams

Gandalf Murphy & The Slambovian Circus Of Dreams - Flapjacks From The Sky

High Noon Records

Formed in 1998 in Sleepy Hollow, New York, Gandalf Murphy and The Slambovian Circus of Dreams have a lot going on within their music each track goes off in a different direction. The info describes them as Hillbilly-Floyd, folk-pop, alt-country roots-rock and surreal Americana and that goes a long way to getting the feel of the band across. This double CD could maybe do with a bit of trimming down but overall well worth a trip to their planet.

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Graham Radley, 04/07

Night Dreamer Direct To Disc Sessions / Gary Bartz & Maisha

Gary Bartz & Maisha - Night Dreamer Direct To Disc Sessions

Night Dreamer Records

Night Dreamer records has made quite a splash with their direct to disc sessions. Their last release was the sublime duet between Brazilian vocalists Seu Jorge and Roge. The latest entry is the collaboration of legendary alto saxophonist Gary Bartz and the UK spiritual jazz group Maisha. Led by drummer Jake Long, Maisha has been amongst a lengthy list of promient musicians leading the new wave on the UK jazz renaissance. The band and Bartz first met during the We Out Here festival in 2019 hosted by Gilles Peterson. Another encounter was the London Jazz Festival that celebrated the 50th anniversary of Bartz's spiritual jazz album "Another Earth". A chremistry was quickly formed which brings us to this direct to disc one take recording. "Let's Dance" is filled with afro caribbean rhythms serving as a canvas for Bartz's warm and adventurous horn melodies. "Uhuru Sasa" is 70s inspired soul jazz with a burning laid back groove. The only quibble is that there's only five tracks here but these are five exceptional tracks nonetheless. It's our fortune that the forces of nature brought this pairing together. Simply a brillant record that hopefully entices them to return for an encore.

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Reg Dancy, 06/20

Gathering / Gary Marks

Gary Marks - Gathering

Kindred Spirits

Originally released in 1973 Gary Marks' 'Gathering' gets a welcome reissue by Kindred Spirits. Gary has a gentle yet mesmerizing quality to his voice and together with his band, featuring amongst others guitarist John Scofield and David Samuels on vibes, he delivers a stunning collection of folk-jazz compositions. 'Sailing', a tranquil piece, the blissful 'We Free', the funky fusion instrumental title track and 'Him Sometimes', a superb modal outing are all exceptional but this album is a pleasure to listen to from beginning to end.

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Andy Allen, 03/07

Moja / Gary Reader

Gary Reader - Moja

Superfically Deep Recordings

“Moja”, the release from Saxophonist Gary Reader is an elegant seven track collection of contemporary jazz numbers that harken memories of classic mid-sixties Blue Note releases. Reader has surrounded himself with top shelf musicians who perform together seamlessly as if they’ve working as a unit for years. This is apparent on the opening track “Who’s Playing?”, a warm and richly melodic tune pairs Reader with the acclaimed Corey Mwamba on vibes. Pianist Mark D’Inverno gorgeous playing serves as the perfect compliment. “Delta” is a lovely ballad that is smooth and vibrant. Reader displays his acumen for compositions that are moving and heartfelt. “My No.1 Fan” has a Latin flavor that also features bassist Andy Hamill and tasty drumming from Joshua Blackmore. Overall “Moja” is an impressive debut that swings and showcases Reader as a formidable reed player whom we hope is just getting started arranging impressive recordings like this.

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Reg Dancy, 01/12

Everything Must Change / Georg Levin

Georg Levin - Everything Must Change

BBE Records

Georg Levin’s second solo project follows up his critically acclaimed debut “Can’t Hold Back”. “Everything Must Change” provides more of that soulful flavor, this time with some pop rhythms mixed in for good measure. The selections here contain the right balance of electronic beats and live instrumentation that allows you to enjoy repeated listens. The disc starts off with “Need To Understand”, a pleasing mid-tempo tune that starts out as a boogie tune and then shifts into a laidback groove. The title track is a funky synth laden number with strings that harkens back to the danceable beats of the eighties. Georg is joined by Clara Hill on the upbeat disco flavored “The Better Life”. “Time to Reenact” gives an indication of a Georg Levin live set. The song is carried through with a funky rhythm guitar and live drums and proves that Georg can work seamlessly either in the studio or on the stage. While Georg’s voice isn’t overpowering, they’re tailor made for his compositions. Overall, “Everything Must Change” sparkles with good vibes and slick production. Not a bad song on the album, you can easily add this to the track list of your next party or groove to it during an afternoon drive. You’ll be glad you did.

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Reg Dancy, 04/10

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