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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Join The Dance / Gerardo Frisina

Gerardo Frisina - Join The Dance

Schema Records

DJ/Producer Gerardo Frisina has been creating a buzz ever since his work as a producer and remixer on the Ishtar label and eventually his own releases. His latest offering on Schema records, “Join The Dance” is a wonderful collection of compositions where some songs will lure your feet to the dance floor while others will simply fulfill your thirst for spicy rhythmic Brazilian jazz. For instance, the energetic “Will You Walk A Little Faster” is a up-tempo dance track strongly enhanced by the beautiful vocals of Norma Winstone. Other highlights include the exotic “Mille E Una Notte” that features Dj/Pianist Paolo Fedreghini. The aptly titled “Bubbly” starts out with a simmering groove on double bass courtesy of Enzo Lo Greco and complimented by the piano licks of Luigi Bonafede that eventually builds into a sparkling composition full of flavor and worthy of repeated listens. The Latin/Brazilian influences are brought to life by an A-list of musicians on the Italian jazz scene with overwhelming success. The result is a superb record that will build Frisina’s reputation as a first rate producer who proves that there’s room for jazz in the clubs and not just in your living room.


Reg Dancy, 10/10

Olympia / Gerardo Frisina

Gerardo Frisina - Olympia

Schema Records

"Olympia" is where Jazz and Brazilian rhythms meet and proceed to heat up the dance floor DJ/Producer Gerardo Frisina fuses his production skills, particularly his clever use of samples along with his love of Brazilian music. The five track EP is bookend by two uptempo bass driven tunes. The title track is driven by a soaring piano melody and vocal samples. The latter "Obsession" layered with tasty vibes and congas. "Talking Sticks" is filled with funky wah wah guitar and organ rhythms, capped off a seductive baritone sax solo. One year after the LP release "Movement", Frisina continues to experiment with a variety of sounds that will seduce you not only to dance but to listen over and over.


Reg Dancy, 02/16

The Latin Kick / Gerardo Frisina

Gerardo Frisina - The Latin Kick

Schema Records

Gerardo Frinsina is proving a very busy man at the moment, having just released the excellent Congrat single on Afro Art and now his third album "The Latin Kick" drops on Schema. This man never seems to let the tempo drop with another fine selection of dancefloor bombs over the full album. Jazz is very much the foundation here with just the right amount of fusion between Jazz, Latin and Brazilian over Frisina's tip top beats. It's amazing how much energy you get when listening, so be careful, we don't want any more road-rage on the roads. A stunning follow up to his previous, already classic albums: "Ad lib" and "Hi Note".


Simon Harrison, 11/05

Anthology [Messages] / Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson

Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson - Anthology [Messages]

Soul Brother Records

Gil Scott-Heron along with his long time musical partner Brian Jackson have committed to vinyl some of the most important politically and socially conscious music ever recorded. This compilation focuses on the period between 1973 and 1980 and includes tracks from 7 albums. The timeless classic, "The Bottle"; kicks off proceedings before moving into the uplifting "It's Your World", "Johannesburg" and the haunting "Winter In America", a track I have never tired of since first hearing it 16 years ago when I was just starting out on this crazy collecting journey. "Angel Dust", "Shut Um Down", "Alien (Hold On To Your Dreams)" along with "The Liberation (Red, Black & Green)" and a storming live version of "Home Is Where The Hatred Is" are all here. However, I'm currently hammering the tracks taken from the 1977 album "Bridges", mainly because I've never heard them before. "Delta Man (Where I'm Coming From)" and "We Almost Lost Detroit" are amazing low slung gritty grooves but even better is "Racetrack In France" which starts with a happy clappy rhythm and blues intro before slipping into a driving synth bass lead electro groove. Pure perfection!


Andy Allen, 09/05

Banda Larga Cordel / Gilberto Gil

Gilberto Gil - Banda Larga Cordel


Brazil’s ex Minister of Culture is back now concentrating on his music and it’s a joy to have him back. His laid back vocals are given a wide range of musical settings to wow us with, from the  beats of ‘Le Renaissance Africaine’  to the simplicity of an acoustic guitar on ‘Outros Viram’. Magic.


Graham Radley, 11/08

Black Jazz Radio / Gilles Peterson

Gilles Peterson - Black Jazz Radio

Black Jazz Records

Gilles Peterson once again shines a light on the hidden gems that are sprinkled all over the globe. This time the beneficiary is the Black Jazz catalogue and he has woven a potent collection of celestial compositions that have been tucked away in their vaults. Notable prime cuts are the fiery “Beauty & The Electric Tub” by Henry Franklin. The Latin treat “Black Orchid” by Gene Russell will certainly lift your spirits and move your feet. The sorely underappreciated Doug Carn has a rich catalogue in his own right and “Higher Ground” will inspire you to delve more into his discography. With other gems like Kellie Patterson’s “Maiden Voyage” you’ll wonder how in the world these tracks didn’t get more shine. Well good music is timeless and their time to shine is now.  


Reg Dancy, 05/13

Sunday Afternoon At Dingwalls / Gilles Peterson & Patrick Forge present

Gilles Peterson & Patrick Forge present - Sunday Afternoon At Dingwalls

Ether Music

Venues that capture the spirit and soul of a time and place and style of music are few and far between but Dingwalls in its day was a shrine to the jazz dancers and here's a 25 track sample of why. Aptly starting off with Janet Lawson's 'Sunday Afternoon', there's tracks from the likes of Pharoah Sanders, Mark Murphy, Airto, Tribe Called Quest, Roy Ayers, and Norman Connors. A great collection reflecting a special time.


Graham Radley, 11/06

Havana Cultura / Gilles Peterson Presents

Gilles Peterson Presents - Havana Cultura

Brownswood Recordings

Listening to “Havana Cultura” for the first time is like tasting a succulent plate of Paella; all the flavors are dancing in your mouth and you just lean back and enjoy every bite. Like all great meals require the right amount of seasoning, “Havana Cultura” contains the right mix of diverse musicians that will appeal to generations young and old. Right from the onset, Cultura heats up with Pa Gozar, a percolating piano driven track by the nine piece Havana Cultura Band who performs on all tracks on disc 1. “Ipacuba” features singer Danay, who emerges as talent to keep an eye on. Her lovely voice and the amazing percussionist on board make this track a keeper. Danay appears several cuts but one particular favorite is “Think Twice”. A tune that starts out soft and sublime and then shifts into a funky hip hop jam that pays homage to the late great J Dilla. “Chereke Son” is another winner that features the amazing Mayra Caridad Valdes on vocals. On disc 2 you are treated to a showcase of up and coming hip-hop artists like Doble Filo, an experimental hip-hop group who are very impressive on “Amor Internacional”. Telmary Diaz is a rapper/poetess and displays remarkable ability on “Spiritual Sin Egoismo”. Los Aldeanos is already one of Cuba’s most respected hip-hop groups and provide plenty evidence on the fiery “Pasa El Borrador”. There are so many performances to applaud and for that we must give kudos to Gilles Peterson for giving these musicians the exposure they deserve. “Havana Cultura” provides a glimpse into the evolution of Cuban music and it’s wealth of talented musicians. Listen and enjoy.


Reg Dancy, 11/09

Ruthless Day / Giselle Smith

Giselle Smith - Ruthless Day

Jalapeno Records

"Ruthless Day" is the second full length lp from Giselle Smith. Formely the front woman for the Mighty Mocambos Giselle has arranged a collection of high powered funk that allow her vocals to soar. Among the highlights are "Sweet Memories", a mid-tempo track oozing with wah-wah guitar funk. "Hero" is a bluesy duet with Eric Boss. "Around again" is infectious funk with tasty piano arrangements. A potent release filled with emotive lyrics, Giselle is a welcome addition to the funk and soul scene.


Reg Dancy, 04/18

Sine Tempus / Goldie

Goldie - Sine Tempus


Holy cow! That’s right folks, stop rubbing your eyes, it’s a new album from Goldie. That part-time Bond villain, original metal head and all round Drum ‘n’ Bass don is back. And with some vengeance too! You might expect that he has mellowed in his slightly older age, turning away from kidney-bursting bass and ear-drum-shattering high hats, but not so. Oh no, Sine Tempus revives the iconic, industrial Metalheadz sound without reservation and tracks like ‘Something About You’, ‘Inside Your Soul’ and ‘Say You Love Me’ will render junglists old and new positively bugging in their bass bins. Of course, Goldie’s penchant for meandering orchestral moments is also indulged, but this is not necessarily to be sniffed at. For me, the true joys on this album (originally produced in 2004) come when a more melodic, happy medium is achieved, and ‘Invisible’ and ‘Chances’ are two perfect examples of that uplifting and jazzy, yet still tough and rolling D’n’B sound that is all too rare these days. Note, this album is a digital release, available through the Metalheadz website only.


Tom Breslin, 10/08

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