Gruppo Jazz Marca - MitteleuropaArision Recordings
Arision again dig deep to bring us a welcome re-issue of Gruppo Jazz Marca"s Italian rarity "Mitteleuropa". Here pianist Roberto Magris extends his usual trio to accommodate a horn section giving the compositions a much fuller sound than that found on their "Comunicazone Sonora" album (also re-issued on Arision), which is most effective on the immaculate "Dedalus".
Andy Allen, 09/06
Guida De Palma & Jazzinho - AtlasFreestyle Records
Produced by Ed Motta, Jazzinho's sophomore set is another solid selection of Brazilian rhythms, incorporating elements of soul, funk and jazz along the way. Ed's influence is apparent throughout and best savoured on the joyful opener, 'The Lagoon Monster', 'Humano, Desumano', 'Maria Mulata' and the awesome bass heavy groove of 'Da Tempo ao Tempo', which is also appears with a Nicola Conte rework.
Andy Allen, 11/06
Guida De Palma and Jazzinho - VeludoToca Piano Fala Frances
Guida de Palma & Jazzinho aren't strangers to Latin Jazz rhythms as their catalog would strongly suggest . Their latest release, "Veludo" is a testament to that with nine sublime compositions that range from Guida's Portuguese roots to soul jazz rhythms with warm and dreamy melodies. That combination is evident on the opening track "A Seed In You", a simmering tune highlighted by the incomparable Leon Ware, who knows a thing or two about romantic lyrics. "Papao", Portuguese for Bogeyman is funky organ flavored Samba goodness. "Whispers In The Darkness" is a sensual ballad with strings. Written and produced by De Palma this is a enjoyable record that combines Guida's lush vocal harmonies and Jazzinho's strong instrumentation. A perfect record to soothe your mind and warm your soul.
Reg Dancy, 04/14
Gum Drop - Hi-FalutinAltered Vibes
People are finally starting to wake up to Altered Vibes after an excellent selection of releases in 2005. Kicking off 2006 with the debut from Gum Drop proves the perfect way to start the year. Gum Drop is produced by Rob Mac whose previous alias's include Jumbonics, Speeka and course writer for Straight No Chaser and as you'd expected from a man of with such eclectic taste, there is a mixed bag of styles, beats and grooves. Vocalist Randolph Matthews is yet another name you need to watch out for in 2006, with a number of projects and his debut dropping later in the year. Here he features on three tracks "Coming Up For Air", "(Keeps On) Burning" and "Sinking Feeling". Other guests include Hiphop and P-Funk vocalist Jason Todd, the unknown-to-me-until-now Zena Edwards, and on strings Lucy Wilkins who of course worked with 4 Hero and Massive Attack. Another essential release.
Simon Harrison, 01/06
Guru - Version 7.0 - The Street Scriptures7 Grand Records
Guru, an undisputed legend, is back with a new label, a new producer and a new album. And guests include Jean Grae, Talib Kweli and, amazingly, Cypress Hill's B.Real! Only, something's not quite right. Guru still possesses the trademark vocal skills with which he made his name, but these are lost here amongst the underpowered, synthetic and, sometimes, scarily poor production. Filling the boots of Gangstarr"s other half, the awesome DJ Premier, is clearly a Herculean task, but surely new boy Solar could have done better.
Tom Breslin, 11/06
Guts - EternalHeavenly Sweetness
"Eternal", the new LP from Fabrice Franck Henri, aka Guts is a contrast in musical styles. The French producer's follow up to his previous release "Hip-Hop Over All" features hip-hop, soul, pop and Afro-beat rhythms. With his working band on board, Guts has enlisted an eclectic group of artists to bring his musical vision to life. Brooklyn based hip-hop group Tanya Morgan appear on four tracks here. Of those "All Of Nothing" is the strongest. Aided by vocalist Lorine Chia, the hip-hop trio trade verses over a funky drum beat and bass groove. Trumpeter/Vocalist and Label mate Leron Thomas appears on five of tracks . He applies his uncompromising blend of genres to the twisted funk tune "Give You Up" Guts and his band stretch out on their own by covering the Ronnie Laws classic "Every Generation and the laid back piano driven jazz funk "Desintoxication". "Eternal" has a little something for everyone and offers another example of the burgeoning talent emerging from the Heavenly Sweetness roster.
Reg Dancy, 04/16
Guts - PhilantropiquesHeavenly Sweetness
With "Philantropiques" French DJ/Producer Guts has composed a gorgeous blend of French and African tropical recordings. Guts invited a number of premiere African artists such as Vum Vum, Pat Kalla and Pinduca. The sun drenched grooves and horn rhythms of "Voyaging Bird" will instantly evoke images of warm weather and lazy afternoons on the beach. "Groove ma Poule" is a festive Jazzy Pop tune that features the Afro-soul duo Djeudjoah & Lieutenent Nicholson. "Li Dous Konsa" is filled with infectious Caribbean rhythms, notably Florian Pelliissier on keys. After showcasing his affinity with hip-hop on his previous releases this radical shift pays big dividends. Simply a superb record from beginning to end that captures the essence of the Southern Hemisphere.
Reg Dancy, 05/19
Guttorm Guttormsen Quartet - Soturnudi & AlbufeiraPlastic Strip
This is a great reissue package which features two albums from the little known jazz saxophonist/flautist Guttorm Guttormsen. ‘Soturnudi’ and ‘Albufeira’ which were originally released in 1975 on MAI and 1979 on Octave respectively both make reference to Latin and spiritual jazz. The results are devastating, particularly on the firing dancers ‘Ny Latin’, ‘Sol Fa’ and ‘Sors Samba’. Guttorsem is equally at home though on the mellower cuts such as the modal ‘Soturnudi’, ‘Poset’ and the melancholy ‘I Ro Og Mak’. With both of the original albums being extremely rare do yourself a favour and pick up this superb CD.
Andy Allen, 06/08