Jimpster - AmourFreerange Records
Fact: Jimpster needs more fingers. Why. You ask? Well, because if he had more fingers then he would be able to put them in more pies. Jimpster aka Jamie Odell, head honcho of freerange records, member of 'The Bays' and all round super nice guy has really hit the spot with this longplayer. This is Jimpsters first solo outing in album format on freerange and it doesn't disappoint in the slightest. Starting off will chilled out beats linked in with some sublime vocals courtesy of Shaye, Capitol A and Elsa Hedburg this really is a summer soundtrack not be overlooked. The tempo doesn't get much above the deep house mark, but the vibe is perfect. This, along with the superb production means once you hear this album you'll be wanting more and more. Highly recommended!
Jiva - Day Into NightSolunari Music
If you enjoyed "Sun and Moon", Jiva's first CD then you'll simply love "Day Into Night", their latest. Here, Jiva builds on their formula of soulful compositions with touch of bossa nova rhythms. Khari Simmons, the founder of Jiva, places an emphasis on live instrumentation. Each member of the group is very talented in their own right, with a number of them having outside projects of their own. The result is a vibrant, refreshing offering of soul music with no boundaries that will quench your musical thirst. "Sol E Lua" (which is Portuguese for Sun and Moon) is a wonderful song with a samba rhythm that displays awesome percussion work by Forrest Robinson. "Better2gether" is another pleasing track that relies on the vocal harmonies of Brenda Nicole and Chantae Cann as well as Khari's fine synth work. "This Love" features the lovely vocals of Rhonda Thomas. Rhonda was the featured vocalist on "Stars" and "I Realized", the hits from Jiva's debut cd. This upbeat soothing jam is bound to be a winner as well. "Understand" also features another great vocalist, Alex Lattimore, who really shines here as well. Jiva shows here that they have no plans of succumbing to the sophomore jinx. In fact you could say that this disc is even stronger than the first. The one issue I had with "Sun and Moon" was that the remixes filled out the end of the disc. Especially when I had already owned those remixes for months. Therefore, I always skipped over them. No such problem here. This is simply a great disc that you'll enjoy from start to finish. It's quality records like this that remind you why you love music in the first place.
Reg Dancy, 12/07
JJ Cale - Roll OnBecause Music
Now 70 and back with his first collection of new tracks since 2004's To Tulsa and Back. Roll On has 12 tracks including the previously unreleased title track recorded with Eric Clapton. The style of course is the same & we wouldn’t want it any other way great music played and sung in that laid back style but with great integrity and style. Magic.
Graham Radley, 05/09
Jnan Prakash Ghosh - Drums Of India Vols 1&2Saregama
Re-issue of two CDs originally issued in 1968 (Vol 1) and 1979 (Vol 2) with tabla player Pandit Jnan Prakash Ghosh the inspiration and motivation behind the project. CD one has 10 tracks which looks at different drums in turn starting with the Pakhawaj which is played against the background of a tabla ensemble, other drums featured include khol, mridangam and dholak. CD two starts with a talba ensemble piece and then features drums from different parts of India including Dhak, Sree Khole and Tasha. Guests include Anindya Chatterjee, Sanjay Mukherjee, Ustad Bafati Kan and Anup Parsad & Party. Excellent.
Graham Radley, 12/07
Joakim - Monsters & Silly SongsK7
This album from French producer Joakim begins in a very dark mood, with the theme firmly set on eclectism. You never know what your gonna get when you listen to either a Joakim remix or one of his own productions. Like a good Jack-of-all-trades, he masters all genres.
This is far from a club album (although 'DrumTrax' would go down a storm on the dancefloor), instead there is a fusion of electronica, pop, jazzy wiggle and dark chords a plenty to keep the mood deep and haunting. This is definitely the sort of album that takes a few listens to get used too. It's so up and down tempo-wise that your never sure what's about to drop. It would be hard to recommend this long player to anyone in particular, although I would suggest checking it out in depth and over time. Joakim definitely has some serious musical talent, which he puts to good use across the whole album and K7 have catered for their 'left of middle' fans by releasing this monster mash.
Joash - Don't Fear It, Fight ItCompost Records
London producer Joash’s debut is an electronic dance offering highlighted by jazz and pop influenced rhythms and dreamy orchestral soundscapes. Joash started his career as a drummer before becoming drawn to dance and techno by the likes of Plastikman and Laurent Garnier. That admiration has served him well on this release, which features notable selections like the bossa flavored “The First Cause”. “Mission” starts out with a symphony sample that builds into an beat driven futuristic hip-hop gem. Rapper Replife’s take no prisoners approach is the perfect complement to the track. “Montreal” has a jazz fusion vibe in part by the electric guitar inspired melodies. “Climb” is orchestral pop highlighted by the vocals of David Frith. Among the fifteen tracks there are three orchestral remixes but the end of the disc I felt I overindulged, trimming it down to nine or ten original tracks would’ve been enough. Overall this is a solid debut that should spring a promising run of more quality recordings.
Reg Dancy, 05/11
Jocelyn Brown - UnreleasedDigisoul
Just before I received 'Unreleased', I found out that Jocelyn had been on a reality TV show and even though this may well boost sales of this album, I was a little unsure what to expect. Of course I have no idea how well she did, but with a voice as good as Jocelyn's it was unlikely the real world would vote for a real talent, rather than some second-rate pop star. One thing for sure is that Jocelyn has an amazing voice and had featured on far too many tracks to mention here. All fourteen tracks here are certainly aimed at the modern soul scene and a pleasure to listen to. The standout track for me is the excellent 'She'd Called', which is Jocelyn at her best. Ensure you give this a listen.
Simon Harrison, 05/06
Jody Watley - The MakeoverAvitone Recordings
The career that Jody Watley has carved out for herself has been nothing short of phenomenal. When you have been an icon in the music business for three decades and still remain relevant, you’re indeed in a class by yourself. As the title of her latest project suggests, “The makeover” is an alternative take of classic songs Ms Watley has personally picked out as well as a couple of her greatest hits. One of those hits featured here is the classic “Don’t you want me?”, arranged here in a house version courtesy of King Britt. Ms Watley displays great taste in handpicking songs that sound as if they were written just for her. Take for example the Chic classic “I want your love” and Diana Ross’s “Love Hangover”. She stays true to form on both tracks but her rearrangement of Madonna’s “Borderline” is something special. As for her own original work, there’s “A beautiful Life” is a pulsating house track and “Bed of Roses” is a soulful drum n bass gem that is produced by 4 Hero. “The Makeover” is filled with quality music past, present and future. Jody Watley refuses to rest on past success and we continue to reap the benefits.
Reg Dancy, 10/09
Joe Armon-Jones - Starting TodayBrownswood
There's a wave of up and coming UK musicians interconnected and revitalizing the Jazz scene. They're not subscribing to the jazz genre but pushing the boundaries in all matter of styles. Right in the middle of it all is pianist Joe Armon-Jones. Jones last appeared with the Ezra Collective and more recently the Brownswood compilation "We Out Here" which featured Nubya Garcia, drummer Moses Boyd and other newcomers. With his full length debut he's ready to take center stage. Jones opens up with the scorching title track "Starting Today". Joined by roots reggae poet Asheber, Jones dynamic flurries on Fender Rhodes are accompanied by Garcia on tenor sax and trumpeter Dylan Jones. They shift gears on "Mollison Dub", a blissed out dub groove named after Ezra Collective Saxophonist James Mollison. Mollison pairs with fellow tenor Garcia on the track as well. David Mrakpor adds warm rumbling bass lines over Jones's chords. "London's Face" is a spirited tune that features drummers Boyd and Kwake Bass along with Oscar Jerome on vocals. This is a superb demonstration of Jones wide musical palette, not to mention his deft touch on the keys. You'll want to seek out his other collaborations but only after repeated listens of this enjoyable record.
Reg Dancy, 06/18
Joe Clausell Black Coffee - The Djoon ExperienceBBE
“The Djoon Experience” is an experience in dance culture of great proportions. The infamous club located in Eastern Paris captures the spirit of good vibes and soulful house music. The latter of which is in large supply thanks to acclaimed DJs Joe Clausell and South Africa’s own Black Coffee. If your feet and hips aren’t moving within minutes of “The Djoon Experience” compilation then I suggest you check your pulse. Joe Clausell and Black Coffee blend infectious house music that lifts your spirits and transports House music enthusiasts to a place filled with peace love and harmony. Like all the great DJs, Clausell and Coffee capture the mood of party people that frequent the club and propel them to greater heights with a tasty assortment of past and future classics. Among those treats are Gregory Porter’s “1960 What!”, Hugh Masekela’s “We are One” and Ian Friday’s remix of “My Love Song” featuring Nickson. Other highlights include “All Alone” featuring Vikter Duplaix and the DJ Kent Club mix of “Sunrise” featuring Zaki Ibrahim. There’s much more to savor but believe me, “The Djoon Experience” is a highly recommended purchase that will remind you why you love House music so much in the first place.
Reg Dancy, 06/13