Lou Donaldson - Here 'TisBlue Note Records
Lou Donaldson made his reputation largely on the basis of soul jazz recordings such as this. While he would later enjoy commercial success with 'Alligator Boogaloo', this album from 1961 is a superior example of the organ jazz format with five extended pieces. Accompanied by Grant Green on guitar and the under-recorded Baby Face Willette on hammond organ, the quartet cooks on the gospel influenced title track with Willette excelling. Green expands upon the standard 'Foggy Day' and Donaldson himself has his finest hour on the Charlie Parker tune 'Cool Blues' with driving support from organ and drums. An album that truly puts the soul into jazz.
Tim Stenhouse, 05/08
Louie Vega Presents Luisito Quintero - Percussion MadnessBBE Records
This is the debut album from Latin percussionist Luisito Quintero, which brings a mix of Afrobeat, Bossa Nova and Latin Jazz to the table. Quintero was apart of Louie Vega's Elements in Life project, which may explain why his name is mentioned in the title, apart from maybe to sell a few more units. Quintero was born in Venezuela and, with help from his father, gained recognition in his early teens. This may be his debut but he's worked on countless projects including India's two albums, and with artists like Tito Puente, Ray Barreto to Gloria Estefan. Guest artists include Hilton Ruiz, Brian Lynch, Nestor Torres, Milton Cardona, Jose Mangual and Blaze, which work great with the heavy percussion and Latin influences. "Gbagada, Gbagada, Gbogodo, Gbogodo", "M' Bongi" and "Love Remains The Same" are worthy of your attention but these are only the tip of the iceberg for this excellent album. BBE have timed this release perfectly, just in time for summer.
Simon Harrison, 04/06
Low Budget Soul - Strangers To The OrdinaryFuturistica Music
Low Budget Soul first appeared on the excellent Abstract Soul records a few years ago and brought to my attention the wonderful vocals of Randolph Matthews and the productions skills of Tris "Ol' English" Browne, who was and is influenced by the likes of J-Dilla and Madlib. Matthews is on lead vocals here and shines through on tracks like "Into You", "No. 1", "Waves" and "Mystery Rose". Also featured are the singles "She Won't Let The Summer In" and "Fills My Heart" with the amazing vocalist Nanar Vorperian, which will have you on your knees. This is UK soul at its best.
Simon Harrison, 09/06
LTC - A Different ViewRicky-Tick Records
With two singles already under their belt the Italian jazz trio LTC now deliver their debut album. ‘Easy Does It’, ‘Meninos Das Laranjas’ and ‘Just Give Me Time’ from the singles are present but stronger in my opinion is the their take on the modal masterpiece ‘Anthony And Cleopatra’s Love’ and the blistering dancers ‘A Different View’ and ‘Shibuya Crossing’. Another classic from Ricky-Tick!
Andy Allen, 06/08
Lucas Arruda - Onda NovaFavorite Recordings
Vocalist Lucas Arruda continues to seamlessly merge Soul and Pop with Brazilian rhythms with his latest "Onda Nova". The soothing synths of "Dragoes E Tigres" combined with Arruda's vocals will sink into you like a warm summer breeze. "Soulshine" is a soul jazz number that's driven by a thumping bass groove and gorgeous harmonies. "What I'd Do For Love" is steeped in the Brazilian Pop/AOR tradition and features a Portuguese version as well. Arruda is carrying the torch set by Lincoln Olivetti & Robson Jorge. Their recordings were a staple of Brazilian funk from the late seventies through the eighties. This release ensures that Brazilian Soul Pop is in good hands.
Reg Dancy, 06/19
Lucas Arruda - SambadiFavorite Records
"Sambadi", the debut from guitarist/Keyboardist Lucas Arruda is rich in soul infused jazzy Brazilian rhythms. Lucas initially started out as a guitarist but after seeing a performance by Marcus Valle turned his attention to the Fender Rhodes. The vibrant sound of the Rhodes is used prominently to create warm Brazilian rhythmic compositions. Among the highlights are " Batuque", a funky melodic tune with soulful harmonies. "Alma Nova" is a laid back composition filled with warm synths and luscious melodies. "Carnival" and "Tamba" are also warm sublime treats as well. Inspired by Rio De Janeiro, not far from where Arruda was born, "Sambadi" is an impressive release from one of Brazil's exciting young talents
Reg Dancy, 09/13
Lucas Arruda - SolarFavorite
"Solar", the sophomore release from Brazilian keyboardist Lucas Arruda demonstrates significant growth from his debut, "Sambadi. Arruda skillfully blends fusion and Brazilian rhythms over his warm and sublime arrangements. "Uma Onda" is laid back hazy fusion that features Alex Malheiros of Asymuth on bass. On "Melt The Night" Leon Ware's vocals blend perfectly with Arruda's compositions. It would've been nice to feature him on another track or two here. "Aqua" is a pretty ballad influenced by Arruda's love for RnB and soul music. With another solid album under his belt it's clear that Arruda is one of the shinning stars on the Brazilian music scene today.
Reg Dancy, 12/15
Lucky Brown & The SG's - Mesquite SuiteTramp
Joel Ricci aka Lucky Brown returns with his third full length release for Tramp records. "Mesquite Suite" is filled with dusty instrumental analog tinged funk. The disc opens with "Lone Heart", a slow burning funk tune in the tradition of the Menahan Street Band. "Justice" has an infectious organ grinding groove layered with sweet flute rhythms. "Glancing Meteors" is driven by funky drumming and tasty guitar licks topped off with swaying horns. A solid recording filled with inspiration from Mulatu Astatke and the aforementioned Menahan Street Band. Lucky Brown's third lp may very well be his best.
Reg Dancy, 11/18
Lucky Dube - The Best OfPhantom Sound & Vision Records
Such a sad loss last year but here’s a timely reminder of how great he was. 17 tracks which give a popular flavour of his 22 studio albums and includes tracks like ‘Slave’ (the Slaves was the name of his brilliant live band) ‘Victims’ and my own favourite ‘Feel Irie’. Excellent.
Graham Radley, 06/08
Luka Bloom - TribeBig Sky
Good new album from Luka, which sees him collaborating with Simon O'Reilly, who also produces. Tribe reflects Luka's roots and has an overall relaxed feel but is not without a bit of bite where it's needed. Excellent collection of musicians helping out as well including BJ Cole, Elmear O'Grady and Robbie Perry.
Graham Radley, 11/07