Otis Sandsjo - Y-OTISWejazz
This is the debut album from Swedish native and Berlin based Saxophonist Otis Sandsjo. "Y-OTIS" is filled with dazzling compositions built around wobbly polyrhythms and electronics. Bassist Frans Petter Eldh, who also produced the album knows how to shake things up end move in an exploratory direction. On engaging tracks like "Yung" and "BOO!", Sandsjo's melodic riffs meld seamlessly with glorious interaction from pianist Elias Stemeseder. "Sun Sun" is another abstract tune that kicks off with heavy beats from drummer Tilo Weber followed by hazy horn riffs and imaginative keys. Each member of this quartet has received their share of praise from the jazz community but they're unafraid to soar beyond the boundaries. This is a creative gem that you shouldn't miss.
Reg Dancy, 07/18
Otis Trio - 74 ClubFar Out Recordings
Far out can always be relied upon to bring us the finest in Brazilian music and this debut album from Otis Trio is no exception. Whilst the core group are indeed a trio on 74 Club they have greatly expanded the band to produce a very full jazz sound. There’s plenty of vibes on offer here which is always sure to draw me in and although there is a tendency to head off into free-jazz territory in places there are some beautiful moments. Try the brooding No Oceano and Montag’s Dream, a heady spiritual piece.
Andy Allen, 02/14
Oum Kalsoum - The LegendManteca
The Voice of Egypt and indeed a legend, whose recording career began in the 1920's and by the 1940's had elevated her to true stardom. Her "Thursday Night is Oum Kalsoum Night" radio show was a huge success which lasted until shortly before her death in 1975. This double CD contains 18 tracks over two CDs covering two hours of superb music.
Graham Radley, 03/07
Oumou Sangare - SeyaWorld Circuit
Brilliant release (first in 6 years although 1996 was her last full international release ) for the Malian star, this really is a superb collection of 11 tracks which leave you wanting more and more. A more mature, harder edge, than previous releases, with a positive flow to the groove and a respect for the tradition which reflects a woman happy in her skin and riding the crest of a musical wave. Superb.
Graham Radley, 05/09
Outkast - IdlewildLa Face
If you're reading this expecting me to tell you that it's no where near as good as Speakerboxx/Love Below, then I'll apologise in advance. Those of you who thought Outkast would carry on where that double album left off will be bitterly disappointed. This Outkast CD is more like the whole Outkast package rolled into one mighty fine album. Back writing and producing as a duo, Big Boi and Andre 3000 push all the right buttons in the funked up hippity hopperty style that we've come to respect them for. The usual Outkast format sees tracks separated by interludes, with most of the tracks being of more of a mellow tempo with emphasis on the lyrics and the tightest production you're gonna hear anywhere. Outkast never fail to be original with their songs, and you'll be jigging along to this album if you give it time. The only thing I can criticise Outkast for with this album is that they invited Macy Gray to sing on one of the tracks. Oh well, I suppose that's why they invented the skip button.
Owusu & Hannibal -Ubiquity Records
On their debut album Owusu & Hannibal serve up a platter of twisted down-tempo electro-soul. 'Delirium' and 'What It's About' from the 12" are present but my advise is to check 'Lonnie's Secret' which really draws you in after a couple of plays, the blissful 'Elephants' and the super slinky 80s influenced 2 stepper 'Le Fox'.
Andy Allen, 11/06