Roy Hargrove - Nothing SeriousVerve Records
Roy Hargrove returns with a straight-ahead jazz set released at the same time as his more soul and funk orientated project 'Distractions' under his RH Factor moniker. Although 'Distractions' continues the vibe established on 'Hard Groove' it doesn't quite match the standard of 'Nothing Serious'. This set opens with the superb title track before moving into 'A Day In Vienna', both of which have a strong Latin vibe. 'Camaraderie' is a pure bop beauty but not to be overlooked is the heavy groove of 'Salima's Dance' and the beautiful swing of 'The Gift'. A truly timeless piece deserving of your full attention.
Andy Allen, 08/06
RSL - Every Preston GuildPlayers
This is one debut that I've been waiting for ever since I first heard the now classic 'Wesley Music', which rocked just about every dancefloor back in 2003. Some three years later and a few more singles in the shops 'Every Preston Guild' sees the light of day. The three man team that make up RSL create a nice mix of old and new, fusing Jazz, Latin, House and Soul into the pot. If you already have the singles, the main reason for buying this album is certainly what should be their next single, 'Every Preston Guild', another anthem in the making.
Simon Harrison, 12/05
Ruby Rushton - Trudi's Songbook22a
"Trudi's Songbook" is the latest release from the six piece London based band known as Ruby Rushton. Reedist Edward Cawthorne wrote and arranged all tracks here and his flute playing figures prominently throughout the disc. "Moonlight Woman" features a mellow groove that's driven by Aidan Shepherd's spacey keys and wicked bass licks from Fergus Ireland. "Prayer for Yusef" taps into the spirit of the acclaimed reedist with Cawthorne's bamboo flute phrasings. Percussionist Joseph Deenmamode takes the lead of spirited interplay with the rest of the band. This is a slow burning experimental fusion of funk and jazz filled with influences from Dilla to Herbie Hancock's "Head Hunters". Cawthorne and company provide plenty of moments that make this release deeply satisfying.
Reg Dancy, 06/17
Rupa and The April Fishes - Extraordinary RenditionCumbancha
Another superb Cumbancha release , this time focussed on singer/guitarist/composer Rupa, a fascinating character (she’s also a physician in San Francisco) her earlier life involved living in a variety of countries which has meant she writes songs in a variety of languages languages, including French, Spanish, Hindi and English. The music also has many influences including gypsy, Indian and contemporary Latin, think Manu Chao meets Dengue Fever meets French Chanson and you’ll be in the right direction, better still seek it out and make up your own mind whilst you enjoy.
Graham Radley, 07/08