The New Mastersounds - TherapyLegere Recordings
The New Mastersounds return with their ninth studio album, "Therapy". Their twelve track disc is packed with infectious tunes that embrace their Soul jazz sound. The multinational band originally from Leeds England formed by Guitarist/Producer Eddie Roberts come out of the gate sizzling. The opening track "Old Man Noises", is a organ filled funk tune with percussive rhythms. "Morning Fly" and "WW III" have a heavy jazz foundation, in pert due to Roberts sparkling guitar rhythms. Newcomer Kim Dawson adds her sultry voice to the tasty tune "I Want You To Stay". Other notable selections are "Soul Sista" and "Treasure". Roberts continues to deliver recordings that lean on the soul jazz recordings of the sixties yet sound fresh and relevant today.
Reg Dancy, 04/14
The New Mastersounds - This is What We DoOne Note
NMS return with more funk-fuelled instrumentals on this their fourth album. Most people seem to remember these guys for their funk version of NuYorican Soul's 'Nervous Track' and here they have covered Jimi Hendrix's 'Ain't No Telling' and Donny Hathaway's 'Zambezi' to great effect. NMS is led by the exceptionally talented guitarist Eddie Roberts and all eleven tracks are as tight as you'd expect with raw and stripped down productions. Keep an eye out for their excellent funk remix of Soldiers of Twilight's house anthem 'Believe'
Simon Harrison, 06/05
The Nostalgia 77 Octet - The Impossible EquationTru Thoughts Recordings
Ben Lamdin's latest Nostalgia 77 project has got to be his finest to date. Available on limited edition vinyl only it includes 3 outstanding ethereal jazz works. The title track, a 22 minute epic is a disjointed yet essential listening experience. 'Well Being 1' features some serious drum work reminiscent of Art Blakey but the standout has got to be their rendition of Adele Sebastian's 'Desert Fairy Princess', a beautiful example of modality.
Andy Allen, 09/06
The Nostalgia 77 Octet - Weapons Of Jazz DestructionTru Thoughts Recordings
Benedic Lamdin keeps the pressure on with yet another exquisite release under the guise of The Nostalgia 77 Octet. Again this is deep jazz of the highest order and features outstanding moments such as the funked up 'Journey Home', 'Chola', a stunning waltz and the modal 'Stars' fronted by vocalist Sophie Smith. Sophie also graces 'One Step Out' and 'To Have Or To Be?', two spiritual outings. Not to be overlooked though are the gentle meanderings of 'Medusa' and 'When Love Is Strange'.
Andy Allen, 12/07
The Nova Dream Sequence - InterpretationsCompost Records
King Britt has covered most of the musical bases over the years with aliases Sylk 130, Scuba, Oba Funke and Firefly, and now he moves to the dark side- techno. With Carl Craig's remixes causing a stir around the world at the moment, it's the perfect time for "Interpretations" to be heard. You get the impression that Britt dug out and listened to all the classic techno tracks, digested the best ideas and then took them into the studio mixing pot to create some beautiful electronica that will keep the heads happy. It'll be interesting to see what's next: drum and bass maybe?
Simon Harrison, 07/06
The Outside Track - The Outside TrackBedspring Music
Another terrific new young band rooted in tradition but exploring the future with equal enthusiasm. Songs by Karine Polwart (thaney) and Ar Williams (Fishing In The Morning) sit alongside material sourced in Scotland, Cape Breton, Ireland and Galicia. Very good.
Graham Radley, 12/07
The Pendletons - 2 Steps AwayBastard Jazz
Bastard Jazz consistently delivers quality recordings spanning a variety of genres since 2001. "2 Steps Away" the debut lp from The Pendletons is no exception. The duo of E Da Boss and Trailer Limon showcase their love of vintage boogie funk reminiscent of the eighties era that produced so many funk bands. Now armed with a full horn section to mesh with the band, they're set to take their sound to another level. The sublime "Blessings for the World" opens the album with an infectious groove augmented by gorgeous harmonic vocals and keys. Guitarist Jeff Locket's spirited plucking fuels "No Regrets" an uplifting boogie funk banger that would fit easily into a Shalamar or Dynasty catalogue. "19 Flavors" is disco funk at it's best ripe with a thumping rhythm, pulsating groove and vocals by Ishtar to top it off. The Pendletons are all about making that feel good music that slips into your body and forces you to move. If you don't you need to check your pulse.
Reg Dancy, 12/19
The Perceptions - Introducing....Freestyle Records
The Perceptions are an ensemble of some of the UK’s finest musicians displaying their affection for the 60’s soul-jazz era. Among the members are Gary Crockett on bass, John Wilma on sax and the dynamic Snowboy on percussion who also serves as the band leader. When you reflect on that era you can’t ignore the presence of the Hammond B-3 Organ and the role it played in the music. Sam Gambarini’s organ playing evokes memories of Richard “Groove” Holmes and Jack McDuff and takes the music to another level. The band comes out swinging hard on “Right Or Wrong”, a funky tune that finds John Wilma out front on Tenor with a sound that is rich and provides plenty of depth. “Nick’s Knack” is another funky number that features the crisp guitar playing of Leigh Gracie. John Wilma and Sam Gambarini also take turns strutting their stuff on this neck snapping, finger popping track. “Running The Risk” is a mid-tempo groover that delivers funk so thick you need a knife to cut through it. For a minute I thought I was listening to the JB’s in the middle of one of their jam sessions. The Perceptions aren’t fooling around here. They swing hard and often and sound right at home making soulful funky music. If you dug the sounds of Jack McDuff, Stanley Turrentine and the countless other artists that were laying down the groove then record is definitely for you.
Reg Dancy, 10/08
The Politik - The PolitikAntipodean Records
Sometimes the gap between the release date for that coveted CD can seem so distant. Sure I have other selections to hold me over but I've been teased with the pending release of the Politik for quite some now. Almost a year to be exact. It's enough to make a music fiend go postal. Fortunately, the anticipation has paid off and the Politik is finally in my possession. Who is the Politik? New Zealand born and now London resident Mark De Clive Lowe and Bembe Segue, that's who. Mark has become adept at merging his jazz influenced background with soul, funk and broken beat. His last CD, "Tides Arising," is proof of that and should be picked up if you don't have it already. Bembe is one of the most sought after vocalists in the UK today. Having worked with Bugz In The Attic and 4 Hero, among others. On the Politik, Mark and Bembe build on the foundation they created from "Tides Arising" and the "Freesoul Sessions", the latter being their weekly jam sessions with several other musicians. The chemistry between them is evident on "Moonlight Feat. Blu". The combination of Blu's superb rhyme flow, Bembe's complimenting vocals and Mark's keyboard wizardry make this one a highlight. "Money" is another pleasing track that has an irresistible groove, great synth work and Bembe's soulful vocals. On "Mistaken" and "She's Gone", Mark slows down the tempo and creates gorgeous melodies that gives these songs a richness and character that will remain with you well after the song has completed. If you picked up the import, "Black Sun" is another treat that you'll enjoy. It's one of their first singles but didn't make the US release. Don't feel like you need to pick up the import for that one. You can check it out on the Politik myspace page. Bottom line, this is a very good CD with thirteen tracks that fuses the improvisational techniques of cosmic jazz with soul and broken beat. Simply put, this will have your head nodding from start to finish. Refreshing and enjoyable.
Reg Dancy, 12/07
The Prime Element - AlboradaKindred Spirits
Kindred Spirits launch their new imprint, Free Spirits Series, in fine style with this much sought after rarity. 'Alborada' was originally released on Trova Records in 1976 by The Prime Element, a band formed by Argentinian musician / composer / arranger, Carlos Franzetti shortly after his move from Buenos Aires to New York. It fuses spiritual and modal jazz with soul and a heavy dose of Latin, to take us on a truly satisfying musical journey, with delights such as 'Southamelodic', 'In The Dawn Of Time', 'The Prime Element' and 'Lola'. One not to be missed!
Andy Allen, 05/06