Music Reviews

Show: New reviews | Artists beginning with: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0-9 | Compilations
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Made For Pleasure / The New Mastersounds

The New Mastersounds - Made For Pleasure

Legere Recordings

With their tenth lp "Made For Pleasure", the Leeds, based group traveled to New Orleans for this  recording. It appears they have been inspired by the musical rhythms flowing through the Big Easy. The evidence is steeped in the organ grinding gritty funk of the title track "Made For Pleasure". On "Fancy" they flip the Iggy Azalea pop hit into a roots reggae rhythmic gem. "Pho Baby" is a warm bluesy soul tune driven by guitarist Eddie Roberts. Cherly Lowry is the guest vocalist steeped in the raw soul lineage of female soul singers before her. She torches three tracks here with "Enough Is Enough" being the standout. The UK quartet remain consistent by delivering straight no chaser funk and soul and hit the mark once again.

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Reg Dancy, 01/16

Renewable Energy / The New Mastersounds

The New Mastersounds - Renewable Energy

One Note Records

Not resting on their laurels, The New Mastersounds continue to push the envelope towards crafting jazz infused funk and soul. They used two sessions to complete this record spending time in New Orleans once again and Denver Colorado. There's a couple tracks reminiscent of the trademark Mastersound but the emphasis here is more on laid back soulful grooves. Evidence lies in the aptly titled "Pudding Pie and "Living That Jazz Life". On the former, guitarist Eddie Roberts lays down an easy like Sunday morning type of groove made for finger poppin'. Keyboardist Joe Tatton chips in with some sweet swaying melodies. "Gonna Be Just Me" is an up-tempo burner that features Adryon De Leon from the LA funk band Orgone. The mellow finale "Swimming With My Fishes" glides into the sunset thanks in part to Mike Olmos and Joe Cohen of The West Coast Horns. Sometimes you want to get up and have a funky good time. Other times you want to lean back and enjoy the groove. Whatever you choose just make sure you bring this quartet along with you. They won't disappoint you.

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Reg Dancy, 06/18

Shake It / The New Mastersounds

The New Mastersounds - Shake It

Color-Red

With twenty years in the game The New Mastersounds need no introduction. They continue to be pioneers of funk and soul and their new release "Shake It" doesn't disappoint. As the title suggests they've shaken things up a bit by shedding the fusion from their previous recordings for a grittier funky sound. Acclaimed soul singer Lamar Williams Jr joins the band for this session and immediately puts his stamp on these body shaking recordings. "Let's Go Back" kicks off with Eddie Roberts down south bluesy guitar riff before morphing into New Orleans funk along with soaring vocals from Williams Jr. "Taking Me Down" flourishes with Afrobeat rhythms and lively percussion from Thievery Corporation drummer Jeff Franca. "Kings & Queens" is another heater with funky horns and a soulful rhythm section. From slow burners to high energy grooves NMS have added another jewel in their  crown with another jam packed lp.

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Reg Dancy, 12/19

Therapy / The New Mastersounds

The New Mastersounds - Therapy

Legere 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.

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Reg Dancy, 04/14

This is What We Do / The New Mastersounds

The New Mastersounds - This is What We Do

One 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'

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Simon Harrison, 06/05

The Impossible Equation / The Nostalgia 77 Octet

The Nostalgia 77 Octet - The Impossible Equation

Tru 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.

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Andy Allen, 09/06

Weapons Of Jazz Destruction / The Nostalgia 77 Octet

The Nostalgia 77 Octet - Weapons Of Jazz Destruction

Tru 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'.

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Andy Allen, 12/07

Interpretations / The Nova Dream Sequence

The Nova Dream Sequence - Interpretations

Compost 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?

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Simon Harrison, 07/06

The Outside Track / The Outside Track

The Outside Track - The Outside Track

Bedspring 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.

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Graham Radley, 12/07

2 Steps Away / The Pendletons

The Pendletons - 2 Steps Away

Bastard 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.

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Reg Dancy, 12/19

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