Guru - Version 7.0 - The Street Scriptures7 Grand Records
Guru, an undisputed legend, is back with a new label, a new producer and a new album. And guests include Jean Grae, Talib Kweli and, amazingly, Cypress Hill's B.Real! Only, something's not quite right. Guru still possesses the trademark vocal skills with which he made his name, but these are lost here amongst the underpowered, synthetic and, sometimes, scarily poor production. Filling the boots of Gangstarr"s other half, the awesome DJ Premier, is clearly a Herculean task, but surely new boy Solar could have done better.
Tom Breslin, 11/06
Guts - EternalHeavenly Sweetness
"Eternal", the new LP from Fabrice Franck Henri, aka Guts is a contrast in musical styles. The French producer's follow up to his previous release "Hip-Hop Over All" features hip-hop, soul, pop and Afro-beat rhythms. With his working band on board, Guts has enlisted an eclectic group of artists to bring his musical vision to life. Brooklyn based hip-hop group Tanya Morgan appear on four tracks here. Of those "All Of Nothing" is the strongest. Aided by vocalist Lorine Chia, the hip-hop trio trade verses over a funky drum beat and bass groove. Trumpeter/Vocalist and Label mate Leron Thomas appears on five of tracks . He applies his uncompromising blend of genres to the twisted funk tune "Give You Up" Guts and his band stretch out on their own by covering the Ronnie Laws classic "Every Generation and the laid back piano driven jazz funk "Desintoxication". "Eternal" has a little something for everyone and offers another example of the burgeoning talent emerging from the Heavenly Sweetness roster.
Reg Dancy, 04/16
Guts - PhilantropiquesHeavenly Sweetness
With "Philantropiques" French DJ/Producer Guts has composed a gorgeous blend of French and African tropical recordings. Guts invited a number of premiere African artists such as Vum Vum, Pat Kalla and Pinduca. The sun drenched grooves and horn rhythms of "Voyaging Bird" will instantly evoke images of warm weather and lazy afternoons on the beach. "Groove ma Poule" is a festive Jazzy Pop tune that features the Afro-soul duo Djeudjoah & Lieutenent Nicholson. "Li Dous Konsa" is filled with infectious Caribbean rhythms, notably Florian Pelliissier on keys. After showcasing his affinity with hip-hop on his previous releases this radical shift pays big dividends. Simply a superb record from beginning to end that captures the essence of the Southern Hemisphere.
Reg Dancy, 05/19
Guttorm Guttormsen Quartet - Soturnudi & AlbufeiraPlastic Strip
This is a great reissue package which features two albums from the little known jazz saxophonist/flautist Guttorm Guttormsen. ‘Soturnudi’ and ‘Albufeira’ which were originally released in 1975 on MAI and 1979 on Octave respectively both make reference to Latin and spiritual jazz. The results are devastating, particularly on the firing dancers ‘Ny Latin’, ‘Sol Fa’ and ‘Sors Samba’. Guttorsem is equally at home though on the mellower cuts such as the modal ‘Soturnudi’, ‘Poset’ and the melancholy ‘I Ro Og Mak’. With both of the original albums being extremely rare do yourself a favour and pick up this superb CD.
Andy Allen, 06/08
Gyedu Blay Ambolley - 11th Street SekondiAgogo
Ghanian legend Gyedu Blay Ambolley has been a staple of West Ghana since his début in 1973. The seventy two year old vocalist and saxophonist follows up his acclaimed 2017 release "Ketan" with "11th Street Sekondi", named after the area he grew up in West Ghana. Ambolley has performed alongside legends such as Fela Kuti and Ebo Taylor. The nine track touches social and political topics while blending genres better known within the region as Highlife. "I No Dey Talk I Do Dey Lie" is a slow burning funk with soulful horns and afrobeat rhythms. "Sunkwa" begins with a flurry of horns and a funky guitar groove. Ambolley's vocal style is more like his signature rap style known as Simigwa. Factor in his baritone voice and Tenor sax prowess and you're in for a treat. "11th Street Sekondi" is warm, funky and engaging. Ambolley's career, already filled with accolades is showing no signs of slowing down.
Reg Dancy, 01/20