Nostalgia 77 Octet - BorderlandsTru Thoughts Recordings
There seems to be a competition going on between Quantic and Nostalgia 77 to see who can release the most music in a short space of time, and it's pretty much neck and neck at the moment. A few weeks ago the breathtaking album "The Impossible Equation" was released - and on vinyl only which was nice - and now we have "Borderlands". The Nostalgia 77 Octet is the live incarnation of Benedic Lamdin's solo project. In February the band locked themselves away in a cottage in Wales to rehearse and record this album and by the sounds of it, that must have been quite a week. Inspired by the sounds of soul, funk, gospel and classic jazz of the 60's and 70's, it all comes together beautifully for a modern world. Jazz at its best for the twenty-first century.
Simon Harrison, 10/06
Novalima - Coba CobaCumbancha
Coba Coba is an Afro-Peruvian expression akin to ‘Go for it!’ and Novalima do that in all the best ways. The band have at their roots a bedrock of Afro-Peruvian rhythms and melodies which they freely envelop with a mix that incorporates Latin, dub and electronica. Special guests include New Zealand nu-jazz keyboardist Mark de Clive-Lowe, Cuban hip-hop group Obsesión while producer Toni Economides (Nitin Sawhney and Bugz In The Attic) brings it all together with just the right feel of soulful roots meets edgy grooves. Have a listen to tracks like ‘Coba Guarango’ and be prepared to be moved. Top stuff.
Graham Radley, 02/09
Nu Guinea - Nuova NapoliNG Records
Massimo Di Lena and Lucio Aquilina form the group known as Nu Guinea. The last time we heard from them was on the impressive "Tony Allen Experiments". With their sophomore lp "Nuova Napoli", they capture the vibe of Napoli and the foundation of 70s funk and 80s dance rhythms in their music. Massimo and Lucio enlisted many of Naples talented musicians to blend live instrumentation with voices drenched in Neapolitan dialect. "Nuova Napoli" is a laid back sun drench soul with a twisted bass line and synths. "A Voce E Napule" is filled with lively percussion and sweet vocal harmonies. "Ddoje Facce" is a funky synth laden dance track and overall feel good tune. In fact the mood throughout the disc evokes images of crowded streets filled with people dancing to the drummers beat. This is a music journey through Naples that is worthy of repeated trips and another triumph for the talented duo.
Reg Dancy, 04/18
Nubiyan Twist - Nubiyan TwistWormfood
Hailing from Leeds London, Nubiyan Twist are a twelve member outfit comprised of musicians, DJs and producers respectively. Their seven track LP fuses Afro-beat, jazz and groove driven music. Vocalist Nubiya Brandon elevates the assortment of arrangements composed here. On "Turu" she waxes poetic over deep grooves and hip-hop flavored beats. "Figure Numatic" is a jazz infused funk gem filled with syncopated funk rhythms. "Shake Me Down" is filled with Afro-beat rhythms aligned with funky horns. A relatively new band with 4 years under their belt, It's tantalizing to think what they'll release for an encore.
Reg Dancy, 01/16
Nubya Garcia - Nubya's 5iveJazz Re:freshed
There's a new generation of UK jazz artists and Tenor saxophonist Nubya Garcia is one of the key players on the scene. She has studied with members of the educational program known as Tomorrow's Warriors and has emerged as a sought after horn player. With "Nubya's 5ive" she fronts a band filled with musicians broadening the scope of jazz. Drummer Moses Boyd is a band leader in his own right and seamlessly keeps the rhythm cooking throughout. With the opening track "Lost Kingdom", Boyd's deft command of rhythm provides a foundation for Garcia and trumpeter Sheila Maurice-Grey. Pianist Joe Armon-Jones spirited playing is pure delight on "Fly Free". With "Red Sun" Garcia and company stretch out in freewheeling form and the results are pure joy. Whether it's bebop or experimental, Garcia is a rising star who certainly warrants your attention. The multifaceted Jazz Re:freshed label never disappoints and this superb release is no exception. Highly recommended.
Reg Dancy, 09/17
Nubya Garcia - SourceConcord
Amongst the new wave of UK jazz phenoms, tenor saxophonist Nubya Garcia is one of the hardest working musicians. Whether it's the two EPs she has released or the numerous appearances she's made with her talented contemporaries. Whatever the occasion she has made her presence felt. While on tour she managed to find the time to write the material that would ultimately lead to "Source". Not only is it her official full length debut but it's also released on the infamous Concord records. With a legendary company behind her she lives up to the challenge with ease. The lp opens up with "Pace". Garcia's haunting melodies overlapping a hybrid of rhythms punctuated by bassist Daniel Casimir and drummer Sam Jones. The title track is a dynamic manifestation of afro Caribbean rhythms and sound system culture. Garcia's hearty tenor floats over the atmospherics created by drummer Jones. Joe Armon-Jones spirited forays on keys takes the track to greater heights. It's simply twelve minutes of pure orchestrated bliss prone to repeated listens. "Together Is A Beautiful Place To Be" demonstrates Garcia and her bandmates are equally at home with a ballad, each adding a gentle touch. "Source" is far from a traditional jazz record and for that we're thankful. Garcia's rich improvisational skills combined with her deep musical heritage makes for a satisfying listen, not to mention a force to be reckoned with.
Reg Dancy, 11/20