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Jimi Tenor & Aura Safari – Sensory Blending [Hell Yeah Recordings]

Finnish multi-instrumentalist Jimi Tenor and Italian collective Aura Safari met at a party in Perugia where Tenor was set to perform. Within days they decided to go into the studio. They emerged from that session with “Sensory Blending”. The nine track release is filled with retro soul jazz compositions. On “Bodily Synesthesia”, Tenor’s seductive sax soloing along with his soft crooning sets the mood of a dark lit smokey jazz club. “My Bluebell” is a simmering soul jazz number with a heavenly flute solo from Tenor. It’s also highlighted by the vocals of Toimi Tytti. “Gimlet” is a light and airy samba where Tenor’s flute dances over the melody. Aura Safari are an impressive set of musicians who came in with great ideas and formed instant chemistry. Pour yourself a glass of wine, kick back and relax to this engaging album.


Cosmic Renaissance – Universal Language [Schema Records]

Cosmic Renaissance is a collective led by Italian Trombonist Gianluca Petrella. Patrella is one of the premier musicians of a vibrant Jazz community in Italy. Joining him here are frequent collaborators Mirco Rubegni on trumpet, bassist Riccardo Di Vinci, drummer Federico Scettri and percussionist Simone Padovani. This is a reduced lineup from Petrella’s Cosmic orchestra band and each member rises to the occassion. This ten track release features a landscape of strong rhythmnic vitality that blends the acoustic arrangements with electronics with impressive results. The title track “Universal Language” packs a punch with a hypnotic groove driven by Scettri. On top of that London Tenor Titan Soweto Kinch appears with rapid fire lyrics. “Wonder” is a mellow burner where Anna Bassy’s sultry vocals are layered with Petrella and Rubegni’s melodic phrasings. Kinch brings more lyrical fire on “Education”. The track builds to a fever pitch before leveling off into euphoric soundscapes. Gianluca’s imaginative arrangements are riped with spirited performances. The use of electronics are well placed and lifts these recordings to another level. Simply marvelous.


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