Archive for the ‘ Acid Jazz ’ Category

The Brand New Heavies – TBNH

Can it really be thirty years since The Brand New Heavies first sashayed their way into the public eye with a romantic’s heart, a hedonist’s spirit and a Superfly sensibility?

Their extraordinary new album TBNH, however, finds the band – and main songwriters funk-soul brothers Andrew Levy (bass) and Simon Bartholomew (guitar) – embarking on an entirely new chapter in their illustrious history.

A heady cocktail of Chic-style funk-pop, sunshine grooves and scorched-soul balladry, TBNH refines, reimagines and ultimately reinvents a winning formula which has won them sixteen top 40 hits and three million album sales. The morello cherry in the glass? A breath-taking cover of Kendrick Lamar’s These Walls, recorded with long-term associate and vocalist N’Dea Davenport produced by Heavies uber-fan Mark Ronson. A return to the classic line-up that had originally brought the funk into the nascent producer’s life having caught their live show in New York in ’91, a meeting that later saw him invite the band to play at his fortieth birthday celebrations. Insistent once more to reconvene the same personnel, he has successfully reunited N’Dea and the Heavies for this recording. As Simon says of their collaboration with the planet’s hottest producer; ” It’s incredible to think that everything he’s done since has been shaped by us. It’s a cool thing.”

At the album’s core, a friendship dating back to the mid-eighties, and their shared experiences growing up in Ealing, West London. “For us it’s always been about a love of funk, and the positive things which go with it, like dancing, hanging out and having a good time,” says Simon of one of pop’s most stylish and enduring partnerships.“We didn’t invent the wheel, but we did reinvent it to a certain extent by going back to the people in America who made the funk in the first place. That love of the music never goes away.”

Tracklisting
1. Beautiful with Beverley Knight
2. Stupid Love with Angela Ricci
3. Just Believe In You with Siedah Garrett
4. Getaway with N’Dea Davenport
5. Heat with Honey Larochelle
6. The Funk Is Back with Simon Bartholomew
7. Together with Angie Stone
8. These Walls & N’Dea Davenport
9. It’s My Destiny with Siedah Garrett
10. Wired Up with N’Dea Davenport
11. Dance It Out with Angela Ricci
12. Little Dancer with Jack Knight
13. Dontcha Wanna with Laville
14. Get On The Right Side with Angela Ricci

Get the album here.

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Chris Standring – Best Of Chris Standring Remixed

Actually guitarist Chris Standring didn’t want to release a best-of album, because in his opinion every interested fan can download his music individually. One then came up with the idea of releasing remixed versions. Chris was immediately taken with this idea. He commissioned the producers Rodney Lee and Matt Cooper, and Chris himself set to work to include pieces he thought worthy in this collection.

The pieces were not simply remixed, but re-recorded by the musicians involved. If you want to compare the original recordings with the newly recorded ones, it’s not made that easy. The starting track Stop It (Mercury Mix 2019) for example was taken from Chris first album, released in 1996 under the band name Solar System featuring Chris Standring, keyboardist Rodney Lee and lyricist C.R.A.S.H.. Dino Soldo performed the sax on the original. That was the high time of acid jazz. The new version is more upbeat, the rhythm more powerful, one notices the routine of the last twenty years.

Fast Train To Everywhere was originally recorded on the album Blue Bolero (2010). The original orchestral approach featuring Barbara Porter’s string orchestra is only hinted  and abandoned in favor of the main motif on the Jupiter Mix 2019. Those who prefer the original can listen to an alternative recording on the album Live In London (2017).

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Down To The Bone – From Manhattan To Staten – The Urban Grooves – Spread The Word

The UK’s leading jazz groove band Down To The Bone present a seriously funky all-instrumental 3CD collection of their first three albums, which have been unavailable in physical format for some years.

From Manhattan To Staten” went to No 2 on Billboard’s Jazz Albums chart on its original release in the Nineties, while another key cut, the Grammy-nominated “Brooklyn Heights”, hit No 2 on Billboard’s Jazz airplay chart. Both these tunes also feature as 2019 bonus tracks, recorded live in the studio by the band’s current line-up.

Second CD “The Urban Grooves” opens with two more DTTB classics, “Long Way From Brooklyn” and “The Zodiac”. Again, the album has a newly recorded bonus track, a cover of Willie “Beaver” Hale’s “Concrete Jungle”, long a favorite in their live set. Third CD “Spread The Word” also features a brand new bonus track – available for the first time – a cover of Beyonce’s 2006 hit “Déjà vu”.

Get this collection on Amazon.co.uk.

Four80East – Four On The Floor

The Toronto-based electro-jazz duo Rob DeBoer and Tony Grace have bundled their creative activities in the formation Four80East. They started with The Album in 1997, followed by Nocturnal (2001), Round Three (2002), En Route (2007), Roll On (2009), Off Duty (2012), Biblotheca (2013), and Positraction (2015). In 2014 they released the album Four80East LIVE and in 2016 a limited vinyl collection Cherry Picked.

Their new EP Four On The Floor is a musical business card inspired by their early days as House producers. The duo is joined on two tracks by vocalists CeCe Peniston and Wade O. Brown.

The title track is a highly danceable rhythm enhanced groovy tune with a savory horn background. The rhythm guitar is inspired by Nile Rodgers (Chic) and together with the steady hook line Four80East presents an ultimate dance floor hit.

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Four80East – Four On The Floor

Toronto based musicians Rob DeBoer and Tony Grace are Four80East. They started with The Album in 1997, followed by Nocturnal (2001), Round Three (2002), En Route (2007), Roll On (2009), Off Duty (2012), Biblotheca (2013), and  Positraction (2015). Their newest project is titled Four On The Floor (2018). It’s digitally available on all platforms. Physical EPs are distributed on their concerts and will be available according to Rob next year.

The EP features Cece Peniston, and Wade O. Brown. Get your copy here.

Gazzara – Portrait In Acid Jazz

My last review of an acid jazz album was more than a decade ago. Gazzara‘s new album Portrait In Acid Jazz (2018) is a welcome gift to return to this genre. Its heyday was in the late eighties and early nineties. But at no time did the flame of this style go out. The Italian band Gazzara bears the name of its founder keyboardist and composer Francesco Gazzara, who together with Massimo Sanna (bass) and Mauro “Mirtao” Mirti (percussion) really got jazz going.

The group started with the aptly titled album One (1996), followed by Grand Central Boogie (1998), and The Spirit Of Summer (2002). Francesco Gazzara also released as solo artist Hammond Express, The Piano Room, Brother And Sister (2006), My Cup Of Tea (2009), The Bossa Lounge Experience (2013) and Gazzara Plays Genesis (2014).

With We Had a Ball return the memories to the good old time, when music had that special swing and lightheartedness. Mix a little Brian Auger and The Trinity with Ronny Jordan or Zachary Breaux and you get some taste of this kind of vibe and jazz. The gospel-soul influenced song Heaven sends us the revelation of dream singer Lily Latuheru. This vocalist with Moluccan heritage is someone definitely worth to discover.

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Citrus Sun – Ride Like The Wind

Incognito founder Jean-Paul ‘Bluey’ Maunick realized his musical ideas always with various formations. Citrus Sun is one of these groups. Member of this project are Bluey (guitar and vocals), Jim Mullen (guitar), together with Incognito members Matt Cooper (keyboards), Francis Hylton (bass), Francesco Mendolia (drums, percussion)), Francisco Salas (guitar), and Dominic Glover (trumpet). Furthermore singer Imaani and Natalie Williams are joining the band.

After Another Time Another Space (2000) and People of Tomorrow (2014) is Ride Like The Wind (2018) their third joint project.

The title of the first piece Refugee is very topical in this day and age. As an instrumental, the piece composed in cooperation of all participating musicians offers music of the finest, although the possibility of a message was omitted.

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