- Record Label
- First Word Records
About this item
'Beyond The Midnight Sun' expands upon ground first explored on Don Leisure's track 'All Praises Due', which also featured Amanda (with Angel Bat Dawid), and featured on his previous album 'Shaboo Strikes Back'. This is a full-length project that these two formidable Welsh artists have collaborated on together.
To bring you up to speed, Cardiff DJ and beat-maker Don Leisure has been twice nominated for the Welsh Music Prize, with the afore-mentioned album 'Shaboo Strikes Back', and a previous project, 'Steel Zakusi'. As well as being 50% of Darkhouse Family with Earl Jeffers, he's released music under various monikers on labels such as Metalheadz, International Anthem, Fat City, Earnest Endeavours, Group BraCil and on Rough Trade with another regular collaborator, Gruff Rhys. Other collabs have included Charlotte Church, Om'Mas Keith, DJ Spinna and First Word label-mate Tyler Daley (Children of Zeus).
His DJ portfolio includes sets for BBC 6 Music, NTS, Rinse FM, Solid Steel, Boxout FM (India), The Jazz Cafe, Fabric and Boiler Room, while previous support has come from Lauren Laverne, Tom Ravenscroft, Huw Stephens, Lefto, Rob Da Bank, Huey Morgan, Jon1st, Om Unit, Kid Fonque, Mr Thing and many more. His album 'Shaboo' was named "the best album of its kind since J Dilla's 'Donuts'" by Piccadilly Records.
Joining him throughout this project, we have the pleasure of welcoming the phenomenal talents of highly-acclaimed harpist Amanda Whiting to the First Word label. A virtuoso in her field, this classically trained musician quickly established herself as an essential player in the UK jazz scene, carving her unique sound following the paths forged by Ashby and Coltrane.
She's toured extensively with her own band, as well as with Matthew Halsall, Chip Wickham, DJ Yoda and Rebecca Vasmant, whilst previously releasing three solo albums on Jazzman Records, and a remix project for Scrimshire's Albert's Favourites imprint. Along the way, there's been a nomination for 'Instrumentalist of the Year' from Jazz FM and she's garnered the support of DJs such as Radio 2's Jamie Cullum ("highly recommended") and 6 Music's Cerys Matthews ("my highlight of the Cheltenham Jazz festival 2023").
Don explains more…
"The project is a journey down the road that was revealed to me on 'All Praises Due' on 'Shaboo Strikes Back'. Amanda's willingness and eagerness to continue collaborating was a dream come true. Being able to get harp parts from someone who is so open minded is such a rare treat that a deeper project was inevitable.
I wanted to move in a different direction from the beat tape format on my previous releases while still maintaining the core Don Leisure sound, fused with live instrumentation and vocals etc".
The talents of Deborah Jordan are also featured on a couple of the album's tracks. Deborah is a stalwart in the UK soul and jazz scene in her own right, working over the years with artists like 4Hero, Bugz In The Attic, Ty, Jneiro Jarel, K15, Robert Mitchell and Kaidi Tatham (someone who's collaborated with all the players on this release at some point).
'Beyond The Midnight Sun' is a 7-track affair comprised of delectable spiritual jazz fused with hip hop beats, psychedelic electronics and a touch of soul.
Barry says: A beautifully rendered mix of chilled lounge percussion and downbeat atmospherics with Whiting's beautiful harp floating atop the deep roots. It's propulsive and dynamic without being frantic, calm without being one-dimensional. Gorgous psychedelic nu jazz flavours in a beautiful package.
1. Walk With Us (feat. Amanda Whiting)
2. Just Be (Free) [feat. Amanda Whiting & Deborah Jordan]
3. The First Chant (feat. Amanda Whiting)
4. Beyond The Midnight Sun (feat. Amanda Whiting)
5. Peace Of Mind (feat. Amanda Whiting & Deborah Jordan)
6. Crying Tiger (feat. Amanda Whiting)
7. Third Bass (feat. Amanda Whiting)
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