MAGIC MIX

funk . soul . jazz . free jazz . broken beat

WEEK STARTING 18 Sep

Genre pick of the week Cover of Tresilian Bay by Huw Marc Bennett.
Producer and bassist Huw Marc Bennett presents ‘Tresilian Bay’, a new project that draws from artists such as Tim Maia, Augustus Pablo and Idris Muhammed as much as the jazz scene and community he has found in south-east London. The languid, sultry sound fuses both modern and vintage, travelling from South London electronica, to Brazillian groove, Nigerian Afrobeat and Ghanaian Highlife along with a streak of Welsh psychedelia.

‘Tresilian Bay’ is a nod to hedonistic summer nights, whether spent on the Glamorgan coast or the hot Lewisham streets. The album is titled in honour of the bay near where Huw grew up, an area steeped in stories of ancient Welsh royalty, smugglers and pirates.

The album started out as a lost live session recorded at the Total Refreshment Centre studios, featuring Chelsea Carmichael (sax), Rosie Turton (trombone), Shirley Tetteh (guitar) and Jake Long (drums) with Huw at the helm on bass and compositions. With glorious vocal contributions from Miryam Solomon; Huw utilised his human style of production and multi instrumentality heard in his Susso project (Soundway Records, 2016) to mold these recordings into this mature and emotional debut.

The album was mixed and mastered by Albert's Favourites co-founder Adam Scrimshire with artwork by Jonny Drop.

Ambiance

Into A New Journey

    Unearthed by The Mighty Zaf for BBE Music, Into A New Journey by Ambiance is an impossibly rare and sought-after private label spiritual jazz masterpiece from 1982 with Latin, Brazilian and Afro overtones. Ambiance was the ‘nom de guerre’ of an ever-shifting jazz collective headed up by Nigeria-born, LA-tutored multi- instrumentalist, arranger, producer and photographer Daoud Abubakar Balewa. Balewa studied composition and jazz improvisation at the feet of innovators such as Frank Mitchell (Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers), Jackie McLean (Blue Note) and other masters from the golden Blue Note era. Although he favoured alto, soprano and tenor, he was equally happy on flute, keyboards, and Latin and Brazilian percussion. What’s more, he had the knack of using musicians who were bold enough to welcome being part of such multi-faceted sessions: guitarist Jim Lum’s flexibility suits the theme of this album perfectly, as does prolific Japanese soul-jazz drummer Danny Yamamoto; the stunning Hawaiian pianist Kino Cornwell (Yamamoto’s colleague from funk-fusion supergroup Hiroshima); and the wonderful Jean Carn-like tones of Daoud’s wife, jazz vocalist Monife Balewa. From the band’s reading of Joe Henderson’s modal masterpiece Black Narcissus, through the deep multicultural percussive jazz-dance workout that is the title track, and on to the three-octave vocal embellishments of Monife, on her own composition Something Better as well as on the Chick Correa fusion classic 500 Miles High, nothing here is generic, nothing taken for granted, nothing comfortable or predictable. All of the half-dozen or so albums recorded and released by Daoud and Ambiance during just six years of frantic creativity between 1979 and 1986 are well worth seeking out, but in BBE Music’s opinion Into A New Journey is the pinnacle: spiritual jazz worthy of the very best practitioners of the genre, by an obscure group of ludicrously talented artists on a tiny, self-financed indie label with an equally tiny promo budget: that’s what great jazz is all about.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Patrick says: All my spiritual jazz customers went crazy when High Jazz reissued 'Gida Gida' and 'Ebun' over the last few years, and with good reason - the soulful and dynamic fusion sounds of Ambiance are practically unrivalled. This time it's Zaf whose handled the digging, encouraging BBE to give the group's fourth LP a lavish reissue. Higher listening folks.

    Liam Bailey

    White Light / Cold & Clear

    "White Light," an instant-classic, dancefloor filler. The rough and tough drum break intro catches you from the first beat before the track gives way to an infectious and uplifting reggae-dis- co number. Liam's instantly recognizable voice showers his muse with praise over deep round bass lines and a four on the floor beat. The combination of Leon Michels' crushing production and Bailey's lyrics like "You love yourself, you're so exciting, like no one else"... is sure to make this a staple in dj sets around the globe. The B side "Cold & Clear" is a proper lighters in the air, slap the wall, top ranking tune. The track struts in the door with a natural and undeniable confidence. Liam weaves a heavy metacognitive story over the one drop drums, perfect basslines, and organ stabs that will have people stepping in rhythm. The lo-fi production weaves elements from the finest early rocksteady era with touches from the late 70s / early 80s digital era and takes the entire vibe into the present with unorthodox arrangements and vocal treatments. Bailey has a tune here that will hold up next to the classics in the dancehalls from the yards of Jamaica to the discotheques in his homeland of England. 

    On a collision course with earth from the furthest reaches of the universe, The Colours That Rise announce their debut album “Grey Doubt’ on the inimitable Rhythm Section International. Comprised of producer duo Simeon Jones and Nathanael Williams, The Colours That Rise have previously turned heads with 2017’s “2020” EP released on Breaker Breaker (the label credited with breaking Ross From Friends).

    Returning with their most accomplished offering to date, “Grey Doubt” features acclaimed guests such as Yazmin Lacey, Yussef Dayes and Andrew Ashong, each respectively complementing the incredible musicianship on display here, capturing the true zeitgeist of present day UK. Combining live instrumentation and analogue synths, intricate, intertwining textures and melodies run deep throughout this beautifully crafted afrofuturist voyage, exploring the darkest recesses of the galaxy, through weatherbeaten and asteroid damaged synth waves and broken drum patterns reverberating out into the vastness of space.

    Pre-announcement single ‘Home Time’ has picked up steam with support across BBC 6 Music and 1Xtra through the likes of Benji B, Tom Ravenscroft, Jamz Supernova and Mary Anne Hobbs, who awarded it as her ‘Near Future’ track. The duo are also set for a live performance at Rhythm Section’s showcase at SXSW 2020.

    John Coltrane

    Giant Steps - 60th Anniversary Deluxe Edition

      John Coltrane is one of the most renowned jazz artists and influential saxophonists in music history

      Within the span of less than three weeks, John Coltrane completed his work with Miles Davis on what would become the bestselling jazz title in history (Kind of Blue) and embarked on his first record with Atlantic that would become the landmark recording Giant Steps.

      Saying farewell to bebop, "Giant Steps" was Coltrane's second album to be recorded for the Atlantic label, and marked the first time that all of the pieces on a recording had been composed by him. The recording exemplifies Coltrane's melodic phrasing that came to be known as 'sheets of sound', and features the use of a new harmonic concept later to be known as 'Coltrane changes'. The set features early versionss of "Naima", "Cousin Mary", "Mr PC", "Spiral", and "Syeeda's Song Flute".

      A remastered, deluxe 180g 2-LP and 2-CD, each with the original album plus a bonus disc of alternate takes and versions – including rehearsal and incomplete tracks, as well as false starts – only previously included in The Heavyweight Champion: The Complete Atlantic Recordings of John Coltrane boxed set.


      FORMAT INFORMATION

      2xDeluxe LP Info: 2-LP configuration features a 12” x 12” 12pp booklet, packaged in a replica of the original 1969 stereo pressing, with a 12” x 12” album cover insert included.

      2xDeluxe CD Info: 2-CD configuration is a 6-panel, 2-pocket digi that features a 24-page booklet.

      Matthew Halsall

      Joyful Spirits Of The Universe

        Two brand new tracks and a bonus edit available here for the first time and exclusively on vinyl. 

        Strictly limited 12" vinyl (500 copies only - no repress).

        Boston edit fiend Kon returns with his gang in tow for some more stone cold funk to make you groove...

        Needless to say - this one slaps in all the right ways! Aided and abetted by his long time engineer Caserta and featuring the dope musicianship of Soul Supreme on keys and Xander Vrienten on bass, Kon brings us the boogie love, reimagining a jam from one of Buffalo's most famous sons. This has summer JAM written all over it, we're talking chasm deep bass, snapping drums and the illest rhodes you've heard for a minute. Oh yeah, there's a dub on the flip too.... essential. Welcome back Kon & The Gang!

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Matt says: Holy smokes! The funk is alive right here. Kon doing his thing with a little bit of Rick James - sounds like an unstoppable dancefloor force to me.

        Deep and rolling dubwise reinterpretation of the Isaac Hayes' classic B/W "Electric Boogie" a toe tappin' nod to 80's dancehall destined to brighten the smokiest of rooms. Originally released back in 2010 and unavailable since 2011. Funky reggae from Canada's Balanced records. Fresh repress! Headz dub

        Quiroga is back on Really Swing providing an extensive set of tracks in his typical style, a breezy and ear pleasing affair with his longtime friend and collaborator Dario Bass.

        “Dabbler in Love” is a sunrise-ready boogie affair with stunning chords and bass progression summed by a twinkling Rhodes solo; “Kundabuffer” drives into more jazzy territory delivering throbbing basslines over a 4/4 latin beat while “Villa Lysis” is a laidback piano soundscape over a lately bassline on a Capri sunset.

        On the flipside “Snaporaz” named after the Marcello Mastroianni’s character draws a housey jazz atmosphere with an astonishing bassline reminding of Kaytranada’s groove. “Drum’n’Bass for Papa” closes out the release - an homage to Plug/Luke vibert where chord progressions fuse onto a Squarepusher-Pastorious esque bass lead. Rock on!

        Based in Berlin via rural Israel, RAS are comprised of multi-instrumentalists and producers Dekel Adin, Eden Leshem and Guy Gefen. They came together as RAS in 2018; a deep appreciation of international sounds that cross common ley lines has resulted in a melting pot of influences, armed with vintage drum machines, guitars, synths, bongos and a Tascam Portastudio 424 tape machine.

        RAS’ creative palette is relatively minimal, opting to work with a toolkit of analogue instruments and improvisational recording styles. Mixing surrealism, injokes and nonsensical word patterns, their lyrics are sung in Hebrew. The vocals are there to support the music, acting as another instrument in the overall sound. 

        Dekel, Eden and Guy managed to create an intricate balance between lo-fi soul and brighter Mediterranean-leaning club jams, ending up with a record we might mistake as a lost treasure of the early 90s.A record that perhaps has an unconscious connection to the past but more importantly to an onward looking story of friendship and a musical journey which has spanned many continents throughout the last ten years.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Patrick says: Undercover Balearic heat here I reckon - don't let the kooky cover fool you. Operating in the same dusty, groove-based vein as those Bonjo Joe cats (Altin Gun, Mauskovic, Yin Yin) but with the smooth and soulful leanings of a Stones Throw classic, this should keep summer going well into the darker months.

        The recording had been first devised as a benefit concert in LA which was at- tended by Dr. Dre who took to the stage to express thanks for Sly5thAve’s ar- rangements. Having spent the past three years performing the project with orchestras around the world, ‘What It Is’ sees Sly5thAve retain the high-quality that fans and critics alike have come to expect from him while stepping out with something considerably different, delving deeper into the worlds of hip hop, jazz and soul.

        Celebrating not only his own versatile musicianship but that of his collaborators and friends, ‘What It Is’ is a collection of tracks showcasing the best of the multi-faceted musician. A sought-after collaborator himself, Sly5thAve has attained much respect from his work with a host of highly f ted musicians including; Prince (as a member of the New Power Generation Band), Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Taylor Swift, Janelle Monee, Freddie Gibbs and Quantic.

        “It’s a little jazzy. There is some hip hop in there. A little bit of orchestral chamber vibes... It’s me”, Sly5thAve admits. From the NYC-Texas inspired sounds of “More Or Less” featuring prolific New York rapper Marlon Craft to the politically charged Brazilian-Portuguese “Expatria” recorded with Grammy-nominated Thalma de Freitas, the album spans a myriad of genres and offerings from fellow talented musicians.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        2xColoured LP Info: Limited edition purple vinyl.

        2xColoured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

        Adrian Younge, Ali Shaheed Muhammad & Marcos Valle

        Marcos Valle

          The third release from Jazz Is Dead records is features Marcos Valle, one of the greatest and most important composers, arrangers, writers and performers in Brazilian history. A jack of all trades, Valle has produced works in many musical styles, including bossa nova, samba, and fusions of rock, soul, jazz, and more. Composed and produced by Adrian Younge & Ali Shaheed Muhammad and recorded in the Linear Labs analog studio. 

          On the Corner goes beyond being a record label. It is a story of innovative artists from hotbeds of ancient-future* music across the globe. This ‘Door to the Cosmos’ compilation is the 10th full release (and an eclectic array of 20 EPs). OtCs rawkus sonic explorations are brought to the fore via 24 tracks making a heady blend of label mainstays and fresh family recruits. The label is an inimitable mixture of Miles Davis’ ‘call it what you want’ attitude, the afro centric futurism of Sun Ra and the evolving electronic frontier where black music kicks it to the dance floor.

          ‘Door to the Cosmos’ expresses On the Corner’s adventure; future sounds referencing the source, be it Detroit, UK bass culture, New Orleans or the Niger delta. The title riffs off of the otherworldly, afro futurist jazzer Sun Ra’s infamous chant ‘dare to knock at the door to the cosmos’. Sun Ra’s sound and narrative bending inspires us to kick at the rules and push at the infinite, the ecstatic and the unknown through music by knock, knock, knocking at the door to the cosmos. The compilation is the first outing for a new raft of artists who are celebrated by the label and welcomed to a creative space brimming with the tales of unsung pioneers of the past and champion sonic explorers of the future.

          Star Creature's first official compilation featuring unreleased tracks and new mixes by label fav's E. Live, Giovanni Damico, Shiro Schwarz, Ourra, Saucy Lady, Proh Mic, Amalia and Kutcorners...

          Star Creature is the no. 1 international label for new boogie and modern funk. No other camp has represented the sound so strongly and authentically in present times. Finding a natural habitat across the digital airwaves of many a Manchester radio show, and soundtracking a fair share of its nightlife too (check the whole Wet Play / Full Beam / Red Laser Disco gamut for proof...), it continues the long standing tradition of US dance music going down a storm in the north west of England!

          Star Creature have lavishly dished out seven new tracks for our dancing feet, and at remarkably good value too. They could have just as easily reissued five of their now-sold-out 7" across one disc and charged us twenty quid for it. Instead we get a jam packed 12" with ALL NEW material and featuring a different artist on each track, and for less than the price of two cocktails in the Northern Quarter. Star Creature we love you! 



          Back to top