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Canada’s fastest moving and hardest working collective are back with one of their finest albums to date, a brand new journey into tropical, soul and jazz styles on their scorching new release, ‘Under Burning Skies’.
Turbulent times call for strong voices and The Souljazz Orchestra’s new set packs a suitably heavy lyrical punch, with wry observations and an urge for progressive change. Musically, the band continue to push the limits, dusting off ‘80s vintage synthesizers and early drum machines for the first time, bringing lo fi disco, boogie and electro touches to their trademark horn arrangements and earthy analogue sound. The fruits are a-plenty and the group sound at their confident and versatile best from start to finish.
Opener ‘Dog Eat Dog’ powers in with Mabinuori Idowu and Philippe Lafrenière lambasting the powerful and the corrupt over an infectious Afro-disco groove; ‘Lufunki’ takes the group right back to their B-Boy roots, bringing the Afro vibes to Beat Street and ‘Is Yeelyel’ delivers a killer rework of an obscure original by Somalian super-group Dur-Dur Band.
The band go on exploring their passion for French Caribbean styles on the beautiful, lilting ‘Oublier Pour Un Jour’ and ‘Tambour À Deux Peaux’ and they take time for reflection on the potent instrumental title track and poignant closer ‘Aduna Jarul Naawo’, featuring the vocals of Élage Mbaye.
The Souljazz Orchestra continue to be an unstoppable force. Nominated for a Canadian Juno award for the third time in 2016, the band regularly tear up venues worldwide through their punishing touring schedule – they have played to audiences in over two dozen countries across the globe and have shared bills along the way with heavyweights as varied as Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, and Femi Kuti. Not many bands out there have been going for 15 years with their original line-up still intact while still sounding as fresh as this. As saxophonist Ray Murray says, “Souljazz is more than just a band for us, it’s a way of life.”
Barry says: Brimming with influence from all over the globe, this soulful mix of jazz, Afrobeat and disco hits hard, but with a sensibilty rarely seen in dancefloor groovers. Defly balanced grooves meet head-first with swimming vocals and silken rhythms.
1. Dog Eat Dog
3. Sorrow Fly Away
4. Tambour À Deux Peaux
5. Under Burning Skies
6. Holla Holla
7. Is Yeelyel
8. Adawe Boogie
9. Oublier Pour Un Jour
10. Aduna Jarul Naawo