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’Hard Rain’ follows hot-on-the-heels from the acclaimed Ruby Rushton album ‘Ironside’, but whereas contemporary urban jazz was the focus there, Tender’s solo record marks a return to another of the multifaceted artist’s skills: dope house and beat music that oozes futuristic funk.

This sparse but perfectly-populated masterpiece takes inspiration from J Dilla and echoes elements of vintage Blaze, Larry Heard and Carl Craig. Warm and soulful, but also spacious and clean, Tender extracts maximum flavour out of just a few ingredients.

“Casey Jr.” kicks proceedings off with a neck-snapping bass heavy p-funk
monster, like Slum Village or Platinum Pied Pipers by way of Surrey and
onwards to south London. Real electro laced cosmic jazz funk keys and techno hi hats coalesce exquisitely on “Buffalo Gurl”, whilst the breathtakingly deep. ‘Hard Rain’ sounds both current and classic. “Low Tide” is an ambient jazz interlude that clears the palate, before “Another State Of Consciousness” trips the light on a kaleidoscopic discoball of pure synth ecstasy. Bumpy and blunted, the break-fuelled flute ride of “Aesop Thought” and LA style abstractscience of “Workin’ Me Out” shine a new light on trip hop, before the album closes with the smouldering, emotive brooder “Almost Time”.

After a long studio hiatus, this is a sign of good things to come from Tenderlonious and the 22a camp!


STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Peckham rises once again as the 22a firm display some more sonic wares from their locale. Tenderlonious at the controls for a mellow, smoked-out modern jazz / electronics composition.

‘Ironside’ is Ruby Rushton’s most complete work to date and was recorded over a 2 day session at the legendary Abbey Road Studios. It sees the band continuing to push boundaries, and lead the way, with this new genre defying recording. The quartet’s fresh, high energy sound is rooted in the spiritual concepts of John Coltrane and Yusef Lateef, paying homage to The Headhunters and Weather Report heyday, whilst still adopting influences from hip hop, Afrobeat and the UK underground culture.

”Ironside” - meaning someone who is “courageous and possessing great physical and mental strength” sums up the Ruby Ruston journey so far. A personal, against the odds journey, that required Tenderlonious starting a label, 22a, back in 2013. Nobody much cared about jazz back in 2011 when the first Ruby Ruston album (‘Two For Joy’) was recorded, so the 22a platform was built, a home for friends and members of the family to release music from. Fast forward to 2019 and the jazz landscape is looking a whole lot healthier.

The album’s title track embodies its meaning more than any other track on the album. A highly technical, jazzy jungle mover, held down by Tim Carnegie’s drums and Tenderlonious’ expeditious flute solo. ”The Return Of The Hero” nods most explicitly to the ever-present flute hero Yusef Lateef, the prancing dance of “Eleven Grapes” builds a locked groove perpetually upwards in spirals of dizzying frency, whilst “Triceratops The Caller” evokes alternating contributions from 4 Hero’s sampled breaks, J-Dilla’s loping beats and Lonnie Liston Smith’s cosmic keys, all of which coalesce in a perfect, joyous blend. The solemn beauty of “Prayer for Greenfell” is a respectful and dignified memorial, befitting of the magnitude of many lives stolen and “Pingwin VI” is dedicated to another hero of Tenderlonious - the Polish Jazz legend Kristof Komeda.

STAFF COMMENTS

Millie says: Ruby Rushton's been at the forefront of the UK jazz scene since 2015 and is storming ahead with a unique all-encompassing mixture of jazz, Afrobeat and hip hop. Ironside does not disappoint, high energy and instrumentally a masterpiece in itself.

The Tenderlonious led jazz quartet Ruby Rushton and their 22a imprint have been at the forefront of the UK jazz scene since the release of their debut album ‘Two For Joy’ in 2015. The band transport you back to the 70s Headhunters era, whilst still adopting the spiritual concepts of John Coltrane and Yusef Lateef. Audiences can expect to be treated to high energy compositions, fusing flavours of afro beat, hip hop, and Latin jazz.

Both Trudi’s Songbook Volume One and Two were met with mass acclaim in the summer and autumn of 2017. They received regular airtime and support from DJ’s, tastemakers and radio stations across the world, including Gilles Peterson, Benji B, Bradley Zero, Jazz FM, BBC Radio 6 Music, Worldwide FM, NTS and many more. The huge support for the albums led to Trudi’s Songbook: Voloume Two being nominated for Jazz album of the year at the 2018 Gilles Peterson Worldwide Awards.

STAFF COMMENTS

Millie says: Volume one & two paired together from Ruby Rushton's Trudi's Songbook bursts into a whirl of amazing jazz beats, with the layers of instruments overflowing with rhythm throughout. This is the perfect album so easy to sit back and relax to.

FORMAT INFORMATION

2xLP Info: Deluxe gatefold double vinyl, limited to 500 copies.

Tenderlonious

The Shakedown Feat. The 22Archestra

‘The Shakedown’ is Ed ‘Tenderlonious’ Cawthorne’s debut LP and features a dream team of top talent he named the 22archestra, who he leads seamlessly throughout. Listeners are exposed to the full breadth of Cawthorne’s technical and compositional skills, ranging from subtly meandering jazz, to hip hop, Afrobeat, Latin and exhilarating free form jazz.

The groups includes former Yussef Kamaal member Yussef Dayes on drums, Ruby Rushton bassist Fergus Ireland and producers Reginald Omas Mamode IV and Jeen Bassa on percussion.

The tracks include “SV Disco”, a nod to the mighty Slum Village, is a chunk of sensually-contorted disco vibes that brings on full party mode instantaneously, with the slinky bass licks and pitch-bent synthesiser recalling Roy Ayres’s blissed-out funk.

”Maria” showcases Ed’s roots as sample-based producer, pulling influence from around the globe to create an undulating piece of flute-led Brazilian fusion that fans of Ruby Rushton will find familiar. The eastern-inspired embellishments raise the temperature further, whilst former Yussef Kamaal member Yussef Dayes’ sizzling cymbals and shuffling snare work propel the track forwards, locking down a signature 22a groove.

”Yussef’s Groove” kicks off with driving drums, and each of the 22archestra enter steadily, fully utilising their virtuosic power, switching between low-slung bass, chic open piano solos and hazy electric piano. The 22archestra was conceived after Tenderlonious was invited to record at Abbey Road Studios. The whole crew was rounded-up and the album was recorded during a single 8 hour session - a testament to their musicianship and ability to nail a take.

Personnel: Ed ‘Tenderlonious’ Cawthorne (flute & synth), Hamish Balfour (keys), Fergus Ireland (bass), Yussef Dayes (drums), Reginald Omas Mamode IV, Jeen Bassa, Konrad (percussion)

STAFF COMMENTS

Millie says: Jazz with an innovative twist filled inspired by many people and places over the world, and this definitely shows in the style and production. The collaboration is overflowing with talented people who are absorbed in the world of everything jazz.

Tenderlonious led jazz outf it Ruby Rushton drop their second album of 2017. Following on from the success of ‘Trudi’s Songbook: Volume One’ the band are back with their highly anticipated ‘Volume Two’. Comprised of a further six cuts the listener is treated to another journey through modern day jazz!

Stand out tracks include 'Tisbury Truckin', which is a stunning opener! Starting with an atmospheric soundscape it unexpectedly drops into a neck-snapping hip-hop groove with a punchy melodic line before effortlessly sliding into an up-tempo, afro-beat inspired rhythm with strong solos from trumpet and keys in tow. “Song For Christopher” is a heartfelt ballad, which begins with a touching flute solo and continues to take the listener on a journey through the emotions, ending in a crescendo of optimism - a fitting tribute to the late Christopher Rushton.

”Charlotte Emma Victoria” is another strong track and includes some tasteful sousaphone and trombone parts to add extra oomph to its bounce, accompanied by a soaring saxophone solo by band leader Edward Cawthorne (aka Tenderlonious). The album ends with a classic Herbie Hancock jazz-fusion standard, “Butterfly”, which the band handle with finesse. A fitting cover that I have no doubt would impress its original writers.

’Trudi’s Songbook: Volume Two’ is a fantastic album, which further solidifies Ruby Rushton’s place on the modern jazz scene. This is a must have album that would hold its own in any jazz enthusiasts record collection - make sure you check it out!



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