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Yussef Dayes

Black Classical Music

    ‘Black Classical Music’ is a 19-track record taking listeners through a looking glass into the exalted artist’s past and present whilst exploring themes of home and family. The album draws influence from his musical heroes Miles Davis & Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Yussef’s extensive travel around the globe that has deepened his study of rhythm.

    Honourable features on “Black Classical Music” - Chronixx, Jamilah Barry, Tom Misch, Shabaka Hutchings, Miles James, Sheila Maurice Grey, Nathaniel Cross, Theon Cross and the Chineke! Orchestra, plus Venna, Rocco Palladino, Charlie Stacey & Elijah Fox


    Barry says: Oooof, this is an absolute wealth of rich groove and the seamless pulling together of myriad influences from drummer and renowned London jazzer, Yussef Dayes. Filled with collaborative talent, 'Black Classical Music' manages to draw from a wealth of sound worlds without breaking step. Afrobeat, soul funk and jazz fans take note.


    A1. Black Classical Music Ft. Venna & Charlie Stacey
    A2. Afro Cubanism
    A3. Raisins Under The Sun Ft. Shabaka Hutchings
    A4. Rust Ft. Tom Misch
    A5. Turquoise Galaxy

    B1. The Light Ft. Bahia Dayes
    B2. Pon Di Plaza Ft. Chronixx
    B3. Magnolia Symphony
    B4. Early Dayes
    B5. Chasing The Drum

    C1. Birds Of Paradise
    C2. Gelato
    C3. Marching Band Ft. Masego
    C4. Crystal Palace Park Ft. Elijah Fox
    C5. Presidential Ft. Jahaan Sweet

    D1. Jukebox
    D2. Woman's Touch Ft. Jamilah Barry
    D3. Tioga Pass Ft. Rocco Palladino
    D4. Cowrie Charms Ft. Leon Thomas & Barbara Hicks 


    Ngo Ma

      The fifteen-piece kaleidoscopic ensemble IzangoMa might only be releasing its debut offering, but the collective’s roots stretch back to the meeting of Sibusile Xaba (vox/keys) and Ashley Kgabo (synths/snare drum/drum machine) in 2016. The album is the logical next step in a journey. Sibusile Xaba reveals a side to his virtuosic talent at cardinal opposites with the familiar folk sound the largesse knew him for. Kings rejoice in laughter on album opener “Agenda Re-member”, while the music cascades carefree over frequencies expressing joy and positive living. In this world, IzangoMa’s world, the moon sings sweet melodies and the children rejoice in laughter. Worries are but a distraction, and joy is the ultimate quest. It’s a declaration of love in its highest, lucid, uninhibited form.

      The ensemble is a Southern African link-up of Mozambican and South African musicians. Sibusile tells it best: “I had this idea of working with my students from Mozambique. When I first met them [during exchange workshops], they were young men. We’d return every year to find these great human beings growing into these phenomenal musicians. We felt like it would be nice to incorporate them into this thing that we were doing.”

      IzangoMa are Cosmic sgubhu with the alchemic powers of Sun Ra mixed with township styles ranging from pantsula to bubblegum, wrapped up and delivered in layers of spiritual chants, healing harmonies, and all manner of electro-analogue sonics transmitted in a big band-style ultrasound exploring themes of Creation as seen through the all-knowing feminine energy that transcends time and space, standing assured in its position as the cornerstone of their foundation. This is rhythm music; it spills into crevices ever-evolving, and revolts against a revolution yet to be finalised.


      A1. Agenda Remember
      A2. Birds (Of A Feather)
      A3. City Lights
      B1. Le Nna Mfana
      B2. Mgung U Ndlovu
      C1. Ngo Ma
      C2. Out Of The World
      C3. Phew
      D1. Q & A
      D2. Tribute To Johnny Dyani
      D3. Wathint' Imbokodo

      Secret Night Gang

      Belongs On A Place Called Earth

        Manchester jazz-funkers, Secret Night Gang return with their sophomore album “Belongs on a Place Called Earth”, via Brownswood Recordings. “Belongs on a Place Called Earth” is a record birthed from the emotional rollercoaster the world collectively faced over the past few years, as a result of the pandemic. A time which cultivated self-reflection and profound life questions leading to an evolution for the Manchester natives. This new record is undeniably a fresh & bold new sound, with the leading purpose of permeating hope & light through their music. In continued strength to strength, Secret Night Gang are carving their own lane across the British jazz & street soul scene and this upcoming album, is set to take them to new heights.


        Barry says: Following on from a very well received couple of releases for Brownswood, the soulful funk powerhouse that is SNG returns for 'Belongs On A Place Called Earth'. Soaring funky instrumentals, perfectly played and full of vigour, simmer beneath the silken vocals and perfect layered harmonies. Rich, sumptuous and perfect for the summer.


        1. Respect Me
        2. Dkw Tomorrow Brings
        3. One & Only
        4. Never Ever
        5. Find A Way
        6. Do For You
        7. Outta Ma Head
        8. Ev'ry Nation
        9. Things Will Work Out 

        Max Roach

        Members, Don't Git Weary - 2023 Reissue

          This Arc Records reissue of Members, Don’t Git Weary is mastered in Mono from the original analogue master tapes by the multi-Grammy winning Bernie Grundman (Steely Dan, Michael Jackson, Prince, Dr Dre), pressed on 180g vinyl and features a full-colour 4-page insert with brand new sleeve-notes featuring Charles Tolliver and Gary Bartz as well as never before published images of Max Roach from 1968 from the Warners Archive. The entire release is presented with the original artwork printed on heavy-weight card with a matte finish and wrapped in the signature Arc Records bellyband.


          1. Abstrutions
          2. Libra
          3. Effi
          4. Equiposie
          5. Members Don’t Git Weary
          6. Absolutions 

          Bokani Dyer

          Radio Sechaba

            Already a multi award-winning and established artist with a growing global reputation, South African artist Bokani Dyer presents his newest record ‘Radio Secheba’. The album continues his creative journey of making rich and immersive music which places him amongst the new wave of South African jazz artists, including the likes of Siya Makuzeni and Nduduzo Makhathini.

            ‘Radio Sechaba’ provides an intimate view into South Africa’s multifaceted people - and an opportunity for global connection through music. The meaning behind ‘Sechaba’ in the album title is nation. The record hones into the related topics of nation-building and unity and this is no ordinary topic for Dyer, who was born into a Botswanan community in exile from apartheid. The title of this thought-provoking album echoes that of “Radio Freedom” - the voice in exile of the African National Congress.

            Dyer’s career highlights include acclaim as a solo artist (including being named the Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner for Jazz in 2011) and with his trio (the Bokani Dyer trio’s Neo Native won the South African Music Award for Best Jazz Album in 2019). Bokani features on the opening track of the critically acclaimed Johannesburg scene jazz compilation, ‘Indaba Is’ - released in early 2021.

            TRACK LISTING

            1. Be Where You Are
            2. Mogaetsho
            3. Move On
            4. State Of The Nation
            5. Tiya Mowa
            6. Ke Nako
            7. Picturesque
            8. Spirit People
            9. Victims Of Circumstance
            10. Amogelang
            11. Ho Tla Loka
            12. Resonance Of Truth
            13. You Are Home
            14. Medu


            Could We Be More

              Following the huge success of 2018’s Kokoroko EP and the sensational Abusey Junction (100M streams and counting), Could We Be More is an expansive and ambitious debut album that speaks to the force of Kokoroko.

              Each song possesses the power to evoke memories and harness the feeling of home through music: from the psychedelic, funk-laden previous single ‘Something’s Going On’ to the congregational energy of today’s track ‘We Give Thanks’, ‘Could We Be More’ fuses together the African- London synergy which so naturally underpins the heat of Kokoroko’s identity.

              Winners of a slew of awards in the UK, Kokoroko specialise in soul shaking, horn fuelled sounds with West African roots and Inner London hues. Having played many EU Festivals including Glastonbury, Meltdown Festival, Elbjazz, & Jazz a la Villette, they are are looking forward to extending their reach further around the globe in 2022 and beyond. The band have performed on several BBC TV shows and their two Boiler Room sets have racked up almost half a million plays between them.

              “Drawing influence from West African highlife and jazz, wellmarinated in enough polyrhythm seasoning to induce fires on the dance floors they play.” Okay Africa

              “Afrobeat, jazz, soul and ’70s psych-leaning funk - luminescent” Cool Hunting

              “This female-led, multicultural collective of under 30s is a vital example of not only jazz’s new form but the shape of things to come.” The Guardian

              TRACK LISTING

              A1. Tojo
              A2. Blue Robe (pt.i)
              A3. Ewà Inú
              A4. Age Of Ascent
              A5. Dide O
              A6. Soul Searching
              B1. We Give Thanks
              B2. Those Good Times
              B3. Reprise
              B4. War Dance
              B5. Interlude
              B6. Home
              B7. Something's Going On
              B8. Outro
              B9. Blue Robe (pt.ii)


              The Invicta Mixtape (Mixed By Gilles Peterson & Sam Bhok)

                Brownswood Recordings are proud to present an extension of the ever-evolving world of STR4TA, the brainchild of long time friends and collaborators Gilles Peterson and JeanPaul “Bluey” Maunick. ‘The Invicta Mixtape’ is a limited edition cassette format mixed by Gilles Peterson & Sam Bhok (Worldwide FM/Stay Put). Available on pre-order from November 1st, released on December 3rd 2021 with only 200 available worldwide. ‘The Invicta Mixtape’ features an array of illustrious producers and polymaths unleashing their unique interpretations of STR4TA’s standout tracks.

                With a percussive stripped-back rework of ‘Dance Desire’ by Steve Conry & Takashi Nakazato; a funk-laced ‘Rhythm In Your Mind’ by Ashley Beadle plus Glasgow’s Nuovi Fratelli add a cosmic disco flare in the mix. Dave Lee’s rework of ‘After The Rain’. ‘Vision 9’ is reconceived by Melé’s rhythmic inventiveness & Delfonic’s virtuoso. Also iconic reworks by technopioneer Dave Aju, the spellbinding Demus Dub & DJ veteran Greg Wilson. The mixtape honours the importance of Radio Invicta, London’s very first soul station running from the late-60s to mid-80s. The B-side contains the complete STR4TA album.

                TRACK LISTING

                Side A

                A1. Dance Desire (Steve Conry & Takashi Nakazato Remix)
                A2. Rhythm In Your Mind (North Street West Space Funk Rework #1)
                A3. Rhythm In Your Mind (Steve Conry & Takashi Nakazato Remix)
                A4. Rhythm In Your Mind (Nuovi Fratelli Cosmic Disco Remix)
                A5. After The Rain (Dave Lee Alternative II Dub)
                A6. After The Rain (Dave Lee Alternative II Mix)
                A7. Vision 9 (Delfonic Mix)
                A8. Vision 9 (Melé Mix)
                A9. Vision 9 (Melé Dub)
                A10. Dance Desire (Dave Aju Remix)
                A11. Aspects (Demus Dub)
                A12. Aspects (Greg Wilson Mix)
                A13. Aspects (Demus Dub)

                Side B

                B1. Aspects
                B2. Rhythm In Your Mind
                B3. Dance Desire
                B4. We Like It
                B5. Steppers Crusade
                B6. After The Rain
                B7. Kinshasa FC
                B8. Vision 9

                Gilles Peterson has partnered with Jean-Paul “Bluey” Maunick to reinvigorate the loose, protean energy of the early-80s Brit-funk scene. STR4TA sees them mine new musical possibilities outof that shared formative era. On “Aspects”, they revisit that important period and the spirit that guided it: self-taught, DIY vitality, and a raucous energy built on live performance. Bringing a fresh slant to a sound first developed by groups like Atmosfear, Hi-Tension, Light of the World and Freeez – with Maunick, it should be noted, also a member of the latter two bands – it’s the first material that Maunick and Peterson have released together in over a decade.

                It’s an idea that had been in the works for a while, but which was encouraged by a surprising catalyst: the award acceptance speech by Tyler, the Creator at the 2020 Brit Awards, where he shouted out the influence of “British funk from the 80s”. It was an acknowledgement of the particular sound that Maunick and his peers had honed, where their US influences were reoriented through their own circumstances. “Like everybody else who plays music, we tried to emulate our heroes,” Maunick says. “But we didn’t have the tools, we hadn’t studied music: were all playing by ear, and we were coming off bits and pieces that we liked off certain records.” This record is guided by the same ethos. An array of musical touchpoints have fed into the album’s direct, no-frills entries: each track’s parts are cut back to the bare bone. In writing and recording the album, the pair of them would work together to strike upon the point of departure – more naive, less considered – that had produced that killer Brit-funk sound. Peterson would dig out records that showed particular flashes or moods as jumping off points, and Maunick would then work with collaborators to build new directions out of those prompts or suggestions.

                It’s the latest chapter in a story that started with Peterson interviewing Maunick in his parents’ garden shed, the first interview that the former had ever conducted. Later, they would reconnect to put out a string of celebrated Incognito albums on Peterson’s pioneering, now-defunct Talkin’ Loud imprint. Now, linking up once more, they unpick an under-appreciated flashpoint in a vital musical lineage, one which each of them has been instrumental in shaping.

                TRACK LISTING

                1. Aspects
                2. Rhythm In Your Mind
                3. Dance Desire
                4. We Like It
                5. Steppers Crusade
                6. After The Rain
                7. Give In To What Is Real
                8. Kinshasa FC
                9. Vision 9

                "On I Think I'm Good", the second full-length from Seattle-raised, Brooklyn-based drummer and composer, Kassa Overall, the fast-rising musician masterfully dissolves the barriers between hip hop and jazz music. Taking cues from Karriem Riggins, Madlib and Flying Lotus, Overall matches jazz improvisation with beatmaker ingenuity. He’s ambitious as much as he is accomplished, dicing with serious subject matter as he leaps between the record’s soulful, kaleidoscope trip of ideas. The record features a cadre of New York’s brightest up and comers, including Joel Ross and Morgan Guerin, as well as some of its big hitters, such as Brandee Younger and Theo Croker. It even features an especially recorded cameo from legendary activist and author Dr. Angela Davis.

                It’s an album that speaks to the contemporary state of America. Overall wrestles with the abhorrent American prison system, the ebbs and flows of romantic relationships, and his experiences of grappling with mental health and hospitalisation. I Think I'm Good conveys a singular feeling of intimacy, a byproduct of Overall’s indie hustle and uncanny at-home and on-the-fly production methods. It’s the perfect vehicle for Overall’s delicate meditations, weighing up emotions of despair, but never drowning out the feeling of a fragile but vital hope.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Barry says: A rich jazzy foundation for soulful vocals and nigh-spoken word, given the space to breathe and slowly groove around rolling basslines and modern percussive elements. Enchanting, uplifting and dreamy.

                TRACK LISTING

                1. Visible Walls
                2. Please Don’t Kill Me (feat. Joel Ross & Theo Croker)
                3. Find Me (feat. J Hoard)
                4. I Know You See Me (feat. J Hoard & Melanie Charles)
                5. Sleeping On The Train
                6. Show Me A Prison (feat. J Hoard & Angela Davis)
                7. Halfway House
                8. Landline (feat. Carlos Overall)
                9. Darkness In Mind (feat. Sullivan Fortner)
                10. The Best Of Life (feat. Aaron Parks)
                11. Got Me A Plan
                12. Was She Happy (For Geri Allen) (feat. Vijay Iyer)

                A1. Visible Walls
                A2. Please Don’t Kill Me (feat. Joel Ross & Theo Croker)
                A3. Find Me (feat. J Hoard)
                A4. I Know You See Me (feat. J Hoard & Melanie Charles)
                A5. Sleeping On The Train
                A6. Show Me A Prison Feat. J Hoard & Angela Davis)
                B1. Halfway House
                B2. Landline (feat. Carlos Overall)
                B3. Darkness In Mind (feat. Sullivan Fortner)
                B4. The Best Of Life (feat. Aaron Parks)

                A heavy new compilation from Brownswood shines a light on the independent underground in Melbourne, where a close-knit collection of artists have taken cues from soul, jazz and club culture to carve out a fresh Melbournian sound. Featuring nine different groups, many of them sharing members and studios, the record surveys the musical contours of this bubbling scene, nodding to house, broken beat, samba, p-funk and soul.

                Recorded over a week at The Grove, a fabled house-cum-studio in the North Melbourne suburb of Coburg, it’s home to the record’s engineer, Nick Herrera, and two members of Hiatus Kaiyote, the city’s breakout gangster-soul dons with whom many of the record’s personnel have collaborated. Silentjay was musical director, the Rhythm Section-affiliated multi-instrumentalist and producer (who’s played with Joey Bada$$ and Flying Lotus) marshalling together the album’s different players, many of them part of influential collectives 30/70 and Mandarin Dreams.

                Nurtured in the city’s collaborative, close-knit confines, the scene has been bubbling up under the radar of Australian music institutions, in the garages and makeshift studios of Melbourne’s suburban sprawl. Sunny Side Up is a colourful portrait of the scene’s potential, exploring the story behind this flourishing period and shining light on some of its most compelling figures.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Millie says: Brownswood shifts its focus to creative collectives from Melbourne in Sunny Side Up, filled to the brim with Afro-beat, jazzy goodness and samba. From Allysha Joy to SilentJay, this compilation provides the relaxing chilled tones which make you want to sail away on an idyllic coastline.

                TRACK LISTING

                1. Phil Stroud - Banksia
                2. Dufresne - Pick Up / Galaxy
                3. Kuzich - There Is No Time
                4. Audrey Powne - Bleeding Hearts
                5. Zeitgeist Freedom Energy Exchange - Powers 2 (The People)
                6. Laneous - Nice To See You
                7. Silentjay - Eternal / Internal Peace
                8. Horatio Luna -The Wake-Up
                9. Allysha Joy - Orbit

                Bridging distinct but closely connected music scenes can open new possibilities. On ‘No More Normal’, Swindle confidently grasps the different sides to the UK music scene. Boasting roots in the boundary-pushing world of Grime & Dubstep, this album marks the next step in the London-raised producer’s expanded vision for his music. It fuses different disciplines together in new and electrifying ways. He connects a group of peers sharing creative common ground, one that centres around the fertile space between UK Jazz, Grime and Hip Hop. The results span from lush, strings-laden soul to voicebox-heavy p-funk – often in the course of one song. “It’s a class photo of 2018,” he says. “I need everyone in this picture.” It incorporates an all-star cast of MC’s in Kojey Radical, Ghetts, D Double E and P Money, to instrumentalists Yussef Dayes, Nubya Garcia, Riot Jazz, and singers such as Etta Bond, Eva Lazarus, Daley and Kiko Bun.

                The album was built over a three year period. The opening track “‘What We Do’ became the track that set the scene for each studio session, a way of Swindle explaining what he was setting out to achieve. Featuring an (on paper) unusual combination of R&B singer Daley, Grime legends P Money & D Double E, and an opening speech from Bristol-based spoken word artist, Rider Shafique - “It describes the narrative of the record overall and helped set the agenda for what followed - I made a lot of tracks that were really good that at the end of the day didn’t fit this project”. The resulting work has a pervading sense of triumph against the odds, and a celebration of togetherness at this moment of fragmentation that manages to feel both optimistic and nostalgic. A record that could have only been made in today’s multicultural Britain. “No More Normal is the idea of us doing our thing, our way, with no rules or limitations. It is jazz influenced as much as it is grime influenced. It’s London influenced as much as it is LA influenced. I can work with D Double E and Nubya Garcia, these records are my imagination brought to life in musical form”.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Millie says: High energy Hip Hop at its finest, Swindle’s album No More Normal varies from Jazz to Hip Hop, Grime to R&B and just a bit of everything in-between. My personal favourites are ‘Knowledge’ and ‘Grateful’, articulate lyrics and boss beats create this confident and collaborative album.

                TRACK LISTING

                A1. What We Do (Feat. Rider ShafIque, P Money, D Double E + Daley)
                A2. Get Paid
                A3. Drill Work (Feat. Ghetts)
                A4. Run Up (Feat. Kiko Bun, Knucks, Eva Lazarus + Nubya Garcia)
                A5. Coming Home (Feat. Kojey Radical)
                A6. Reach The Stars (Feat. Andrew Ashong)
                B1. Knowledge (Feat. Eva Lazarus + Kiko Bun)
                B2. Take It Back (Feat. D Double E + Kiko Bun)
                B3. California (Feat. Etta Bond + Kojey Radical)
                B4. Talk A Lot (Feat. Eva Lazarus + Mansur Brown)
                B5. Grateful (Feat. Kojey Radical + Rider ShafIque)

                The borders between London’s musical tribes have always been porous. For Yussef Kamaal, the sound of the capital – with its hum of jungle, grime and broken beat – has shaped a selftaught, UKtipped approach to playing jazz. In the states, the genre’s longrunning to-and-fro with hip hop – from Robert Glasper to Kamasi Washington – has reimagined it within US culture. On Black Focus, Yussef Kamaal frame jazz inside the basssaturated, pirate radio broadcasts of London.

                Taking inspiration from the anything-goes spirit of ‘70s jazzfunk, on albums by Herbie Hancock or the Mahavishnu Orchestra, it’s a loose template with plenty of room to experiment. The pair, made up of Yussef Dayes and Kamaal Williams (aka Henry Wu), have had little in the way of formal training. Instead, their musical tastes – and approach to playing – are indebted to Thelonious Monk’s piano as much as the drum programming of Kaidi Tatham.

                “It's all about the drums and the keys,” Williams says. “Not to take anything from anyone else, but that's where it all originates from: the chords, the rhythm of the chords and the drums.” Born out of a oneoff live session to perform Williams’ solo material for Boiler Room, it soon became a project in its own right. Coming together as Yussef Kamaal, they played a series of live shows where little more than a chord progression would be planned before taking to the

                Bringing that unspoken understanding to the recording sessions (engineered by Malcolm Catto of The Heliocentrics), the unplanned, telepathically spawned grooves retain the raw energy of their live shows. “It's not so much about complete arrangement, it's more about flow,” Dayes says. “A lot of the tracks are just made spontaneously – Henry will be playing two chords, I'll fill in the groove and we'll just leave the arrangement naturally.” Both hail from South East London, crossing paths in 2007 as teenagers playing their first pub gigs around Peckham and Camberwell. Dayes drums for cosmicallyinclined, afrobeat outfit United Vibrations, while Williams – on top of drumming and playing keys in different incarnations over the years – has made waves with his solo, synthdraped house 12"s for muchfêted labels like 22a and Rhythm Section.

                Moving in the same circles but never playing together previously, rhythm underpins an innate musical understanding. As Williams explains, “The way we approach it is all about the energy and the feeling. We just get in there and we feel it out.” Drawing influence from all corners of London’s shapeshifting musical makeup, the sound of Black Focus is distilled – or focused – down to the core interlock between drums and keys.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                David says: The purists might argue that this isn't strictly jazz, I'm happy to argue back. It might use elements of broken beat and house on its journey but jazz is the final destination.

                TRACK LISTING

                A1. Black Focus
                A2. Strings Of Light
                A3. Remembrance
                B1. Yo Chavez
                B2. Ayla
                B3. O.G.
                B4. Lowrider
                B5. Mansur's Message
                B6. WingTai Drums
                B7. Joint 17


                Distorted Air EP


                  Brighton-based duo Max Wheeler (producer) and Victoria Port (singer/songwriter) are a classic British concoction of jazz-inflected heady dance floor thrills. While Victoria’s melodies bring the sweetness, the tracks have the low-end weight to please DJ mavens like Karizma and Brackles on Rinse and Moxie and Annie Mac on Radio 1.

                  The results could be described as a UK Funky Lorde. The ‘Distorted Air’ EP forthcoming on Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings, is full of Victoria’s songwriting on fractious romance, ever the well-spring of transcendent pop with sweet female attitude. There’s relationship breakdown on ‘Broken Circuit’ or the claustrophobia of ‘World In A Room’. All of which brings to mind 1998 Talkin’ Loud signing MJ Cole and his bedroom produced classic ‘Sincere’ which traded on a similar brew of jazz, musicality, connection with the living dance floor and the pull and push of love.

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