Review: ** REPRESS ALERT ** 2019 marks 50 years since this timeless classic's original release. The Peddlers' "On A Clear Day You Can See Forever' is a sumptuous smooth jazz journey full of organ solos and deep vocal tones. The British soul/jazz trio is known for creating a unique melange of beat, jazz, cabaret, rock and soul that must be heard to be believed. Flip side "Comin' Home Baby" is like passing through a cloud composed of equal parts Tom Jones, Jimmy Smith, Georgie Fame, Mel Torme, Alan Hawkshaw and dozens of lesser jazz/lounge vibe-creators. Get this copy for a spine-tingling rush of harmony from the late sixties.
Review: A modern day Scott-Heron, without the myriad of demons on his back, Grammy-nominated jazz singer Porter has such a distinctive voice, charm and band command. He clearly lends himself well to edit culture (as proved by the huge success of the many "1960 What?" versions in recent years) and this 7" from Expansion is no exception. "On My Way To Harlem" is straight up narrative jazz with fantastic attention paid to the subtle samba and solemn horns. "1960 What?" speaks for itself; far more authentic to the original than the other versions that have popped up, if you've not already got a favourite edit - Jazz & Cole have the answer.
Review: The 62nd single in Mr Bongo's long-running Brazil 45s series is notable for containing Jose Prates' "Nana Imboro", a deep, hypnotic and intoxicating samba cut that was initially recorded and released way back in 1958. Relatively slow and steady by samba standards, its chanted refrain is thought to be the inspiration for Jorge Ben's much better known "Mas Que Nada". Wisely, Mr Bongo has backed Prates' sublime original with a 1960 cover by obscure Polish outfit Wroblewski Jazz Quintet. This dispenses with the chanting, instead increasing the number of intertwined horn parts. Given that original copies of the rare Polish EP it first appeared on will set you back serious money, it's great to see this fine cover included here.
Review: It's been a long time between drinks for Present Sense, a Finnish combo helmed by experienced jazz bassist Jarno Lappalainen. Research confirms that the previous Pressent Sense single landed way back in 2004. For this return to the studio, American jazz vocalist Dean Bowman has joined in the fun. His Gregory Porter style vocals seemingly soar above the band's lilting, emotion-rich jazz on A-side "In The Present", with each musician getting solo space in the track's magical final moments. Turn to the B-side for "The Time", a more up-tempo jazz workout full of alternating horn solos and superb double bass playing by Lappalainen.
Review: First up: Tito Puente (AKA The Musical Pope) with an epic live version of "2001 Space Odyssey". Recorded at Carnegie Hall in 1974 it's never been pressed to 45 during its highly sought-after 41 years. Flip for the hard jazz sounds of Sahib Shihab and "Om Mani Padme Hum" is riddled with thundering percussion and lightening crack pianos. It has flutes so frenetic they'd make Ian Anderson blush and takes its name from an ancient Sanskrit word. Biblical business.
Review: This album, the sole release from little-known contemporary jazz combo Jesse Sharps Quintet, first appeared on CD back in 2004. Surprisingly, Outernational has decided to reissue it on vinyl for the very first time. It's a good set, with the first three sides being taken up with heavy pressings of original JSQ album tracks. These have some subtle Afro-jazz influences, but for the most part are doff a cap to jazz greats of the 1960s and '70s. There's plenty of dancefloor-friendly material to be found, with the Kyoto Jazz Massive style "Question" and wild "Mike's Tune" standing out. As with the original CD release, the last track is a surprise bonus: an epic, 16-minute spiritual jazz excursion from Quintet member Horace Tapscott's Sun Ra-inspired Pan Afrikan People's Arkestra project.
Review: While moving from his long-term home Chicago to Los Angeles a few years back, Tortoise member Jeff Parker rediscovered a swathe of old home recordings - "beat projects" built around samples of dusty old jazz tracks. These became the starting point for New Breed, his most expansive solo album for some time. Full of his usual loose and evocative jazz guitar, the set sits somewhere between lo-fi post-rock/jazz fusion, experimental hip-hop, and softly spun electronica. Regardless of style, it's a hugely evocative and entertaining collection of tracks.
Review: "Paunetto's Point", by Bobby Vince Paunetto, is a landmark in seventies Latin and jazz music. Easily one of the most unique voices of his generation, Bobby's got an approach to melody that's all tied up in the rhythms - one that has most of the instruments in the group vamping along with the grooves, while solos take off in wonderful flights that soar to the skies on waves of sound and soul. Don't miss this historical slab of wax.