Review: The Brazil 45s / Mr Bongo outlet is back with its classic moves, coming through with some truly special soul blends out of the Brazilian golden era. Dalila and Neyde Alexandre feature in this latest 7", the former with 1968's "Canto Chorado", a slow-burning bubble of funky exotica - surely impossible to find in its original shade - and the latter with a funky little bomb from 1971 by the name of "Perplexidade" - surely the smoothest, sexiest soul number out this week! Lovely stuff.
Rubberband Of Life (feat Ledisi - radio edit) (4:22)
Rubberband Of Life (feat Ledisi) (5:46)
Rubberband Of Life (instrumental) (5:37)
Review: Amongst jazz aficionados, Miles Davis's Rubberband album is regarded as one of the genre's "lost classics". Although recorded in 1985, the set has never been released. We're promised it will finally appear later in the year. First, as a taster, we're treated to an EP that accompanies the legendary title track - a dexterous and squeezable chunk of '80s electrofunk blessed with some fine soloing from Davis - with three new "Rubberband of Life" versions. These feature vocalist Ledisi and re-cast the track as a dusty, Fugees style chunk of New York hip-hop soul. While radically different in the best possible way, all three versions (radio edit, extended and instrumental takes) prominently feature the legendary trumpet player's meandering lead lines.
Review: Those with a deep knowledge of Berlin's Ghanaian ex-pat "burger-highlife" scene may already be familiar with Lee Dodou, a singer who recorded a number of classic singles and albums during the 1980s as part of bands Georg Darko and Kantata. He retired from music in 1991, but has been persuaded to return to action by the Philophon team. This comeback single is pretty impressive all told, with A-side "Basa Basa" - a triumphantly celebratory chunk of 1960s "concert party" highlife rich in punchy horn lines and Dodou's full-throated vocals - being joined on the flipside by the slower, synth-laden "Sahara Akwantou". Brilliantly, the label describes this as "kraut-life" due to its unique (and rather good) fusion of highlife and German kosmiche.
Review: Matthew Halsall's Gondwana label is seeing a busy August what with the imprint flooding our jazz charts with reissues and, of course, new releases such as this wonderful collaborative effort from The Gondwana Orchestra and Dwight Trible. Trible's voice is like silk, running up and down the delicate waves of melodies from the collective, with "Colors" and "The Creator Has A Master Plan" both capable of making the toughest of audiences feel utterly uplifted. On the flip, "Love Is Everywhere" shines bright amid a flurry of flutes and intricate drum percussions, while "You've Got To Have Freedom" rides off a much smoother, deeper sort of vibe that's got a little funk at its core. Wicked.
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: It wouldn't be fare to accuse all jazz cats of overlooking Albert Dailey, but many are guilty of it. One of often unsung greats everyone should know about but few seem to namecheck enough, 'Renaissance' is one of just five full-length albums from a career that lasted over 30 years, so you can add the phrase 'under-recorded' to the list of regrets. Laid down in 1977, four years after his debut full length arrived, for those who do count themselves in the fan club this is not just seminal Dailey but seminal jazz. Expressive, overflowing with emotion and yet also delightfully playful, it veers between freeform segments, such as the closing sections of 'Mr Pogo', to the sophisticated, sensual piano solo of 'Autumn Rain', which brings this display of musical prowess to a grand- or rather intimate- finale.