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.
Review: The Nat Birchall Quartet debuts here with Tunji, a new 7" special out through the inimitable Jazz45 imprint, home to some of the best contemporary jazz - of all shapes and sizes. The title tune "Tunji" is a sax-led masterpiece, slow yet constantly building and morphing into something new and exciting, taking the term 'broken beat' onto a new platform. Conversely, the B-side's "Mode For Trane" lingers at a slow tempo, transporting you into a bittersweet lullaby with Nat Birchall's sax very much in the spotlight. What a cracking little 7" - TIP!
Review: Ahead of a fresh album due later in the year, Nat Birchall fires up his quartet and returns to the Jazz45 series with a second seven-inch salvo for the Jazzman offshoot. A-side "Obeah Man" is wonderfully sweet, soulful and breezy, with Birchall and company layering jaunty spiritual jazz style piano riffs and snaking solos (think Clarinet, sax, trumpet etc) over a warm, loose and bustling groove. They continue on a similar vein on the slightly bolder flipside cut "Seeking", where bandmembers trade solos atop a classic jazz style bassline and fizzing drums. That forthcoming album should be killer.
Review: If you're into contemporary jazz and have grown tired of having to source music that is limited to the 60's and 70's, the Computer Ugly label is the right place to be looking. Black Milk and Nat Turner, moreover, are two masters of the genre and with this LP entitled The Rebellion Sessions, they provide a sublime concoction of old jazz traditions coated in a sleeker, modern vibe. The basslines on tunes like "The Ancient Rebellion" and "Never" are good enough to be heard on their own, and other songs like "Just A Thing" would not sound out of place in either a disco or hip-hop set by the likes of Theo Parrish or Moodymann. In fact, while this album is undoubtedly jazz throughout, there's something more kinetic and dance-oriented across its arrangements.