Review: Building on the heat of last year's "Devil Made Me Do It", Alex Puddu's Afro Soul Prophecy returns with more smoking jazz fusions. "Red Light District" is as hot and illicit as the title suggests thanks to its prominent drums and heated horn work. "The Game Of Love" plays the perfect counter with its much softer, sentimental swoons and loungey dynamics. Instant summer soul soothers.
Review: Having teased the jazz fraternity with a cheeky 7" earlier on this year, Andrea assuages our ears with this super smooth full lengther. Pristinely polished and produced with a big band feeling, there's a distinct Rat Pack feeling as we stride confidently through big choruses and sassy sambas ("I Will Never Stop Loving You") before diving headfirst into mournful smoky saxophone and piano laments ("The Meaning Of Love"). A common face performing on the French Riviera, hopefully this should take Balducci to the broader audience he deserves...
Shades Of Joy (feat Marvin Parks & Magnus Lindgren)
Goddess Of The Sea (feat Jose James)
African Other Blues (feat Marvin Parks & Fabrizio Bosso)
Ahmad's Blues (feat Melanie Charles)
Free Souls (feat Bridgette Amofah)
Ode To Billie Joe (feat Bridgette Amofah)
Soul Revelation (feat Tasha's World)
Sandalia Dela (feat Heidi Vogel)
Baltimore Oriole (feat Bridgette Amofah)
Astral Rivers (feat Heidi Vogel)
If I Should Lose You (feat Marvin Parks)
Sunrise (feat Logan Richardson)
A Prayer For Lateef (feat Till Bronner)
Spirit Of Nature (feat Melanie Charles)
Uhuru (feat Bridgette Amofah)
Review: Fresh from curating the latest Viagem Volume 4 bossa and samba opus, Conte returns with his fifth artist album. Recruiting a crack troupe of vocalists and musicians, there's a great sense of consistency throughout as the likes of Marvin Parks, Heidi Vogel and Bridgette Amofah appear regularly, there's a slick steadiness that other collaborative albums lack. Naturally with Conte, the main constancy is undiluted jazz in all its many sexy shapes and styles: the smoky naked pianos and trumpets of "Ahmad's Blues", the finger-clicking big band swing of "Goddess Of The Sea", the emphatic bluesy jazzy funk of "Ode To Billie Joe", the summery, sun-splashed samba swing of "Sandalia Dela"... The list goes on. Beautiful, soulful and timeless.
Review: Last spotted on wax together 16 years ago on New Standards, Italian kindred spirits and diggers Conte and Petrella collide once again. A culmination of many records savoured and ideas shared between the two friends, this 12" is long overdue and fizzes with fusion. "African Spirit" is focused on a rolling tribal MAW style house rhythm with Gianluca adding his signature trombone with staccato finesse while "New World Shuffle" is a much dreamier, smoky affair that sounds perfect any time between sunset and sunrise. Spiritual.
Review: Chanteuse Rosalia de Souza strikes back with perfect timing: The carioca artist is back on the scene with two sunshiny singles and related fizzy remixes, all on one 12"! "Um Novo Dia" becomes a speedy club samba; whereas "Rio De Janeiro" still a samba but slower and slightly more "techy"; by the hands of Diesler and Beatfanatic respectively. Both songs are taken form the acclaimed last album of Rosalia "Brasil Precisa Balançar", which was produced in Rio de Janeiro by the great bossa maestro Roberto Menescal, with Rosalia displaying her enchanting interpretation. Originally this piece written by Schema's very own Toco with S-tone Inc. first featured on the album "Installaçao do Samba" by Tomaz Di Cunto, (aka Toco). The song reveres the city of Rio, the shore that every person worldwide inspired by Brazilian music dreams of. In this 3rd single from her album, the instrumental versions follow the remixes on both sides. As ever they are magically played by the same trio of piano, double bass and drums which features in the album. Diesler is the young yet affirmed producer from Tru-Thoughts who puts his touch over "Rio De Janeiro" on Side A. Whereas the Latin-Swede going by the name of Beatfanatic treated the feel-good spirit of "Um Novo Dia". This record contains the ingredients for a long-lasting summer delight: Brazilian tunes both for dance clubs as well as relaxed listening pleasures.
Review: Those who've been followed the nu-jazz sound closely over the last two decades should already be familiar with the work of Italian trumpeter Gerardo Frisina; after all, this is the Schema regular's eight studio set since the dawn of the century. In our opinion, Moving Ahead is also one of the best, with Frisina expanding on his usual Latin-jazz inspired sound via tracks that variously incorporate elements of samba house, West and East African drum music, jazz house, dub and tropical-tinged jazz-funk. Yet for all the subtle eclecticism, there are constant threads that run throughout, specifically densely packed percussion and Frisina's haunting trumpet and sax solos.
Review: Gerarado Frisina has always been something of a vinyl enthusiast, meaning plenty of his releases have never made it to CD or digital download. It's these that form the basis of Modern Latin Jazz, a bespoke "best of" that gathers together tracks released at various points over his 16-year career. You get two of his best releases - this year's fantastic Latin Blue album and 2015's Olympia EP - in their entirety, plus tracks taken from rare and hard-to-find 12" singles from the dawn of the decade and long before. The two-disc set does a great job of showcasing Frisina's increasingly dub-tinged approach, mixing Latin jazz floor-fillers, percussive stompers and snaking jazz-house shufflers with more traditional bossa-jazz fare and the kind of warm, loose-limbed nu-jazz that was once found on Jazzanova albums.
Review: Italian pianist and composer Paolo first came to light during the acid jazz explosion in the early 90s. Largely overlooked by his UK counterparts, his Trio's albums Do It and Ombre are both well worthy investments for any funk fans. As is "Chameleon". Delivered in two parts, both jams are tighter than a bouncer's crotch squeeze and about a million times funkier. "Part 2" pips it for a highlight thank to its leniency towards sultry wig out territory. Lovely stuff.
Review: The story of Puccio Roelens begins way back in 1969, a time when the 'exotica' sound was at its peak, and when electronic music really started to have an impact on the rest of the global scene. Constanza Records, from the late 60s through to the late 70s, was responsible from some truly pioneering work by a small selection of artists from around the globe. Roelens was one such artist, a producer who contributed to the infamous series named Musica Per Commenti Sonori, or 'music for sonic comments'. His particular contribution was entitled Lipstick, and explored the vast possibilities of disco, a genre that was at its height at the time, but that was beginning to take on new influences that would eventually transform it into boogie. This album is a special piece of work, a collection of sublime disco tracks with an experimental edge. The more you listen, the more you want. TIP!
Review: Stefano Tirone has been a stalwart of the Italian scene since making his debut on legendary Italian house label Calypso Records way back in 1992. Since then, his productions have become increasingly more jazz and soul focused, with a sizeable side order of groovy downtempo beats. His latest seven-inch single begins with "Try My Love", a hazy chunk of head-nodding jazz-funk/soul fusion rich in languid synthesizer solos, lazy grooves, hazy horns and soulful vocals. It's really good all told, though we'd argue that flipside "Odoya" - a wiggling chunk of Afro-tinged mid-tempo funk - is even better. Either way, it's another rock solid release from the effervescent Tirone.
Review: With a career stretching back to the turn of the '90s, Stefano 'S-Tone' Sirone has long been one of Italy's foremost purveyors of jazz-fired goodness. Last year he returned to action with "Onda", a brilliant set of jazz-funk, disco, samba and deep house fusion that also marked his first album-length excursion for four years. This nifty seven-inch offers up two new interpretations of one of that collection's standout tracks, "Luz Da Joaca", by fellow Italian nu-jazz veteran Gerardo Frisina. On the A-side, he turns it into a Clavinet-sporting chunk of samba-house fusion rich in layered percussion and '70s style Brazilian jazz-funk vocals. The flipside dub, an altogether heavier and more percussively intense affair, is arguably even better.