Review: Joe Armon-Jones has been a driving force in the resurgence of contemporary jazz and now makes something of a victory lap with this new album on the always essential Brownswood. It's a very modern mix of bass and dub, du jour club culture and his own jazz styles featuring peers like Moses Boyd and Nubya Garcia. Frankly, the whole record is silky, starry-eyed and sublime and the excellent artwork also hist at the cosmic subtleties of this album, but our picks of the bunch are the neo-soul, summery stroll through the park vibes of "Yellow Dandelion", "Gnawa Sweet" which glows with mellifluous Rhodes chords and the uncompromising yet accessible sax and big brass action of album highlight "You Didn't Care".
Review: Based around bassist/producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad and pianist/producer Adrian Younge, The Midnight Hour shot to prominence last year with a self-titled debut album that was rapturously received by critics and listeners alike. Since then they've been touring extensively, so it makes sense that their latest full-length effort captures the energy and improvisation of those headline-grabbing performances. Complete with whooping crowd noise, the set sees them effortlessly join the dots between jazz-funk, classic-sounding soul, library music and hip-hop soul with the assistance of guest vocalists Loren Oden and Angela Munoz. The former stars on the album's standout moment: a set closing extended version of slow-burn favourite "It's You".