Independent groove label Sdban Records have released ‘Utopic Cities: Progressive Jazz in Belgium 1968-1979’ featuring an eclectic selection of forward-thinking jazz from the Belgian underground, including the left-field fusion of Marc Moulin’s Placebo, Koen De Bruyne and Solis Lacus; the intense post-bop of Jacques Pelzer and Lou MacConnell; the cutting edge soul jazz of Philip Catherine and Open Sky Unit and the otherworldly avant-garde of Babs Robert and the Brussels Art Quintet.
Recorded in the aftermath of the revolutionary year 1968, this music is the fruit of a highly creative momentum in Belgian jazz history that produced a unique sound which distinguishes itself from its American source of inspiration by an indefinable characteristic that can be hardly better described than ‘Belgian’. The release follows Sdban’s critically acclaimed ‘Let’s Get Swinging: Modern Jazz in Belgium 1950-1970’, released back in 2017.
Glaswegian musician, producer, DJ and curator Rebecca Vasmant announces her debut LP ‘With Love, From Glasgow’, showcasing the breadth of the incredible Jazz talent the city has to offer.
Having made a name for herself with a residency at Sub Club, Rebecca took the lead in curating the first live Jazz showcases at the venue, also running a popular record fair with the venerable venue and a spot on BBC Radio Scotland and Worldwide FM.
While promoting and touring in over 22 countries constantly over the last five years, Rebecca has honed her craft on production projects which feature world class musicians from The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra and more, her talents are not only in spinning records, but in composing, producing and performing. Though known for its rich musical heritage, Glasgow is not a city perhaps synonymous with Jazz.
Rebecca and her cohort of hand picked musicians set out to change people’s opinions. Rebecca explains: “There is such crazy wealth of talent in this city of Glasgow and I wanted to make an album that helped to demonstrate this and which captures my own love and passion for deep and spiritual music. This album highlights just some of the exciting things that are happening here in Scotland and it’s been a real honour and pleasure working with the hugely talented musicians who came together to collaborate in such a free and beautiful way. During the time spent working on this music an amazing family formed, something for which I am so grateful.”
Following the release of their album, Freedom Fables, a 9-piece afro-jazz group, Nubiyan Twist joined us on the radio show to discuss the album, and their journey. Now, it wasn’t all nine members of the group (the show would be way over an hour and a half) but we spoke with Pilo and Joe.
Dans Dans are pleased to share the video for the moody noir rhythms of new single ‘Cinder Bay’. Bass player Fred ‘Lyenn’ Jacques created a homemade video of ink dancing on a pink surface. The ink symbolises expression; it’s used to write or draw, to transfer thoughts and emotions.
As the ink bubbles and fizzes on the music’s frequency, the droplets lead a life of their own or interact with one another, propelled by the music, creating a palpable harmony between the music and its definition. “Cinder Bay evokes water and fire; a pastel sky above a deep sea; a carefree summer’s night at the beach, tinged with sadness and dread,” says Jacques.
London has been a hotbed of musical diversity, and KOKOROKO embody the musical innovation which London’s diverse culture has helped create. Infusing the energy of West African afrobeats and comptemporary jazz, KOKOROKO, have helped usher a cross-cultural musical sound which has seen the tour across Europe.
Following the release of their single Carry Me Home’ earlier this year, they have just released the new single Baba Ayoola, through Giles Peterson’s Brownswood recordings.
The song is dedicated to the grandfather of the band’s saxophonist, Cassie Kinoshi, and it’s exactly the kind of bright, rolling jam that we need going into the end of 2020.
Check ‘Baba Ayoola’ below, and let us know what you think:
London-based record label Whirlwind Recordings are pleased to announce the release of ‘Everything All of the Time: Kid A Revisited’ from award-winning jazz pianist and composer Rick Simpson.
Created to mark the 20th anniversary of ‘Kid A’ the landmark album by Radiohead, the project’s roots were planted in a series of sell-out gigs curated by Simpson at London’s Vortex club featuring non-jazz records rearranged for jazz players.
The original gig was such a storming success, drawing in listeners from beyond the club’s regular audience, that Simpson re-assembled the band in the studio and recorded the entire album in a single afternoon session. “I think the time pressure contributed to the performances! It’s really punchy and to the point, but a lot happens – it captures the energy so well”.
Based in London, Simpson’s impeccable technique and restless imagination have earned him a place at the forefront of contemporary UK jazz music. Since graduating from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2008 he has performed with musicians such as Christian Scott, Eric Harland, Joe Sanders, Michael Janisch, Ernesto Simpson, Martin Speake, Earl Burness Travis, Stan Sulzmann and Jeff Williams. He also plays in the ensembles of Michael Janisch, Leo Richardson, Jay Phelps, Rory Simmons, Alice Leggett, Riley Stone-Lonergan, Andre Canniere, and Kristian Borring amongst others.
Listen to his single ‘Kid A’ below, and let us know what you think. This is taken from his forthcoming album, ‘Kid A’ from ‘Everything All of the Time: Kid A Revisited’
Worldwide Award winning and MOBO nominated trumpeter, composer, producer and DJ Matthew Halsall presents his new single “Joyful Spirits Of The Universe” – also announcing his new LP “Salute To The Sun” – (forthcoming on his Gondwana Records label). Beautifully charming and heartwarming, the blissful piano early into the track is simply delightful. Its a long a enduring composition which Matthew creates plenty of room for his trumpet and saxophone to create a spellbinding warming atmosphere.
Speaking on his forthcoming album, Matthew says: “I feel ‘Salute to the Sun’ is a positive earthy album. I wanted to create something playful but also quite primitive, earthy and organic that connected to the sounds in nature. I was listening to lush ambient field recordings of tropical environments such as jungles and rainforests and found myself drawn to percussive atmospheric sounds which replicated what I was hearing (bells / shakers / chimes / rain sticks) and I started to experiment with more wooden percussive instruments such as kalimba and marimba.”
Check out his news single Joyful Spirits Of The Universe below, and let us know what you think:
Inspired by the times we’re currently living through, multi-instrumentalist DIKE OKOHoffers some light at the end of the tunnel through forthcoming single, ‘Bossa Nights’ set for release on 14th August.
Written and produced by Okoh himself, ‘Bossa Nights’ explores times of uncertainty through a story of hope. The heartfelt jazz piece, infused with soulful R&B, boasts a tranquil arrangement of live acoustic guitar, live-bass, percussion, live drums, vocal synths, saxophone and trumpet, glazed over with Okoh’s soothing baritone vocal instrument. To give ‘Bossa Nights’ its own strong and unique identity, Okoh has worked some of the industry’s most seasoned musicians.
The ideal escapism song, ‘Bossa Nights’ was mastered by Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios. Miles has worked his magic on many of the world’s best-known artists, including The Beatles, Queen, Ed Sheeran, The Rolling Stones and Marvin Gaye.
Listen to his previous single, ‘Last Chance’ below, and let us know what you think:
Shaking the underground broken house scene with his solo club focus music, Henry Wu returns under his live jazz focused band, Kaamal Williams, with the the brand new single, ‘One More Time’, as well as the announcement of their forthcoming album – ‘Wu Hen’ through his very own label, Black Focus Records.
When pressed for insight into the album’s overarching themes, Kamaal proclaims: “This is a revolution of the mind. A spiritual rebellion. To reach new heights requires separating ourselves from the material world and finding power in what’s intangible. That’s what music and art is for – whether it’s a primitive emotion or something deep, you feel it. And there’s a subliminal element that resonates throughout my work. If you’re painting, it’s what you’re feeling as you’re painting. And the person looking at that artwork or listening to that music, they can feel it too, because it’s sincere.”
Have a listen to the single below, and let us know what you think:
Building his reputation as one of the most exciting breakout names coming out of Nigeria right now, rising singer/songwriter WurlD releases his new EP Afrosoul.
Following a serious entrance into the ether with his debut COLORS performance last week (125K+ views and climbing), WurlD now showcases his debut EP, Afrosoul exciting vocal finesse and the kind of innate musicality that has brought him early critical acclaim across the likes of THE FADER, VIBE and OKAYAFRICA.