George Jackson – In Memphis 1972-77

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?

Golden age r&b / soul

Moods

Letting loose with the radio on

Thoughts

George Jackson is dripping soul. His natural charismatic groove makes up for OK songwriting and lyrics. It's an exhaustive collection so works best as background mood-music rather than party singles.

The later tracks, starting with ‘you can't run away from love’, improve with some added grit.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/George-Jackson-In-Memphis-1972-77/release/4175930

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94f8Q0F0vEQ

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George Jackson – In Memphis 1972-77

Description: Album Review of George Jackson – In Memphis 1972-77


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Kalabrese – Independent Dancer

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?

Groove based 'fun’ electro

Moods

A ode to the joy of being lost in life

Thoughts

Hard not to dig a kalabrese release, his tracks are all bursting with love of the craft. Above all else this album maintains a constant groove with lots of interesting production flourishes and bursts of instrumentation that keep these extended cuts engaging.

Lyrically he sings like a wanderlust euro, not the most articulate but he makes up for it in his genuineness. The addition of other vocalists is a welcome dimension. It's an album with moments of greatness but also suffers from an uneven side 2 that felt scattered.

Worth a listen for sure.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Kalabrese-Independent-Dancer/release/4420013

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnDgS8Hkni4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=af01NV3mqjc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQNGYgQMEaE

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Kalabrese – Independent Dancer

Description: Album Review of Kalabrese – Independent Dancer


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Joe Armon-Jones – Starting Today

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?

Hip modern funky chill jazz

Moods

Feeling cool

Thoughts

I like the instrumentation a lot, groove focused over technical playing (he played keys on that makaya mccraven ‘where we come from’ album I enjoy). Competent bass keeps a hip hop flavor alive, ‘mollison’ is great pure dub revival that I bet is a fun jam live. Vocals really detract on 'starting today' which felt forced but work on 'too far' which reminds me of thundercat in it's melancholic mantra repetition and 'London's face' where the tempo is kicked up a bit.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Joe-Armon-Jones-Starting-Today/release/11972498

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdz9jHg-mWM

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Joe Armon-Jones – Starting Today

Description: Album Review of Joe Armon-Jones – Starting Today


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Idris Muhammad – House Of The Rising Sun

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?
Upbeat kinda groovy quick jazz funk

Moods
Having a good time with some smart ass music

Thoughts
I love Muhammad’s drumming which gives this an incredibly quick backbeat that only a true master can provide. Add in some punchy bass and solos that carry with energy and character, has a 70s grit to it.

The writing is great too, taking pop and turning them into jazz songs (really well done, not just half-baked covers) Sudan is a great piece where I feel the band gels more and feels slightly less arranged. (Admittedly the track I said to myself ok this is a really good album). I don’t want you know more is a greater closer. Bit new Orleans brass with a floating keys line and funky get up and dance drum beat, ends with the right energy.

Allmusic got it right:

But the complete disregard for the political correctness of “Jazz” itself, in order to get the deeply funky and soulful grooves across, is what makes this set so damn special and even spiritual in its inspiration. Jazz purists lost all credibility when they slagged this one off, caught as they were in tainted, even racist views of the past that made no allowances for jazz musicians to actually follow their time-honored tradition of mining the pop music of the day to extend the breadth and reach of jazz itself. Anybody who wants to believe that George Gershwin is somehow more important than George Porter Jr. is already lost in his own cultural fascism. Muhammad, who understands this better than anyone, pulled out all the stops here and blasted out one amazingly tough, funky slab. Brilliant.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Idris-Muhammad-House-Of-The-Rising-Sun/release/3429650

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Idris Muhammad – House Of The Rising Sun

Description: Album Review of Idris Muhammad – House Of The Rising Sun


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Makaya McCraven – Where We Come From (CHICAGOxLONDON Mixtape)

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?
Modern jazz with a strong hip hop bend

Moods
Evening warehouse jam

Thoughts
A fine example of jazz that successfully incorporates hip hop elements, typically these hybrids are reversed (eg Kendricks backing band). This has a dynamic energy to it, making good use of effects and electronics to keep things fresh. While it plays like a live album this was stitched together in post production which benefits the experience as something that’s just one big highlight. Exploratory playful, energetic, progressive: what jazz is all about.

Recommended tracks: ox tales, repetitive drumline pushes things forward with a soulful keys solo on top, King drive utilizes a James Blake pitched down vocal to extreme effectiveness on a track already utilizing off-time signatures.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Makaya-McCraven-Where-We-Come-From-CHICAGOxLONDON-Mixtape/release/12364402

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Makaya McCraven – Where We Come From (CHICAGOxLONDON Mixtape)

Description: Album Review of Makaya McCraven – Where We Come From (CHICAGOxLONDON Mixtape)


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Teyana Taylor – K.T.S.E.

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?
Low-key R&B

Moods
Babe we got this

Thoughts
This EP is not without flaws, and takes a few tracks to get into swing, but I find it to be a charming set of songs. The easy going and intimate productions anchored by simple guitar and percussion fits her limited range perfectly, putting some memorable lyrical adages front and center.

‘Issues’ and ‘Hurry’ are modern r&b gems.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Teyana-Taylor-KTSE/release/12173407

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Teyana Taylor – K.T.S.E.

Description: Album Review of Teyana Taylor – K.T.S.E.


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Hunee – Hunchin’ All Night

★★☆☆☆ = Eh, fine

Sounds like?
New age / world into clubier house tracks

Moods
Obscure for the sake of being obscure

Thoughts
The 80s world pop on the first few songs is OK but things take a decidedly more interesting turn with ‘ritual of love’ where the house vibe is gradually turned up behind a vocal rambling. This transitions into Larry Heard’s burning 4 love, a fantastic house track. Things finish off OK, better than side 1 at least, but overall not anything I feel the need to revisit.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Hunee-Hunchin-All-Night/release/11839108

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Hunee – Hunchin’ All Night

Description: Album Review of Hunee – Hunchin’ All Night


Rating: 2 out of 5

 

Curtis Knight & The Squires – You Can’t Use My Name – The RSVP / PPX Sessions

★★☆☆☆ = Eh, fine

Sounds like?
R&B / electric blues

Moods
Rainy day woman take me away

Thoughts
There’s effectively two parts to this: R&B tracks written by Curtis Knight and a handful of instrumentals written by Hendrix. I like the instrumentals but wasn’t into the vocal tracks written by Curtis. Stick with Hendrix’s main catalog.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Curtis-Knight-The-Squires-You-Cant-Use-My-Name-The-RSVP-PPX-Sessions/release/6942436

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Curtis Knight & The Squires – You Can’t Use My Name – The RSVP / PPX Sessions

Description: Album Review of Curtis Knight & The Squires – You Can’t Use My Name – The RSVP / PPX Sessions


Rating: 2 out of 5

 

James Brown – In The Jungle Groove (Expanded Edition)

★★★★★ = Classic, essential listening

Sounds like?
James Brown’s soulful funk

Moods
Having a good time with people that love good music

Thoughts
This is the good stuff: tight extended funk jams, some of my favorite James Brown songs are here. A fantastic record and must hear for any funk fan.

Fun fact: Bootsy is playing bass on a few of the tracks.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/James-Brown-In-The-Jungle-Groove-Expanded-Edition/release/576416

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James Brown – In The Jungle Groove (Expanded Edition)

Description: Album Review of James Brown – In The Jungle Groove (Expanded Edition)


Rating: 5 out of 5

 

DJ Dodger Stadium – Big Wave More Fire

★★★☆☆ = Good!

What’s it sound like?
Energetic electro with vocals

Moods
2017 with a kick

Thoughts
Fan of these dudes, underrated producers who produced great mixes as LOL boys as well as for Kanye. I thought their debut was great (note: I should revisit that one) but a bit on the experimental side at times.

I like this release albeit a bit repetitive as an entire album. Production relies on vocoder and a break beat style that gives instant energy. The usage of vocoder reminds me of Justin Vernon at times and I can’t picture this aging gracefully. Still, a lot to like on this highly accessible album.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/DJDS-Big-Wave-More-Fire/release/12390752

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DJ Dodger Stadium – Big Wave More Fire

Description: Album Review of DJ Dodger Stadium – Big Wave More Fire


Rating: 3 out of 5