Saturday, 16 June 2018 11:16 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

                              altTenor saxophonist and composer, KAMASI WASHINGTON, made jazz sexy and cool again in the eyes of mainstream audiences with 'The Epic,' his critically-acclaimed  triple album from 2015, which appealed as much to pop and rock fans as well as jazz's hardcore devotees. The secret to the 37-year-old's success  wasn't just down to visual presentation - Washington looks like a Biblical prophet leading a band of rock stars - but his music, with its big, uplifting melodies, sumptuous arrangements, high energy, and positive vibes,  gave the world something fresh and different. What's unique about him is that he's simultaneously groundbreaking and accessible.

Washington's popularity has also been fuelled by all the different festivals he and his band, The Next Step, have played over the last three years around the world, which has widened not only his own audience, but has seemingly given the general public a new appetite for contemporary jazz.

Following in the wake of last year's superb EP, 'Harmony Of Difference,' 'Heaven & Earth' is a 16-track concept album that will be available on double CD and vinyl. Washington is joined by his band, The Next Step - including singer, Patrice Quinn, pianist Cameron Graves, keyboardist Brandon Coleman, trombonist Ryan Porter, bassist Miles Mosley, and drummer Tony Austin - along with several members of The West Coast Get Down, a loose aggregation of Los Angeles musicians that includes Stephen "Thundercat" Bruner, his brother, drummer, Ronald Bruner, and Terrace Martin. Noted jazz singer, Dwight Tribble, features on the album's first single, 'Fists Of Fury.'

'Heaven & Earth' is available (on CD, LP, download, and to stream) via the Young Turks record label on Friday 22nd June.

   Look for a detailed review soon at SJF

Last Updated on Saturday, 16 June 2018 14:22



Friday, 15 June 2018 17:41 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altAL LINDSEY is a veteran US soul man who, though born down in Virginia, actually began his singing career in Detroit where his family relocated to. By 14 he was singing lead in his local church choir and by 16 he was hitting the Motor City's night clubs.

He eventually hooked up with Lawrence Payton Jr (son of Four Tops, Lawrence Payton Snr and now a Top himself) before deciding to take the solo route. One of Al's first recordings 'Always On My Mind' became a cult Northern soul classic while a trio of albums gained a measure of success.

Al has just self-released his fourth long player – the ten tracker that is 'Versatility', and it's shaping up to be his most successful to date, being, well, "versatile". There's plenty for the dancers, different shadings of soul, heartfelt ballads and even a dash of reggae.

The cut garnering all the plaudits right now is the opening track 'Cotton Candy' – a tight, proper soul groove with a touch of toughness - perfect for the modern soul scene. Repeat plays of the album though allow the ballads to shine. Two of the best are 'Midsummer Dream' and 'Heavenly Thoughts' while the album's title cut attracts with its mix of lush orchestration, heartfelt vocals and meaningful, "social awareness" style lyrics. It's preceded by a monologue that adds a little more magic.

The album's lush soundscape in some ways reminds me of vintage Whispers sets, though elsewhere I can hear shades of Isaac Hayes. In truth Al's vocals go a little awry in places but in fact that only adds to the authentic, old school sound... certainly charming.

Al Lindsey's 'Versatility' is out now

Last Updated on Friday, 15 June 2018 17:48



Friday, 15 June 2018 15:33 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altFor the past several years the enigmatic MAXWELL has been working on his BLACKSUMMERS'NIGHT trilogy and, I think, we're still waiting for volume III. Well, it might be with us very soon. Today Maxwell has released a new single – the first track from the project. It's a very sombre, yes, mournful piece 'We Never Saw It Coming'... the production is sparse and heads are already being scratched wondering what the parent album will offer.



Friday, 15 June 2018 15:29 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altHOMEMADE is a UK trio Kavita Singh (Vocals), Daz-I-Kue (Beats & Keys) and Daniel March (Guitar). Their name comes from the simple fact that their first recordings together were recorded in Kavita's front room. That music is now set for release as an EP with the edgy, unusual, 'Ahead Of The Curve' heralding the full release.

Those familiar with Kavita's work with people like Nitin Sawnhey and Bugz In The Attic will know she has an unusual eerie quality that adds intrigue to 'Ahead Of The Curve' in a Macy Gray kind of way

Last Updated on Friday, 15 June 2018 15:43



Friday, 15 June 2018 06:58 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

            altLondon's Under The Bridge venue, located beneath Chelsea football club's Stamford Bridge ground, is to host some exciting concerts his summer.  As part of London's Innervisions Festival the venue is hosting a rare UK appearance by the cult Japanese band, SOIL & 'PIMP' SESSIONS, a quintet who describe their own music as "death jazz." They'll be in London on July 5th.

On the 6th, the power trio, the BAD PLUS will bring more pioneering contemporary jazz flavours to London.

A day later, on the 7th July, trombonist extraordinaire, FRED WESLEY, arrives in town with the NEW JBS to serve up a delectable funk and soul feast.

Also appearing at the Innervisions Festival Under The Bridge is singer-songwriter and funk bass maven, MESHELL NDEGEOCELLO, who will be playing music from her latest album, 'Ventriloquism,' covers of '80s and '90s R&B hits, on 11th July.

The final concert at Under The Bridge  as part of the Innervisions Festival comes from JANET KAY and CARROLL THOMPSON, dubbed the 'Queens Of Lovers Rock,' who will serve up some slick reggae grooves.

 For more info go to:

Last Updated on Friday, 15 June 2018 15:44


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