The UK’s Acid Jazz label celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and one of its key releases for 2018 is a compilation devised by the label’s co-founder, DJ and tastemaker, Eddie Piller, together with actor/occasional DJ, Martin Freeman (of The Office, Sherlock and The Hobbit fame). The project is dubbed ‘Jazz Around The Corner’ and features 2CDs/LPs comprised of tracks selected by Messrs Piller and Freeman. The latter, who put together a CD called ‘Made To Measure’ in 2006 for Motown, has compiled the first disc, which blends vintage old school instrumentals (including hard boppers Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers, Eddie Harris, Lee Morgan, and organist Jimmy Smith ) with classic vocal cuts (Mose Allison, Blossom Dearie) and more recent material from neo-spiritual jazz avatar, Kamasi Washington. The second disc was conceived by Eddie Piller and its selections include cult vocal sides from Eugene McDaniels (‘Cherrystones’), Marlena Shaw (‘Look At Me, Look At You’), and Leon Thomas (‘Just In Time To See The Sun’), plus cool grooves from Blue Mitchell, Norman Connors, the UK’s own Brand New Heavies, and Les McCann. It all adds up to a head-nodding, toe-tapping, groove-heavy set that will please diehard jazz fans and newies alike.
‘Jazz On The Corner’ is available from March 23rd on double vinyl LP, 2-CD and digital formats via Acid Jazz.