THE JAZZ DEFENDERS are a UK (Bristol) quintet formed by pianist George Cooper. He put the band together to explore his love and respect for soul-jazz and classic hard bop – the music of the Golden Age of labels like Blue Note. George and the band are currently preparing their third long player – due early next year.
In time honoured fashion the team have just released a lead single. It’s a fusion of 60s soul-jazz and 90s hip hop, a flavour they developed on their last album ‘King Phoenix’. On that set one of the key cuts was ‘Perfectly Imperfect ‘ which featured free flow rapping from London’s Doc Brown. A tasty cut, it drew compassion to the work of Guru circa ‘Jazzmatazz’. The Defenders were so pleased with the track that once again they’ve drafted in the good Doc to lead on the new single – a pacey groove, ‘Rolling On a High’. It’s a punchy piece of work with Ramsey Lewis style piano, funky Hammond, tight brass riffing and acoustic bass lines all toped off with Brown’s laidback rhyming.
The putative B side takes the tempo right down with ‘Looking Back’. It’s a reflective, late night kind of affair with lovely brass work and mellow strings. Once again Doc Brown is out front.
The Jazz Defenders & Doc Brown: Rolling On A High / Looking Back – Format: 45 / Digital.
Digital out now: 45 release date: September 15th 2023 : Label: Haggis Records