Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Trüby Trio ‎– Elevator Music (2003)

Style: Broken Beat, Soul, Future Jazz, Deep House, Drum n Bass, Funk
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Compost Records, Quality! Records

01.   The Rhythm (Part One)
02.   Universal Love
03.   New Music
04.   Runnin'
05.   Jaleo
06.   Alegre 2003
07.   A Festa
08.   Make A Move
09.   A Go Go
10.   Bad Luck
11.   Lover Underground
12.   The Swingin' Feel
13    Cruisin'
14.   Satisfaction
15.   The Rhythm (Part Two)

He's given us the invaluable 'Glucklich' series, and now it's time for Rainer Truby's debut album, with his Truby Trio cohorts Roland Appel and Christian Prommer. As you'd expect it's a variety of postcards from around the world, resulting in one of the finest jazz 'n' breaks albums you'll hear this year.  
There's the easy funk of 'Universal Love' for starters, with Marcus Begg on vocals over a nice squelchy bass sound. Begg appears later on 'Lover Uncovered', backed this time by slick broken beats. Joseph Malik, now a Compost stalwart, vocalises 'Bad Luck', and the gorgeous tones of Wunmi add to 'Runnin's sexy groove. The most vibrant tracks for me are the ventures into drum and bass, with 'A Festa' opening initially on a slow beat before the main sound drops - fast and springy. Meanwhile 'A Go Go' is more of a breaks workout but keeps the feel-good energy flying.  
So if it's hot, you want to throw the windows open and put on a cool summery soundtrack - this is one you should consider.
Ben Hogwood / Resident Advisor

Alice Coltrane Featuring Pharoah Sanders ‎– Journey In Satchidananda (1971)

Style: Avant-garde Jazz, Modal, Post Bop
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Impulse!, ABC Records

1.   Journey In Satchidananda
2.   Shiva-Loka
3.   Stopover Bombay
4.   Something About John Coltrane
5.   Isis And Osiris

Bass – Cecil McBee
Bells, Tambourine – Majid Shabazz
Design – Wallace Caldwell
Drums – Rashied Ali
Harp, Piano, Liner Notes, Composed By – Alice Coltrane
Soprano Saxophone, Percussion – Pharoah Sanders
Tambura – Tulsi
Producer – Alice Coltrane, Ed Michel

The 1960s saw an increased interest in Eastern spirituality, philosophy and music, which was seen and heard not just on the fringes but even in the most prominent places in popular culture later in the decade, particularly at the height of the psychedelic movement. Jazz musicians had experimented with the notion of Indian/Eastern music several years prior and tended to focus on the opportunities those styles could provide musically, rather than anything aesthetic. John Coltrane had developed a fascination for music of different cultures, notably Africa and India, incorporating different modes but often still performing the compositions with the typical instrumentation of a jazz band. Although receiving mixed receptions at the time, all of those moves made perfect sense given the era, with artists shifting focus and approach from bop to modal jazz – the new influences gave added possibilities and freedom as a soloist. Yusef Lateef displayed Eastern influences even in the 1950s, and by the early 1960s was performing songs (often blues based or standards) with more exotic instruments, not commonly heard on jazz records in the era. 
In 1970, Alice Coltrane expanded on these ideas and experiments with Journey In Satchidananda, the most renowned record of her career and arguably her best. The influence of Middle Eastern music is immediately obvious with the use of the tamboura, which lays a dreamlike, droning backdrop. The rest of the line up is far more typical, with piano, drums, bass, soprano saxophone and various percussion, but the performances are fittingly far from rigid. Bass lines are memorable, fairly simple, repetitive, and they fit seamlessly – functioning almost as if they were repeated mantras. That’s part of the charm for much of the album – repetition without being redundant. In addition to piano, Coltrane also adds her harp flourishes which are extremely effective on the title track in particular and sound much more integrated than they did on some of her previous recordings in a sparser trio setting. Pharoah Sanders plays saxophone, more in the vein of his late 60s/early 70s albums, as opposed to the unrestrained recordings of the mid 60s. 
The title track is a clear highlight and essentially sums up what’s to follow – built around the drone of the tamboura and a straight-forward bass line. Another standout is Isis And Osiris, notable for several reasons – it’s a live cut, with the other four songs being studio offerings. The tamboura is omitted in favour of oud, which provides a sonic contrast. It makes full use of its twelve minutes and develops into a piece more urgent, up-tempo and energetic than anything else that preceded it, without disrupting the flow or feeling out of place. 
The album is strangely accessible, especially when compared to her husband John’s music towards the end of his life and other spiritually inclined music from the era. It was Alice’s second release of the year, following the impressive Ptah, The El Daoud. At a time when many of jazz music’s big names were leaning towards fusion and beginning to use electric instruments, this bucks those trends and sounds all the more distinct for doing so. She would go on to release several more excellent records in the 70s, as well as sporadic releases until her death in 2007, but nothing quite as engaging and cohesive as Journey In Satchidananda.
Chrisjon89  / sputnik music

Pedro Santos ‎– Krishnanda (1968)

Style: Samba, MPB, Psychedelic, Folk
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Mr Bongo, CBS, Polysom

01.   Ritual Negro
02.   Agua Viva
03.   Um So
04.   Sem Sombra
05.   Savana
06.   Advertencia
07.   Quem Sou Eu?
08.   Flor De Lotus
09.   Dentro Da Selva
10.   Desengano Da Vista
11.   Dual
12.   Arabindu

Arranged By – Jopa Lins
Producer – Hélcio Milito
Written-By, Composed By – Pedro Santos

A cornerstone of Brazilian psychedelia, with a cover to match, the record bought in elements of folk, afro-soul and samba, bound together by a lyrical depth that reflected Santos’ own reputation as something of a philosopher. There certainly can’t have many records that grooved like this one while dealing with questions of morality, existence and ego. 
A virtuoso percussionist and inventor, the record also features a number of Santos’ hand-made instruments like the ‘tamba’ (electrified bamboo drum) and the mouth berimbau whistle. 
With originals going for silly money online, Krishnanda‘s stock has been increased by association, with everyone from Floating Points to Madlib and Gilles Peterson boosting it to legendary status. Quantic even called it his “favourite album of all time,” and althoguh they might be a tad biased, it doesn’t count for nothing that Mr Bongo have themselves called it “one of the best albums ever made, regardless of genre or origin.”
As ever, Mr Bongo have done a fine job in painstakingly reproducing the incredible cover art from the 1968 CBS original, and have given us a track to stream, which you can listen to below. Click here to find out more.
Anton Spice / The Vinyl Factory

Jóhann Jóhannsson ‎– The Miners' Hymns (2011)

Style: Soundtrack, Modern Classical, Ambient
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: 130701, NoTV-Records

1.   They Being Dead Yet Speaketh
2.   An Injury To One Is The Concern Of All
3.   Freedom From Want And Fear
4.   There Is No Safe Side But The Side Of Truth
5.   Industrial And Provident, We Unite To Assist Each Other
6.   The Cause Of Labour Is The Hope Of The World

Cornet – Niall Thompson, Tony Thompson
Organ – Robert Houssart
Percussion – Beth Steele, Ian Wynd
Trombone – Alex Trotter, Brian Gibson , John Bell, Steve Baxter
French Horn – Alan Tokeley, Callum Mackay, David Tollington, Graham Tedd
Trumpet – Alex Maynard, Ellie Lovegrove, Russell Jackson, Thomas Glendinning
Tuba – Eric Leckenby, Jeff Winter, Owen Wallage
Conductor – Guðni Franzson
Composed By, Arranged By, Producer, Mixed By, Electronics – Jóhann Jóhannsson

In his book, London Under, Peter Ackroyd notes that the world beneath our feet can "move the imagination to awe and to horror". But, equally, it’s a locus for prodigious triumph and catastrophic ruin, as this collaboration between Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson and American filmmaker Bill Morrison unequivocally shows. 
Taking the ill-fated mining community of Durham in northeast England as their subject, the pair has crafted a brooding, dark tribute focused on the appalling hardships of pit labour and the undeniable salience of the trade union movement in times of political cataclysm. Morrison deploys archival footage of the 1984 strike and the attendant running pitch battles with police alongside more genteel moments – charting the remarkable escalation of the prosaic towards the historic. Yet, despite the miner’s defiance, the eventual death knell of the industry had been sounded by Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government and the flow of a community’s economic lifeblood had been staunched. In this light, The Miners’ Hymns becomes something of a fighters’ lament. 
As Morrison’s arresting imagery filters through, the only sounds heard are those provided by Jóhannsson’s highly emotive score. The potency of the pictures’ powerful message can only be fully comprehended by hearing their audio accompaniment. By returning to the brass arrangements of 2004’s Virðulegu Forsetar, Jóhannsson is referencing both the popularity and symbolic importance of the region’s traditional colliery bands, while evoking Elgar’s distinctive brand of Englishness. But these supremely evocative compositions also percolate in fuggy, swirling miasmas, recalling not only Ingram Marshall’s Fog Tropes, but also the catalogues of other artists forging ghostly cavernous sonorities below the Earth’s crust, such as Pauline Oliveros with her deep listening cistern operations and Oliver Beer’s explorations of the resonances inherent in Victorian sewers. Here dwells the belly of the pit, the occupational heart of darkness. 
While nowhere near as immediate as Jóhannsson’s string-based albums for the 4AD imprint – IBM 1401, A User’s Manual and the sublime Fordlândia – The Miners’ Hymns is far more complex in its use of dynamics while succeeding totally in its evocation of time, place and message. And those still seeking the attention-grabbing symphonies of before will no doubt get a suitable fix from the gloriously drilled The Cause of Labour is the Hope of the World, drawing to a rousing end this powerful testament to the plight of traditional labours and our nation’s working class.
Spencer Grady / BBC Review

Working Week ‎– Working Nights (1984) (2CD Remastered 2012)

Style: Soul-Jazz, Acid Jazz, Downtempo, Synth-pop, Latin Jazz
Fomat: CD, Vinyl, Cass.
Label: Cherry Red, Virgin

1-01.   Inner City Blues
1-02.   Sweet Nothing
1-03.   Who's Fooling Who
1-04.   Thought I'd Never See You Again
1-05.   Autumn Boy
1-06.   Solo
1-07.   Venceremos
1-08.   No Cure No Pay
Bonus Tracks
1-09.   Stella Marina (Main Mix)
1-10.   Storm Of Light
1-11.   Bottom End
1-12.   Venceremos (We Will Win) (Jazz Dance Special 12" Edit)

Bonus Tracks
2-01.   Venceremos (We Will Win) (Jazz Dance Special 12" Version)
2-02.   Afochê
2-03.   Murphy's Law (Live)
2-04.   Pepe's Samba (Live)
2-05.   Inner City Blues (Urban Guerrilla Mix)
2-06.   Storm Of Light (Instrumental)
2-07.   Who's Fooling Who
2-08.   Sweet Nothing
2-09.   Where's The Bridge (Longer Mix)
2-10.   Venceremos (We Will Win) (7" Bossa Version)
2-11.   Stella Marina (Full Rap)

Bass – Chucho Merchan, Ernest Mothle
Drums – Louis Moholo, Mark Taylor, Nic France, Roy Dodds
Guitar – Robin Millar
Guitar, Arranged By – Simon Booth
Percussion – Dawson Miller, Joao Bosco De Oliveira, Martin Ditcham
Piano – Kim Burton
Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Flute, Arranged By– Larry Stabbins
Trombone – Annie Whitehead, Malcolm Griffiths
Trumpet – Guy Barker, Harry Beckett
Backing Vocals – Leroy Osbourne
Vocals – Claudia Figueroa, Julie Tippetts Robert Wyatt, Tracey Thorn, Jalal, Juliet Roberts