Saturday, 2 May 2020

Ray Bryant ‎– Up Above The Rock (1968)

Style: Soul-Jazz, Smooth Jazz, Modal
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Cadet

Tracklist:
01.   Up Above The Rock
02.   Dag Nab It
03.   Quizas, Quizas, Quizas
04.   If I Were A Carpenter
05.   Little Green Apples
06.   I Say A Little Prayer
07.   After Hours
08.   Where The Wind Blows
09.   Five, Six And Seven
10.   Mrs. Robinson

Credits:
Bass – Ron Carter
Drums – Grady Tatel
Flugelhorn, Trumpet – Danny Moore, Dobbie Hiques, Snookie Young
Arranged By – Ray Bryant
Producer – Richard Evans

One of the hardest, heaviest albums that Ray Bryant ever cut – even on the ballads – a monster little record that grabs you from the very first note! Ray did the arrangements for this one himself – working with his core trio that featured Ron Carter on bass and Grady Tate on drums, and adding in a twin-trumpet frontline that cooks the groove over the top with a really righteous sound! The rhythms are complicated, yet really funky – and the album's almost worth it alone for the title track "Up Above The Rock", which will forever be remembered for its monster break! The whole thing's great, though – and Ray follows up the leadoff cooker with other great tunes that include "Dag Nab It", "Quizas Quizas Quizas", "Five Six & Seven", "Little Green Apples", "I Say A Little Prayer", "After Hours", and "Where The Wind Blows".
Dusty Groove

Teto Preto ‎– Pedra Preta (2018)

Style: Techno, Deep House, Darkwave
Format: Vinyl, FLAC
Label: Mamba Rec

Tracklist:
A1.   Safo
A2.   Ita
A3.   Em D+ìvidas
A4.   Gasolina Aditivada
B1.   Bica
B2.   Pedra Preta
B3.   Raio
B4.   Bate Mais

Credits:
Lyrics By, Vocals – Carneosso
Mastered By – Arthur Joly
Producer, Mixed By – Savio de Queiroz, Zopelar
Trumpet, Percussion – William Bica

Como transportar para dentro de estúdio a mesma força e atmosfera caótica que embala as apresentações da Teto Preto? Ponto central do imenso turbilhão criativo que vem movimentando a cidade de São Paulo desde o início da presente década – vide diferentes festas de rua e eventos de ocupação do centro, como a Mamba Negra –, a performance do coletivo paulistano assume nova formatação em cada uma das oito faixas que marcam o primeiro álbum de estúdio do grupo, Pedra Preta (2018, Mamba Rec). Uma interpretação polida, mas não menos significativa de tudo aquilo que sintetiza a estranheza e o caráter contestador do projeto comandado por Laura Diaz (CarneOsso). 
Consumido pela força das batidas, vozes berradas e ruídos eletrônicos que encolhem e crescem a todo instantes, Pedra Preta reflete com naturalidade a atmosfera delirante da capital paulista, porém, sempre apontando para fora, como uma fuga desse mesmo universo. São colagens e ambientações estéticas que acabam valorizando a presença de cada integrante relacionado ao projeto, além de Diaz, completo pela presença de Loic Koutana (performance), Pedro Zopelar (sintetizadores, bateria eletrônica), Savio de Queiroz (sintetizadores, bateria eletrônica) e William Bica (percussão, trombone). 
Exemplo disso está na composição turbulenta que ganha forma na terceira faixa do disco, Em D+Ìvidas. Entre sintetizadores e batidas cíclicas, a voz instável de Diaz se projeta de forma provocativa: “Vocês reclamam / Mas ainda não viram nada / Não é a vaidade / É sobre um vazio de ausência / Num profundo pesar / Vocês estão perdidos“. Versos que discutem a incerteza dos relacionamentos, caos econômico, medo e conflitos que invadem a mente de qualquer indivíduo. Um misto de desespero e aceitação, direcionamento também explícito na música de abertura do disco, a crescente Safo (“Não minto, eu me queria morta / Deixava-me desfeita em lágrimas“). Nada que se compare ao material entregue pelo grupo em Gasolina Aditivada. 
Originalmente apresentada ao público no homônimo EP de 2016, a canção passa agora por um novo tratamento em estúdio, reforçando não apenas a poesia de Diaz, mas, principalmente, o rico alicerce eletrônico e base metálica que serve de sustento à faixa. “Eu sou o pão vivo que desceu do céu / E quem comer desse pão, para sempre viverá … E quem come da minha carne / E bebe do meu sangue / Permanece em mim / E eu nele“, canta enquanto sintetizadores e batidas descompassadas revisitam o industrial techno da década de 1990. Uma avalanche de ruídos e versos soltos que ganha ainda mais destaque na derradeira Bate Mais, composição de essência política que carrega nos versos um importante debate sobre os recentes assassinatos da vereadora Marielle Franco e da estudante Matheusa. 
Uma vez dentro desse ambiente sombrio, curioso perceber como o coletivo estabelece pequenos respiros criativos, confortando o ouvinte. É o caso de Bica, música que soa como uma releitura autoral dos encontros esporádicos entre e Marcos Vale e Azymuth, e, principalmente, a faixa-título do disco. Entre sintetizadores marcados pelos detalhes, a poesia livre de Diaz vai de encontro ao som jazzístico dos anos 1970 e 1980, como uma fuga leve da composição ruidosa que ganha forma tão logo disco tem início, em Safo. 
Pensado para além das pistas, Pedra Preta perverte a eletrônica tradicional em uma linguagem própria do coletivo paulistano. São ambientações tribais, vozes ritualísticas e inserções eletrônicas que arrastam o ouvinte para dentro de um território marcado pela incerteza. Instantes em que Diaz e os parceiros de grupo confessam algumas de suas principais influências, porém, de forma autoral, jogando com as possibilidades. Versos guiados pela fúria, paixão, desejo e revolta política, estímulo para o ambiente de formas abstratas e incontáveis variações rítmicas que orientam a experiência do ouvinte até o último fragmento da obra.
Cleber Facchi / Miojo Indie

VA ‎– Hustle! Reggae Disco (2017)

Genre: Reggae, Funk / Soul
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Soul Jazz Records

Tracklist:
01.   Blood Sisters -Ring My Bell
02.   Derrick Laro And Trinity - Don't Stop Till You Get
03.   Chariot Riders - Do It Nice & Easy
04.   Black Harmony - Don't Let It Go To Your Head
05.   Latisha - I'm Every Woman
06.   Ernest Ranglin - In The Rain
07.   Family Choice - Reggae Beats Goes On
08.   Risco Connection - Ain't No Stopping Us Now
09.   Xanadu And Sweet Lady - Rapper's Delight
10.   Sharon Forrester - Love Don't Live Here Any More
11.   Carol Cool - Upside Down
12.   One Blood - Be Thankful For What You've Got
13.   Charmaine Burnett - Am I The Same Girl

Credits:
Compiled By – S. Baker
Mastered By – Duncan Cowell, Pete Reilly

If you’re still clinging to that outdated notion that disco is a shallow relic better left in decades past, it’s time to move on, and there’s no better way than with the expanded rerelease of Soul Jazz compilation Hustle! Reggae Disco. Originally released in 2002 with a scanty (but still worthwhile) eight tracks, this reissue brings us into the double digits with a total of 13 soulful tunes that traverse the dance floors from Kingston to London to New York and back. 
The dub is strong from the start as the Blood Sisters croon a mellow cover of Anita Ward’s "Ring My Bell". It lasts a slow, sweet eight minutes, and sets the tone for the album: a little sensual with a lot of chill. The levels of hot and cold vary over the album, but the soul is always there, whether the aim of each track is to have a good time or to belt out some deeper emotion. It’s constant, and it makes even the rougher tracks enjoyable. 
Most of the strongest moments come from the ladies featured on Hustle!. Black Harmony’s appropriately harmonious cover of Jean Carne’s "Don’t Let It Go To Your Head" has a honeylike weight to it; Latisha’s stripped-down version of "I’m Every Woman" trades the speed, volume, and exuberance of Chaka Khan’s or Whitney Houston’s for a more low-key sincerity that is every bit as heartfelt. At the peak of slow-burning passion is Carol Cool’s smoky cover of Diana Ross disco classic "Upside Down", dotted with electronic blips and swaying with a smooth groove. 
There are other highlights, too, songs that could slip into any quiet storm-style radio show. Guitarist Ernest Ranglin throws a little blues onto his beautiful, understated cover of "In the Rain", and One Blood’s cover of "Be Thankful For What You’ve Got" adds extra vocal flourishes and a little bounce to the jazzy classic - and nothing kicks like those hi-hats. Risco Connection goes simultaneously full disco and full reggae in a triumphant cover of "Ain’t No Stopping Us Now", and it makes for a truly life-affirming moment. 
Some miss the mark. Derrick Laro and Trinity rob Michael Jackson’s seminal dance hit "Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough" of the energetic glee that makes it such an infectious song by replacing the speed with a slow, unremarkable reggae beat and straining to hit notes that are simply out of reach, and should be left there. Xanadu and Sweet Lady at least sound like they’re having fun for all 11 minutes of "Rapper’s Delight". They recite the lyrics nearly word-for-word, though, and it’s hard to believe that all that separates Sweet Lady from Wonder Mike is a stage name. Onward they go, though, swapping a few gender pronouns along the way and not doing much else to make it their own. 
There’s something about early reggae records that always feels like the right choice to perk up a dull day, and Hustle! has the warmth, the soul, and the spirit that makes that the case. The missteps are head-scratchers (why would anyone want to slow down "Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough"?), but when a song works, it really works. Even questionable choices come with good intentions, and Hustle! is true, classic comfort food for the ear and tailor-made for collectors who cherish a little vintage soul.
Adriane Pontecorvo / PopMATTERS

GoGo Penguin ‎– Man Made Object (Deluxe Editon) (2016)

Style: Contemporary Jazz, Trip Hop, Future Jazz
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Blue Note, Universal Music France

Tracklist:
01.   All Res
02.   Unspeakable World
03.   Branches Break
04.   Weird Cat
05.   Quiet Mind
06.   Smarra
07.   Initiate
08.   Gbfisysih
09.   Surrender To Mountain
10.   Protest
11 .  Unspeakable World (Matthew Herbert's Onc Workout)
12.   Initiate (Stray Remix)
13.   All Res (Dabrye Remix)

Credits:
Double Bass – Nick Blacka
Drums – Rob Turner
Piano – Chris Illingworth
Composed By – Chris Illingworth, Nick Blacka, Rob Turner
Producer – Brendan Williams, Joseph Reiser
Recorded By, Mixed By – Brendan Williams, Joseph Reiser

GoGo Penguin's latest album comes on the heels of a revival of sorts for jazz music, when artists like Kendrick Lamar, David Bowie, Flying Lotus and Kamasi Washington fused the genre with their own blends of rap, rock, electronica and soul. Man Made Object, the band's third album, resides in similar space; many of its 10 tracks started as electronic compositions, created on Logic and Ableton by the group’s percussionist. 
In his 1982 film, Koyaanisqatsi, director Godfrey Reggio sought to explain the relationship between human beings, nature and technology. He presented a gorgeous collage of scenic landscapes and rolling clouds, set against an equally riveting score. The movie said everything it needed without any spoken dialogue, which can be nearly impossible in cinema and music. 
Jazz trio GoGo Penguin rescored the film in a one-off event this past fall, which makes total sense the more you assess the band’s art. Drummer Rob Turner, bassist Nick Blacka and pianist Chris Illingworth fuse classical and electronic elements while keeping with jazz’s improvised nature. Much like Koyaanisqatsi, GoGo Penguin’s music is full of subtle shifts that allow its composers to shine equally. For Man Made Object, the band’s third album, many of its 10 tracks started as electronic compositions, created on Logic and Ableton by the group’s percussionist. 
GoGo Penguin opts for an energized sound on Man Made Object, conjuring pastoral imagery while loosely exploring scientific concepts. Between its title and multifaceted sonic approach, the LP seems directly influenced by Koyaanisqatsi, bringing to mind the same sorts of aerial views we see during the movie’s 86 minutes. The album comes on the heels of a revival of sorts for jazz music, where artists like Kendrick Lamar, David Bowie, Flying Lotus and Kamasi Washington fused the genre with their own blends of rap, rock, electronica and soul. The success of their respective LPs brought jazz back into mainstream view and made it more accessible for younger listeners.
Marcus J. Moore / Pitchfork

Jozef Van Wissem ‎– It Is Time For You To Return / MTM VOL. 40 (2014)

Style: Drone, Folk, Minimal
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Crammed Discs, Made To Measure

Tracklist:
1.   If There's Nothing Left Where Will You Go?
2.   Love Destroys All Evil
3.   Once More With Feeling
4.   Confinement
5.   Wherever You Will Live I Will Live
6.   You Can't Take It With You
7.   Temple Dance Of The Soul
8.   After We Leave
9.   Invocation Of The Spirit Spell

Credits:
Guitar – Jim Jarmusch
Beats, Glitc – Domingo García-Huidobro
Voice – Yasmine Hamdan
Lute, Voice, Words By, Composed By – Jozef Van Wissem

Jozef Van Wissem’s proper follow-up to the 2013 award-winning Only Lovers Left Alive soundtrack finds him shrugging off Jim Jarmusch’s abrasive guitar rain and returning to stark solo compositions for lute. These meticulously wound arrangements demonstrate both the instrument’s complex potential and Van Wissem’s own virtuosic abilities. Bass strings resonate and hang with warmth usually reserved for keys on opener “If There’s Nothing Left Where Will You Go?” and the interlaced picking and wandering tempo of “Once More with Feeling” seem to owe as much to American primitivism as to medieval hymnody. Though the album is driven by a melancholy sense of isolation, It Is Time for You to Return’s few imperfections—the creak of a chair, a scattering of flubbed notes, the desperation in the lutenist’s voice—rescue both Van Wissem’s sentiment and his instrument from the mild hell of mere curiosity.
Marty Sartini Garner / Flood Magazine