Saturday, 24 October 2020

Flanger ‎– Outer Space / Inner Space (2001)

Style: Trip Hop, Future Jazz
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Ninja Tune 

1.   Outer Space / Inner Space
2.   Galak
3.   The Men Who Fell From Earth
4.   Inner Spacesuit
5.   Le Dernier Combat
6.   Unosietecero
7.   It Ain't Rocket Science
8.   Hirnflug

Composed By – Flanger
Double Bass – August Engkilde
Electric Bass – Toly Ramirez
Electric Guitar – Josef Suchy
Guitar – Jorge Gonzalez
Percussion – Claudio Ortuzar, Ernesto Artunez
Additional Percussion – Argenis Brito
Saxophone – Thomas Hass
GuVibraphone – Carsten Skov
Flanger Are – Atom™, Burnt Friedman

It's jazz, Jim, but not as we know it....Flanger's two previous records on Ntone recast early 1970s spacey jazz fusion as the product of a software engineers fantasy. Blurring the lines between what's been played and what's been digitally generated, Burnt Friedman and Uwe Schmidt's music was playful, eartickling and occasionally ridiculously funky. Friedman's solo work in particular (check 1999s wonderful Con itmo) has been playing with notions of real and cyber musicianship, forcing crisp, funk derived drum patterns into hyperspeed blurs that Jack DeJohnette would be hard pressed to replicate.

Inner Space takes things a bit further by introducing real instruments into the mix, courtesy of a bunch of Latin American rhythm players and Danish soloists. The resulting brew is warmer and more organic than previous outings; Thomas Hass's tenor and Carsten Skov's vibes provide a harmonic sophistication and coherence lacking in Schmidt and Friedmann's limited keyboard skills, leaving the duo to concentrate on providing texturally rich and rhythmically propulsive backdrops, which is after all what they're best at. The music here is in a constant state of flux; sonically incredibly rich and marrying warm Zawinul-esque Fender Rhodes piano with digital glitches, dubby atmospherics, intricate layers of percussion and Friedmans trademark drum manipulations.

The second half of "La Dernier Combat" drags the propulsive funk of Herbie Hancocks Thrust into the 21st century with a ferocious slap bass and percussion dialogue topped off by fat analogue synth riffs, while the opening "Outer Space/Inner Space" is possibly the strongest track, mainly due to Hass's probing tenor explorations which dig deep into Friedmann's intricate rhythmic matrix. Elsewhere the single "Inner Spacesuit" is a clavinet soaked groovathon, while the closing "Himflug" suggests the MJQ as the inhouse band on board a Cuban space station. Flanger's strongest suit is their refusal to lazily appropriate notions of jazz cool in the manner of many of the so called 'Nu Jazz outfits'. Theirs is a brave new world where the tenor saxophone and the Powerbook can sit happily alongside each other in a virtual jam session. (Inner)Space is the Place.
Peter Marsh / BBC Review

Lloyd Miller ‎– A Lifetime In Oriental Jazz (2009)

Genre: Jazz, Classical, Folk, World, & Country
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Jazzman

01.   Gol-e Gandom (Wheat Flowers) 
02.   Gozel Guzler (Amber Eyes) 
03.   Le Grand Bidou 
04.   Bizz-aire 
05.   Gozel Guzler (version II) 
06.   Gol-e Gandom (version II) 
07.   Indo-European Improvisations 
08.   Hue Wail 
09.   Chant Inca 
10.   Impressions of Bhairava Raga 
11.   Khamaj 
12.   Gol-e Gandom (version III) 
13.   Impressions of Bhairavi Raga
14.   Shur Thing

Electric Bass – Alain Melet
Upright Bass – Henri Texier
Darbukka – Stan Wood
Saxophone Tenor – Pierre Caron
Tar – Amir Koushkani
Tabla – George Grant
Bass – Don West, Tom Burton, Steve Stout, Mark Deutsch
Piano – Jef Gilson, Preston "Press Keys" Kies
Saxophone Soprano – Alain Tabar-Nouval, Mike Johnson
Drums – Pierre-Alain Dahan, Dick Beeson, Ken Breinholt, Alan Russek, Shirzad Sharif
Tabla, Sarod, Whistle, Micro Organ, Cornet, Oud, Clarinet, Santur, Zarb, Piano, Drums, Tampura – Lloyd Miller

Awesome spiritual, modal & ethnic jazz from the pioneer of the genre, Lloyd Miller!

This is the definitive anthology of pioneering ethno-musicologist, mystical adventurer and real life jazz guru Dr Lloyd Miller on Jazzman! This album tells the fascinating life story of one man and his journey through Europe and the Middle East, living off nothing but his wits, talent and an open-minded attitude towards music and jazz. Master of dozens of languages and hundreds of instruments, Miller has spent fifty years immersed in the music of Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Featuring recordings taken from incredibly rare privately pressed albums, live sessions in Europe, and previously unreleased material, A Lifetime in Oriental Jazz tells the story of his extraordinary personal journey from the West Coast to the Far East. Played on a plethora of exotic instruments from around the world, Miller's music is a unique blend of jazz with the modal and spiritual sounds of traditional Asian and Middle Eastern music. Spiritual jazz, Eastern jazz - direct from the source!

Available on deluxe heavyweight limited vinyl and compact disc with digitally remastered sound, previously unreleased material, 16 page colour CD booklet with in-depth liner notes from Jazzman's original interviews, photographs and scans of Miller’s private press LPs liner notes and unseen archive photos.

The Fruit Band ‎– Fruit (2016)

Style: Funk, Disco
Format: CD, Vinyl, FLAC
Label: Athens Of The North, Octave Lab 

01.   If You Feel It, Say Yeah
02.   Space Lady
03.   Life Is A Challenge
04.   Lost The Love
05.   Say It (Demo)
06.   Fruit Of The Universe
07.   Say It
08.   What You Gonna Do
09.   Spring
10.   Lost The Love (Demo)

The Fruit Band's fleeting existence was only recently revealed by the discovery of a few unsold copies of their sole 1978 single,Say It, which quickly became a cult showpiece for savvy DJs and collectors. Athens of the North has since reached out to Cypress Studios of Jacksonville, Florida and discovered a complete album of the group's stylish, dancefloor-smashing funk and deep disco on tape, unreleased for over 30 years. Vinyl is presented in a Handmade cardboard Tip-On Sleeve as would have been used at the time as only the best will do.