Friday 28 October 2022

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If you ever wondered what it's like to be trendier than Shuya Okino, Yoshihiro Okino or Gilles Peterson, well walk a mile in Tony Higgins and Mike Peden's shoes (perhaps that should be 1960's to 1980's sandals) as this pair are still prooving that there's no end of obscure/brilliant/privately pressed jazz albums that nobody else has heard off for decades. 

Of course, the key to the success of these two currating the BBE's J-Jazz series of re-issues is that they are "brilliant" as rarity itself is no silver bullet for success. 

It also helps in the case of the latest in the series is that this 1977 recording of the Masaru Imada trio (Masaru leading on piano which 'Blueroad' is worth buying the album for alone) with Tetsujiro Obara (d) and Kunimitsu Inaba (b) together with the '+1' of Yuji Imamura on percussion. It's these four that perform the tour de fab with the extended version, being nearly 17 minutes long, of 'Sea's Pasture' which is as spiritual Japanese modal peace garden in a storm as you can get. Destinations of timeless calm it is not but there's a 'radio edit' as a bonus track that's equally perfect and a great accompliment to the mellower and beautiful title track, 'Planets'. 

So much more than a one track album, and get those jazz shuffle sandals out as I'll take the blueroad.

Artist: Masaru Imada Trio + 1 

Title: Planets

Release Date : 28th October, 2022

Label : BBE Music

Catalog Number : BBE664

Format : LP/CD/Digital


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It's been a while since we last caught up with Ramrock Records with thier 'Over Again' release by Mr Bird featuring Greg Blackman (see review HERE) but they have been on a roll ever since and their lastest, Unreachable Galaxy EP, is a monster of modern jazz-funk and more. 

Stefano De Santis is an Italian musician/composer/producer has a thing for all your favourite keyboards from Fender  Rhodes, piano, clavinet, Prophet 5, Moog, Solina String Ensemble, Juno 6 (so you know this is going to sound incredible already) and he does all the drum programming too!

He's definitely got his fingers on the keys when it comes to jazzy bruk dancefloor Lonnie/Herbie/Deodato inspired space funk; what more could anybody need? A four tracker that touches the jazz-funk dancer in all of us.   Particularly 'Cosmic Days' (with a nod to Azimuth 'disco') and 'Unreachable Galaxy' are a diggers dream (Ramrock Red Records having done the hard work for us in this case) and then merge all this (if you can imagine) and bring in the fashionable BRUK underground for 'Nova Laze' and 'Sick With Rhyme'.  

Totally Worldwide FM with usual suspect fans already like Gilles Peterson, Colin Curtis, Ashley Beedle, Kev Beadle etc. so expect to hear much more of these tracks soon.

Artist: Stefano De Santis

Title: Unreachable Galaxy EP

Release date: 28th October, 2022

Label: Ramrock Red Records

Cat. No: RRR034

Format: Digital

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You might be forgiven for thinking the label Head Honcho at Colour & Pitch has been sent to Coventry for their latest release 'Sky Be Blue' but remarkably, Austin, Texas is nearer the mark!

Chad Will first came to light by winning a remix competition for Danny Howells' 'Breath' and  since another life changing event, he's now putting his heart and soul (you could say, "literally") in his music production work. 

Strongly recommend checking out the links below to hear 3 great versions - or this months' Colour & Pitch Radio show with Will Sumsuch that went live this week. 

Each mix is great and can easily fit the main room or the backroom,  Does the orignal mix have a bit of 80s ESG vibe?  Either way, it just has the right level of good time blue sky dreaming moody cloud-synths.

Finest Wear (Nite Grooves, Nordic Trax) goes even deeper into the synth dream whilst New York's Sleepy & Boo get really bouncy synth for a loft / appartment / underground party in any direction heading out of Williamsburg (that's the Brooklyn one of course). 

Expect much more from Chad in the new year as this Austinite has a desire to get it out there.

Colour and Pitch Sessions with Sumsuch October 2022

Artist: Chad Will 

Title: Sky Be Blue inc remixes by Finest Wear and Sleepy & Boo.

Single Release Date: 28/10/2022

Label:  Colur and Pitch


Monday 24 October 2022

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If you mention 'stunning house anthem' and start thinking of a golden age of Gilles Peterson's Talkin' Loud, jazzy MAW and Pete Tong's Radio 1 show, Degrees Of Freedom's 'Time Won't Save You' will confirm that nothing changes when it comes to classic house stunners. 

The duo of Isha Campbell and Charlie Bierman have managed to a Dr. Who seemlessly spanning the past to the future with original extended, instrumental and radio edit versions - but as the next incarnation will tell you, 'Time Won't Save You'. 

The only thing missing from this release is a Gerry Hectic extension; but that's only a matter of time, or should I say, imminent:)

Another winner from the label curated by the world famous Goldie.

Artist: Degrees Of Freedom

Title: Time Won't Save You EP

Release date: 24th October, 2022

Label: 1HX / Fallen Tree 1 Hundred

Cat. No: 1HX009

Format: Digital

Friday 21 October 2022

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It's clear from the BBE J-Jazz series that Mike Peden does love a rare record but in addition to tracking down the best of the rare in the land of the rising sun, this time he's got a gem from the land of the midnight sun with a super rare LP (original only 500 so an instant collectors item) from the Per Husby Septett. 

With covers of tracks by the be-and-post-boppers Kenny Wheeler, Cedar Walton and Charlie Parker you'd thought that'd be enough to covert this album (that features the finest of Norway's Jazz musicians that's led by pianist & arranger Per Husby) but the title track is a killer (erm, let's try 'is a peacemaker'). 

Getting back to Peden, he does like 100mph bop and 'Au Privave / Bloomdido' is that. And then, by contrast, 'Nokve' has the pace and vibe of a 'Smoke Gets In Your Eyes' whilst the Kenny Wheeler compositions 'Smatta' and 'Introduction To No Particular Song' hark back to Peden's usual sidekick, Tony 'Impressed' Higgins and his Brit-Jazz revival [this release being Peden's equivalent to Higgins' recent BBE post bop re-issue release on BBE, Shamek Farrah & Norman Person 'Live' - get the feeling these guys are in friendly competition?]. 

So jazz-heads and dancers will know 'Fantasy In D' (the Walton track) , 'Confirmation' (Parker) and 'Lush Life' (Strayhorn) that are all impecable interpretations in both small and big band arrangements. 

What really stands out is the title track, 'The Peacemaker' written by Harold Land. Perhaps we just need to give peace a chance today (bearing in mind this set was recorded back in 1976) along with Per Husby's own 'Adgang F.'. 

And then the original artwork is kinda Monty Pythoneaque and Per Husby has done some new sleeve notes for what is now a 2xLP/CD/Digital release thus making this a necessary addition to any record collection. 

Nice one Mike, lets hope there's more to follow in a series.

Artist: Per Husby Septett

Title: Peacemaker

Release date: 21st October 2022

Label: BBE Music

Cat. No: BBE641

Format: 2xLP / CD / Digital

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I can remember Dom Servini being so excited about TALC when Wah Wah 45s first exposed the duo on the world.  It might have seemed like a lonely crusade at times but Dom’s quallity ears are the proof in the pudding as DJ cognoscenti such as Bill Brewster, Gilles Peterson, Ashley Beedle and Detroit legend Moodymann (‘Modern Sleepover Pt.2: Robot’s Return’ being on his “DJ Kicks” compilation) have all had their dancefloors covered in TALC. 

Not only that, this release has a vocal and instrumental overhaul by The Reflex that brought both version into a post Zapp disco with Hall’s Oats and Steely’s Dan. Really mesmerizing stuff and for the benefit of new fans there’s the original version of ‘De Gui Ding’.  Hard to believe that the original 'version' is the Michel Le Grand classic from the 60s.

And the aforementioned ‘Robots Return’ and ‘Modern Sleepover’ are now appropriately on a 12″ (nudge, nudge etc) which will be a collectors treasure as soon as its released: buy it on sight. Great artwork too!

“Absolutely loving the Reflex mixes. Will play with happiness!” Ashley Beedle (Heavy Disco, Afrikaanz On Marz, X-Press 2, UK)

Artist: TALC

Title: De Gui Ding (The Reflex Revisions)

Release date: 21st October, 2022

Label: Wah Wah 45s

Cat. No: WAH12046/WAH046DD

Format: 12" / Digital

Friday 14 October 2022

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Daniel Wang is the DJ version of Phil Wang - is it all in the name?  Both are incredibly knowledgeable in thier respective fields of expertise and are great entertainers.

If you want of know about disco/house/jazz-funk, Daniel Wang is one of the know alls as he's moved from Californian to Taiwan to New York to Chicago and for the past few years Berlin [at one time he was a same block neighbour to Peggy Gou] and DJ'd all over the world. 

This 4 track is full of Daniel's dancefloor know how and fun that he's had ever since his Balihu Records days

Whether it's the 10 minute long vocal mix (that includes Eva Be & ClĂ© rap (I met Eva backstage at the London Astoria in her Best Seven/Sonar Kollektiv period and she's another funny one) or the 303 dub/instrumental, this squeezes the disco out of 90s NYC with some Italo house, post-punk funk, synthpop, Balearic and Balihuese vibes: it's a killer of kitchen sink approach. 
Best advice is to leave the washing up and keep dancing.

P.S. I love Daniel Wang and it's great to have him back.

P.P.S. I love Eva Be too!

Artist: Daniel Wang

Title: DSDN EP

Release Date : 14th October, 2022

Catalog Number : PALOMA 008

Label : Paloma Records

Format: 12" / Digital

Friday 7 October 2022

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If you're the impatient jazz type that can't wait to get their hands on this rare LP lovingly re-issued by BBE and have been trying to get up to speed on Bandcamp, the nearly 13 minute version of the opening track 'Aisha' by Shamek Farrah and Norman Person, you'll know that there is one massive problem, it's not long enough! 

Don't panic, the album has a second 9 minute version! 

It's a shame they both fade out but what can you do when this release was recorded live between 1988 and 1991 and previousy only avaliable in cassette form at their gigs, this release is a 'lost' jem of post-bop spiritual soul-jazz with a huge Latin kick. 

You'll kow the cover versions of 'Footprints' (Wayne Shorter, RIP) and 'I Remember Clifford' like the back of you hand, like the band here but you'll need this album as much for 'Aisha' as 'Negative Forces' - this time a 12 and 55 minute version on the double vinyl 45rpm disc/CD/Digital. 

This release sits perfectly with BBE/180 Proof Records' Strata East re-issues and helpfully there's a 'get to know you' interview with Shamek Farrah and Norman Person by The Jazz Dad himself, Tony Higgins (J-Jazz with Mike Peden, Impressed with Gilles Peterson and much more). 

Absolutely fantastic that all involved have now shared this brilliant jazz with the rest of the world and can't recommend it enough.


Artist: Shamek Farrah & Norman Person

Title: Live 

Release date: 7th October, 2022

Label : BBE Music

Catalog Number : BBE679 LP / CD / Digital / Bandcamp