Sunday, June 28, 2009

Record Scores - Your Soaking In It

Lee Konitz - Motion Lp (Verve)
- 1981 Japanese remaster of a 1961 session with Sonny Dallas & Elvin Jones. Good clean trio work on 5 standards, a good breezy summer album. Elvin Jones is serious.

John Coltrane - Kulu Se Mama Lp (Impulse!)
- The astonishing John Coltrane Quartet plus Pharoah Sanders!

John Coltrane - Africa/Brass Lp (Impulse!)
- The Africa/Brass sessions are some of my favorite. The experimentation is fluid, natural, effortless...

BusCrates 16-Bit Ensemble - Test Press 7" (The Harmony Society)
- It's so awesome holding this in my hands. i will probably write a little something up here once everything is finished, but you can also check out www.TheHarmonySociety.com for more announcements.

Cannonball Adderley Quintet - Hummin' 7" (Capitol)
- After finding the 12inch with the Large Professor remix of "Hummin" last week, I was flipping through the 45s at the digging spot, mostly looking for some cool labels i could use for a poster design i was working on, and came across a copy of this gem in good condition. The flipside is "Country Preacher," famously sampled by Pete Rock, but I love the original with the dubbed in applause from a church congregation giving the track its very stirring quality.

Brother Jack McDuff - Oblighetto 7" (Blue Note)
- another great jazz 45. I have somewhere around 15 Jack McDuff albums, but i have yet to stumble across the album "Moon Rappin" that features "Oblighetto". Hard hammond soul jazz.

The Works - Yokahama 12" (Rust)
- a nice 4 cut EP from friend of 720 Records, Thomas AKA Terry Tester with production partner Twelve Beats. This EP includes one cut with an MC and 3 downtempo instrumentals. Lots of thickly layered, dusty samples. good stuff.

Vincent Van Go Go - Do U Know? 7" (Murena)
- a poppy, soul group from Denmark who croon to the out-for-a-drink-crowd. not normally my thing, but they do their act over snappy, live-sounding production from The Works, the production duo of Terry Tester & Twelve Beats.

Quincy Jones - Gula Matari Lp (A&M)
- Keeping that 'Hummin' theme going, this album not only features an extended jam session in the title track from great musicians like Ron Carter, Eric Gale, Herbie Hancock, Toots Thielemans, Bob James, Hubert Laws... but also includes a strong, slinky cover of "Hummin"

DJ Cam - Success 12" (Inflamable)
- this 12inch was a big hit at the radio station where i worked, and i've just never run across it before. France's answer to DJ Krush has a pretty standard hiphop beat reworked by Kenny Dope, Attica Blues, and Thievery Corporation. Attica Blues won this contest, really making the track their own with added vocals from Roba, and that crunchy sampling style.

Chris Bowden - Beautiful Nasty 12" (Ninja Tune)
- i passed on Chris Bowden's somewhat tame jazz/downtempo hiphop fusion stuff because it just didn't really push any boundaries, but i found this single at the digging spot for cheap and the mix of live instruments and programmed composition is well achieved if a little forgettable.

Brenda Russell - S/T Lp (Horizon)
- Went to catch Thomas Cox, Jwan Allen, and friends spin some house and disco, and when Tom dropped "Way Back When," a slow, but aggressive disco stomper, i had to make a note to score this. I still couldn't tell you what 10 good off-chart disco cuts are, but i'm definitely more open to the genre.

Dudley Perkins - Fonky Soul 12" (Epistrophik Peach Sound)
- Dudley Perkins aka Declaime is a great emcee because he brings a very unique perspective, and a loose, freestyle approach to his rhymes, but that also has a way of making a lot of his work sound half-assed and silly some of the time. Luckily, any shortcomings in the craft of Dudley's rhymes is more than made up for by the thick, syrupy, cosmic space boogie layed down by Georgia Anne Muldrow. Ms. Muldrow is currently one of the only active artists currently on my shortlist, and people are seriously sleeping.

Build An Ark - Dawn Remixes 12" (Kindred Spirits)
- Like any Kindred Spirits release, when you see it available, snap it up, especially if it's from this juggernaut spiritual soul jazz collective. Much like the Remix EP for "Peace With Every Step," Carlos Nino & Friends farm out cuts from their 2nd album to get reworked by some of the best underground beat scientists doin' thangs for the love of the music. Like that first EP, these remixes are going to take some time getting used to, because most of the time, I'm just straining to hear the beautiful originals buried under the new quantized drums. Daedelus returns for another go around, and his is once again the best. His style really emphasizes the peaceful nature of Build An Ark's sound, and i really prefer that to Ras G's attempt to bring the banging snares. The Long Lost's remix is the same as the one from the 7", which is frustrating since it made that record redundant, but they're a great group and a good match. Basically this 12" has just made me more impatient for the delayed 3rd album from Build An Ark, which was supposed to be out last month. If Carlos Nino puts out much more music this year, he's going to monopolize my top 10 list.

Baron Zen - Strange Woman's Room 12" (Stones Throw)
- one of Stones Throw's electro artists, Baron Zen was active from 1988-1992, making music at home like a pop-locking Emily Dickinson. The nutty cratedigging squad behind Stones Throw and Now Again records unearthed his stuff and brought him out of retirement to make new electro-rap oddness. Most of the material I have from Baron Zen in the past has been reworked by James Pants, so i'm not entirely sure how much i like Baron's stuff on its own. This single, which has 2 tracks, plus remixes by James Pants and Peanut Butter Wolf, isn't really doing it for me.

The Boogoos - Theme De Yoyo / The Journey 12" (Perfect Toy)
- A modern Bulgarian afrobeat ensemble? yeah, i'm all kinds of skeptical about this one. Even the best afrobeat groups today sound like Fela cover bands, often much more compelling live than on record. But this group hooked me by covering "Theme de Yoyo," one of my favorite oddball soul-jazz tracks from The Art Ensemble Of Chicago and they do it justice. The flip is one of their originals and it stacks up fine against the likes of Antibalas, Akoya Afrobeat, Nomo... so good on 'em.

No comments: