How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Eight volumes deep, the Future Sounds of Jazz series continues to bring forth the best that nu-jazz and downtempo has to offer. Volume 8 happens to be one of the strongest installments of the series, presenting a variety of styles, from bossa rhythms to gentle house and spoken word. As the intro of Soulpatrol’s "Theme" states: “Our bags are packed with jazz...means freedom, means rhythm, means passion, inspiration, soul.” This mission statement is borne out throughout the album. Moonstarr’s "Dust" kicks up some of its namesake with a frisky breakbeat and swing-y inflection that paves the way for the lighthearted bossa twang of Shawn Lee’s "Happiness". Attica Blues’ foraging hip-hop/spoken word track "The Quest" featuring Roger Robinson finds its way onto Volume 8 by way of the broken beat remix of Beanfield. On an album full of highlights, The Underwolves’ "Bird Song" stands out with a male and female vocalist trading soulful lyrics over a sparkling jazz-inflected rhythm. Volume 8 provides another blueprint for the melding of genres and moods in the name of musical innovation and inspiration. Addicts of the FSOJ will need no urging to pick up this installment. If you don’t already know about the Future Sounds of Jazz, do yourself a favor – buy this and get to know. You won’t look back.