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Modern Beat Combo's 'Soul-Jazz Reflections' Not To Be Missed, An Album To Look Out For!

Modern Beat Combo's 'Soul-Jazz Reflections' Not To Be Missed, An Album To Look Out For!

Courtesy Mary Garland

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Great piano work from Steve Harding, the unique interplay between bass and piano takes the piece in a very modern direction.
—Mary Garland
The Modern Beat Combo
UK-based jazz group The Modern Beat Combo have released their latest album on Bandcamp. It’s called Soul-Jazz Reflections. Short excerpts from each song can be heard on Youtube to give a quick taste of the album. Better still, listen on their Bandcamp page. There is a strong influence of chromaticism and colour, which relates to jazz and blues inflections including bebop. This group provides something for everyone with a variety of influences including: modal, fusion, world music, spiritual, bebop, modern and free.

The album starts with the Miles Davis composition: “It’s About That Time” where you can immediately feel how well this band work together, the feel here is colourful and bright, with smooth keyboard floating up behind the percussion, bonded by the bass pushing and pulling, always in sympathy with the beat in a melodic way. This arrangement keeps it light, whilst maintaining a solid funk groove. You can’t help but find it uplifting.

Their version of Bill Evans “Funkallero”, includes great piano work from Steve Harding, the unique interplay between bass and piano takes the piece in a very modern direction.

With “Birk’s Works” next by Dizzy Gillespie, the bass features the melodic line, with exciting solo’s from piano and bass. Bobby Watson’s “Wheel Within a Wheel” takes you on a soulful journey with Lee Goodall on sax, leading into a rhythmic arrangement of Duke Ellington’s “Caravan.”

“Koto 4” is an original group improvisation in a spiritual jazz style, based on Koto tunings, laid down in 2014, this track demonstrates the versatility of this band.

The track “Beryl” has a hypnotic sound, (another original group improvisation/composition) which tastefully imparts warm tones with cascades of percussion building in layers. Charlie Parker’s “Barbados” transports you immediately to the beauty of Parker’s compositional lines. The feel of the sax and the bass makes me think of a hot climate, a beautiful sandy beach, palm trees swaying, a coconut rum in hand!

The Modern Beat Combo was founded in the UK by a collection of musicians, through long associations working together. Brought together by their love of American Jazz artists such as: Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Mingus, Monk, John Coltrane, through to Herbie Hancock, Weather Report and Jaco Pastorius.

Bandcamp is the choice of platform to release selected recordings from the past 10-15 years. Here you will find over 30 albums featuring the group's talented multi instrumental personnel.

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Track Listing

It's About That Time; Funkallero; Birk's Works; Wheel Within A Wheel; Caravan; Koto 4; Barbados; Beryl. Barbados, 8) Beryl

Personnel

The Modern Beat Combo
band / ensemble / orchestra
Rosko
congas
Lee Goodall
saxophone
Additional Instrumentation

Steve Harding: Fender Rhodes, keyboards; Rosko: electric percussion, drums; Lee Goodall: alto sax, soprano sax, guitar.

Album information

Title: Soul-Jazz Reflections | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Rockpool

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