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Articles by James Fleming

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

HHY & The Macumbas: Beheaded Totem

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Lurking somewhere between Sun Ra's Arkestra and the Chemical Brothers is Beheaded Totem's jarring, rocky soundscape. Every turn seems to loop back on itself in a never-ending cycle of music. The wide expanses of the synth and percussion combo create a sense of openness and space. Of a plain of sound where the horizons stretch out in both directions. And the brass, more concentrated and precise, mirror the sunbeams that blister the ground. Their spare riffs colour the sound with ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Sligo Jazz Project 2018: Days 3-4

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Days 1-2 | Days 3-4 Sligo Jazz Project Various Venues Sligo, Ireland July 24-29, 2018 July 26, 2018When the wind died down the day turned humid and heavy. Clouds hung low in the sky, grey and oppressive. And as Sligo's people sipped their coffees and settled down at their desks, the electricity cut out at Sligo IT. Amplifiers and keyboards were rendered powerless. Putting a halt to the morning's planned classes.

LIVE REVIEWS

Sligo Jazz Project 2018: Days 1-2

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Days 1-2 | Days 3-4Sligo Jazz Project Various Venues Sligo, Ireland July 24-29, 2018 July 24, 2018 The Garavogue River flows slow and lazy through the centre of town to Sligo Harbour. Mountains stand in the distance out in Yeats country, green and rocky, overlooking the fields on the outskirts of town. Looking over the dull metal roofs of Ballast Quay's warehouses to the land beyond Sligo town, the faeries steal away with ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Restroy: Restroy

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Between the constellations of Sun Ra and Miles Davis, Restroy has claimed a corner of the universe. On their self-titled debut album the group explores the far-out possibilities of a sextet. placing electronics alongside acoustic instruments, and wrenching all the potential sounds from that combination. The keyboards and synthesizers shimmer like a vast sun-baked plain, the trumpet a stark contrast of emotional concentration. Wielded brilliantly by James Davis, his playing is precise, refined, almost blinding in its radiance. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Linley Weir: Just One More Time

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Easy on the ear does not necessarily mean easy on the consciousness. Many a sweet melody has served as a gateway drug to harder, horizon-expanding sounds. But Just One More Time, from UK-based vocalist Linley Weir, does not open any “doors of perception." Her brand of Latin-infused jazz-pop is safe as a bank vault. And, despite its lyrical themes of “love, loss, family relationships, and self-confidence," the music comes across as far too stately and refined to be at all ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sun Ra: Space Is The Place

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He was a solar flare, a surge of energy that rocketed across great distances and divides, bestowing all he encountered with unforgettable memories and disrupting radio transmissions. Science-fiction, transcendentalism, and jazz coalesced in the being called Sun Ra. A radical concoction, sky-bound and heaven-sent. Ra's music was always stratospheric, always reaching above and beyond. His constant striving resulted in an abundance of stellar records. But as a sonic statement and philosophical manifesto, 1973's Space Is The Place (Blue ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Gilad Atzmon And The Orient House Ensemble at The Vortex Jazz Club

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Gilad Atzmon And The Orient House Ensemble Vortex Jazz Club London March 23, 2018 The show was not called “The Music Of Trane," nor even “The Compositions Of Trane," but rather “The Spirit Of Trane." John Coltrane's soul has transcended this earthly realm and ascended beyond even our farthest reach. His spirit though, of adventurism and creativity and individuality, can still be invoked. And on a Friday night in London's North East, ...