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Various Artists: J Jazz: Deep Modern Jazz From Japan 1969 - 1984

Read "J Jazz: Deep Modern Jazz From Japan 1969 - 1984" reviewed by Chris May

There is a lovely anecdote in Charlie Laurie's introduction to The Blue Note Years: The Jazz Photography Of Francis Wolff (Rizzoli, 1995). Describing the first Blue Note Festival at the foot of Japan's Mount Fuji in 1986, Laurie wrote: “Where else but in Japan can one see a field packed with fifteen thousand teens and twentysomethings ...

Sun Ra: Sun Ra Plays Gershwin

Read "Sun Ra Plays Gershwin" reviewed by Chris May

Here is a treat for all lovers of the Great American Songbook. Well, maybe not quite all, for the confluence of names in the album title Sun Ra Plays Gershwin may sound ill-matched to Ra's detractors. But that would be to ignore Ra's love of good tunes and his sure touch when it came to arranging ...

Leeroy: Fela Is The Future

Read "Fela Is The Future" reviewed by Chris May

Giving DJs license to reassemble recordings made by the auteurs of an earlier generation is a risky business. The remix of Miles Davis's “In A Silent Way" on Sony's 1999 album Panthalassa: The Remixes, for instance, moved one of the authors of the Penguin Guide To Jazz Recordings to write: “DJ Cam should be horsewhipped." Which ...

Seun Kuti & Egypt 80: Black Times

Read "Black Times" reviewed by Chris May

Seun Kuti's fourth album fronting Egypt 80, the all-conquering Afrobeat band he inherited from his father, Fela Kuti, marks the end of an era--and also supports the maxim that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Black Times is the first album released by Egypt 80 not to feature saxophonist and ...


Jon Hassell: Dream Theory In Malaya: Fourth World Volume Two

Read "Dream Theory In Malaya: Fourth World Volume Two" reviewed by Chris May

Three decades and more after the last vinyl reissue of trumpeter Jon Hassell's landmark album, back in 1987, Britain's Glitterbeat label has released a remastered edition of the LP, which is also available on CD. The new edition includes a previously unreleased three-minute bonus track from the recording sessions.

Dream Theory In Malaya, first ...


Various Artists: We Out Here

Read "We Out Here" reviewed by Chris May

This vivid snapshot of young London's jazz scene, featuring nine bands and a collective pool of 35 musicians, contains close to an hour of daring and uplifting music--from rebooted spiritual-jazz through abstract experimentation to Afrobeat-flavoured dancefloor urgency, a rich mix further enlivened by shots of grime, hip hop and funk. It was recorded over three days ...


Yazz Ahmed: La Saboteuse

Read "La Saboteuse" reviewed by Chris May

If Miles Davis was alive today and in the studio recording Bitches Brew, the results might, just might, resemble parts of London-based Yazz Ahmed's La Saboteuse. Other approximate reference points are, during the more reflective moments, Jon Hassell and Brian Eno's Dream Theory In Malaya: Fourth World Volume 2 and Davis's In A Silent Way. But ...


Sons of Kemet: Your Queen Is A Reptile

Read "Your Queen Is A Reptile" reviewed by Chris May

It is appropriate that this, British-based Sons of Kemet's third album, should be released under the Impulse banner. During its heyday, Impulse was the home of John Coltrane, Alice Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders and as such was the chief platform for the cosmic/spiritual jazz movement of the 1960s and 1970s and that movement's demand for white-majority ...


Partisans: Never the Same Way Twice

Read "Partisans: Never the Same Way Twice" reviewed by John Kelman

It's been five years since Partisans--the British jazz group (not to be confused with the also-British punk rock band The Partisans) cited as the godfathers of the new wave of British jazz, first emerging in 1997 with the out-of-print self-titled debut on the EFZ label--last released an album, specifically the superlative By Proxy (Babel, 2009), which ...


Felabration 2013

Read "Felabration 2013" reviewed by Chris May

Felebration 2013
Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Orchestra & Guests
London, UK
December 14, 2013

The second package show to be staged in London this year in honor of Fela's memory, Felabration 2013--a celebration of what would recently have been his 75th birthday--followed Saluting the Black President, presented ...