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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Organic pulse ensemble: Transcending the Sum

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The name Organic Pulse Ensemble suggests a largish line-up, but Transcending The Sum is actually the creation of just one musician, multi-instrumentalist Gustav Horneij. Horneij does, however, definitely transcend the sum of that unitary part, overdubbing away to recreate a six, seven or eight piece band, with front line, rhythm section and all. As the cover ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Cykada: Cykada

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Cykada has been making waves on London's genre-melting alternative-jazz scene since 2017, but has yet to acquire a profile akin to those of some of the other bands with which its musicians are involved. These include spiritual-jazz septet Maisha and the Afrobeat-infused Ezra Collective. The release of Cykada, however, is going to strap a booster rocket ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Infinite Spirit Music: Live Without Fear

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Britain's Jazzman Records has form when it comes to spiritual jazz. Its series Spiritual Jazz: Modal, Esoteric and Deep Jazz, now one release away from its tenth volume, has made accessible again some of the most worthwhile but near-lost African American music of the 1970s. The label also supports modern day British musicians. Stand out home-grown ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Dwight Trible: Mothership

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The Beatles' Revolver (Parlophone, 1966), recorded while the band were out of their skulls on high-voltage lysergic acid diethylamide, was the first masterpiece of British psychedelic rock. One of the album's highlights, the sitar-drenched closing track, “Tomorrow Never Knows," still sounds potent enough to trigger a flashback.

Remarkably, Dwight Trible's version of “Tomorrow Never ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Louis Hayes / Junior Cook Quintet: At Onkel Po's Carnegie Hall: Hamburg 1976

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In 1976, when At Onkel Po's Carnegie Hall was recorded, hard bop was viewed as nostalgia-based heritage music by the young lions of American jazz. But for drummer Louis Hayes, tenor saxophonist Junior Cook, trumpeter Woody Shaw, pianist Ronnie Matthews, and bassist Stafford James--whose paths had crossed and recrossed in bands led by Horace Silver, Art ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Timeless All Stars: At Onkel Po's Carnegie Hall: Hamburg 1982

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They were timeless and they were all stars. Bobby Hutcherson, Harold Land, Curtis Fuller, Cedar Walton, Buster Williams and Billy Higgins got together in the early 1980s to play post-hard-bop jazz in the studio and on the US and European performance circuits. The band recorded three fine albums between 1982 and 1986. At Onkel Po's Carnegie ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Kokoroko: Kokoroko

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If you ask an Afrobeat fan to name their favourite bands--excluding lineups led by Fela Kuti during his lifetime--the probability is that their top five choices will include Seun Kuti's Egypt 80 and Femi Kuti's Positive Force, both based in Lagos, along with Dele Sosimi's Afrobeat Orchestra, based in London. Other credible outfits have emerged, but ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Zara McFarlane: East Of The River Nile

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As a teaser for her upcoming album, the divine Zara McFarlane has released a 4-track EP revisiting Jamaican dub and rockers wizard Augustus Pablo's canonical 1977 single “East Of The River Nile." McFarlane's disc, on which her wordless vocals stay close to Pablo's original melodica topline, showcases her signature blend of jazz and Caribbean music to ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Ustad Saami: God Is Not A Terrorist

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God Is Not A Terrorist is by no stretch of the imagination a jazz album, but it contains deep and authentic music and will appeal to some AAJers. Ustad Saami is a master of the Pakistani vocal style known as surti, which is characterized by its use of microtones. Microtones are widely used in music throughout ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Various Artists: Spiritual Jazz 9: Blue Notes Parts 1 & 2

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The ninth volume in Jazzman's Spiritual Jazz series is a 2 x CD (and 2 x double LP) compilation from the Blue Note catalogue. Just over half the material was recorded between 1964 and 1966, the final years during which the label was steered by Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff and when the go-to engineer was ...