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Zara McFarlane: Arise!

Read "Arise!" reviewed by Chris May

Zara McFarlane is a London-based singer and composer with a voice like an angel and a style that reflects her cultural roots in the Caribbean and in the mash-up that is modern metropolitan Britain, where jazz, grime, hip hop, reggae and other musics of black origin are hybridising and shape-shifting with joyful abandon. She is an ...

Joe Armon-Jones: Starting Today

Read "Starting Today" reviewed by Chris May

Something exceptional is happening in London in spring 2018. A succession of albums, recorded by an intimately connected community of around 60 young musicians, is taking jazz in ear-opening new directions. Hybridisation and genretic modification are the names of the game, but the scene also reaffirms the music's traditional building-blocks, among them the creativity of black ...

Toshio Matsuura Group: Loveplaydance: 8 Scenes From The Floor

Read "Loveplaydance: 8 Scenes From The Floor" reviewed by Chris May

Loveplaydance is the latest chapter in a collaboration which started over 25 years ago between Tokyo DJ Toshio Matsuura and London DJ Gilles Peterson. At the time, Matsuura was a member of the mutant jazz and funk collective United Future Organization (U.F.O), and Peterson was running the post-acid jazz Talkin' Loud label, whose name was derived ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

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 ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Daymé Arocena: Cubafonía

Read "Cubafonía" reviewed by Matt Hooke

Dayme Arocena's Cubafonia is a triumph for the 25 year old Afro-Cuban singer. Arocena cements her status as one of the best young talents from Cuba, with a diverse set of songs that combine Cuban rhythms with jazz, neo- soul, and Latin pop.

The opening track, “Eleggua," is an exciting cut. The song is ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Zara McFarlane: Arise

Read "Arise" reviewed by Phil Barnes

Zara McFarlane's If You Knew Her from 2014 promised much, being a wonderful, individual, mixture of jazz, reggae and soul that viewed the singer's Jamaican roots through the prism of her UK birth and London upbringing. It was an original blend that signaled the arrival of a major talent on the UK scene, setting a path ...

Yussef Kamaal: Black Focus

Read "Black Focus" reviewed by Rokas Kucinskas

If people still think that the capital of jazz is New York, surely they've never been to London or listened to anything that comes from the British capital these days. Just like New York, London is a melting pot. Because you can find musicians from any part of the world, the produced outcome is extremely cosmopolitan. ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Shabaka And The Ancestors: Wisdom Of Elders

Read "Wisdom Of Elders" reviewed by James Nadal

This recording is the culmination of the triangular experiences of tenor man Shabaka Hutchings and his personal destiny. Born in London, his family relocated back to their native Barbados, where Hutchings was raised in a musical environment until his teen years. Returning to London, he became a fixture on the free jazz scene, and while on ...

Daymé Arocena: Nueva Era

Read "Nueva Era" reviewed by James Nadal

In one of the most interesting commerce and art collaborations of recent times, Cuba's famed rum Havana Club, with its Havana Cultura project, has joined forces with the local Cuban artist community to promote Cuban culture throughout the world. Covering a wide variety of musical styles and genres while at the same time adhering to Cuban ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Zara McFarlane: If You Knew Her

Read "If You Knew Her" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi

Non chiamatelo retro soul. Quello di Zara McFarlane (e dell'inglese Corinne Bailey Rae, della francese Laika Fatien e altre) è un fenomeno nuovo. Sono cantanti europee dalla pelle nera che fondono jazz e soul music rivestendoli di una patina pop, intima e raffinata. Senza esagerare nei giudizi la qualità è alta e si va oltre l'imitazione ...