Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1084

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Column

The Snowboy Jazz and Funk Column

The Snowboy Jazz & Funk Column
The Snowboy Jazz & Funk Column Vintage Festival 2012 The Goldmine Reunion - Saturday April 21st The Good Foot: Every Friday @Madame JoJo's Dojo Cuts Feat. Roxie Ray: Take From Me Third Coast Kings: Third Coast Kings Khari Cabral Simmons: Clementine Sun Chick Corea And Gary Burton: Hot House Emilia Martensson & Barry Green: And So It Goes Lars Danielsson: Liberetto The Soul Snatchers: Scratch My Itch Funkshone: Funkshone 2 Rita Lovely & The Soultwisters: Fast Love Jezebel Sextet: Lift It Up

In this month's Snowboy Jazz & Funk column... The Vintage Festival moves home, Goldmine Reunion news, The Good Foot goes from strength to strength and reviews galore from; Dojo Cuts, Third Coast Kings, Khari Cabral Simmons, Chick Corea & Gary Burton, Emilia Martensson & Barry Green, Lars Danielsson, The Soul Snatchers, Funkshone, Rita Lovely & The Soultwisters and Jezebel Sextet.

VINTAGE FESTIVAL ANNOUNCED

So, one of the greatest of festivals has just announced it's latest line-up and it's a winner. Set in the glorious surroundings of the grounds of Boughton House in Northamptonshire it takes part the weekend of July 13th to the 15th. Of course, the festival covers British Music, Fashion, Culture, Lifestyle, Design and Film from the 1920's to the 80's so there's something for everyone. From a black music perspective we are very spoilt. The Soul area has just been announced at the time of writing and is looking amazing. I'm there again as the proud curator of the 1940's 2,000 capacity area, called The Torch This year, for you vintage Jazz fans, I have the sensational orchestra from Prague, Ondrej Havelka & His Melody Makers headlining all three nights and James Langton and his Solid Senders. Also on the bill are the 18 piece all-female Swing orchestra, The Bombshellettes, French Hot Jazz and Gypsy swing from Benoit Viellefon & his Orchestra, Alex Mendham and his Orchestra, Jivin' Miss Daisy, and The Shirt Tail Stompers. There's so much happening go to the website and check it out vintagefestival.co.uk

SNOWBOY NEWS

April 21st â The Goldmine Reunion. The Goldmine was the number one Jazz Funk club in the UK for 12 years and Chris Hill the UK's first true superstar DJ. I'll be with Chris and special guest, GARY DENNIS on the night. The last one was sold-out so get tickets soon. The venue is La Quinta, 22-28 Benfleet Rd, Hadleigh, Essex SS7 1QB. Call â 07811 111333

Every Friday â The Good Foot. My club night at Madame Jo Jo's in the heart of Soho. We play 60's & 70's R&B, Funk, Soul, Boogaloo and Rare Groove with the best vintage DJ's guesting madamejojos.com

REVIEWS

Dojo Cuts â Take From Me (Record Kicks)

Amazing authentic Funk from Sydney, Australia. This features the unique and instantly recognisable vocals of Roxie Ray and is definitely a step up from their last recordings (which were also excellent). It seems that many bands in the current Funk scene are starting to flourish and are perhaps peaking already. I say that because there are four amazing Funk albums this month which are all incredibly strong: great production, song-writing and world-class musicianship. It's hard to guess where they're going to go from here. It's hard to pick a bad track on this album. They're all so strong, which is going to cause problems for DJ's. If you can only afford one album this month you're going to have a tough choice.

Third Coast Kings â Third Coast Kings (Record Kicks)

Again, mirroring the last review, this Funk group from Detroit have absolutely nailed it. It's taking many plays in the car in order for the best tracks to surface but it's such a strong album throughout and so full of heavyweight club bangers that it's hard to have one or two particular favourites. Stylistically, the Funk covers that mid-60's to early-70's period. Nothing cool and sophisticated here, just straight at the throat, and that's just exactly what we want!

Khari Cabral Simmons â Clementine Sun (Dome)

It's very untypical of the excellent Soul label, Dome, to release a Jazz album. I have a pet hate of Smooth Jazz (Jazz for people who don't like Jazz) and feared this would be such a CD. Yes, it's smooth in the real sense of the word but there's certainly nothing insipid and insincere here, it's an album full of beautiful surprises. This Australian-based, but New Jersey born, bass player display's great taste and depth throughout, and the further I got through the CD the more the picture developed and opened out. Generally, the CD is quite mellow but groovy and has some wonderful guest appearances from Incognito and in particular from Brazilian/ Japanese superstar Monday Michuru on the track "Belle Of Byron Bay; a future Jazz Dance classic. Gorgeous.

Chick Corea And Gary Burton â Hot House (Concord)

Long-awaited and worth the wait. This review shouldn't take long given that it's just Piano and Vibraphone and by two of the greatest exponents of their instruments in modern times. There are some lovely covers of some standards and a fair few originals by Corea (I'm guessing here as they've sent me no info). I can tell his compositions a mile off with those tricky and dramatic breaks and complex, angular runs and melodies with a spanish flavour. It is beautiful being so open but the grooves are so strong between both players that I keep wishing bass and drums would come in to enhance it even further. Criticism is churlish really as it's beyond all that.

Emilia Martensson & Barry Green â And So It Goes (Babel)

Southern Swedish but London-based singer and composer Martenssonhas a very pure and unique voice. Despite her being the voice of current UK Jazz stars, the amazing 'Kairos 4Tet', it wouldn't occur to me that she's a Jazz singer. I wasn't surprised to read that she's a Folk singer too. I'm not sure what she is, musically, but Emelia is certainly unique. The marriage between her and accomplished jazz pianist Barry Green works beautifully. Most of the CD is just them two together and the choice of material is certainly interesting, ranging from Swedish Folk to Nat King Cole.

Lars Danielsson - Liberetto (Act)

With a pedigree of playing bass with Randy and Michael Brecker, John Scofield, Jack DeJohnette, Mike Stern, Billy Hart, Charles Lloyd, Terri Lyne Carrington, Joey Calderrazzo, Gino Vanelli and Dave Kikoski. Lars Danielsson and been a member of the âTrilok Gurtu Groupâ, Swedish-born Danielsson is not someone to mess with. This is one hell of a beautiful album. Just as strong as the playing and compositions is the production itself. For such a small and intimate line-up the sound is huge. Although there are subtle drum performances on here and a very interesting use of guitar, I love the use of the piano, trumpet and bass format on most of the tracks. This combination creates an aura of epic wistfulness throughout. Beautiful and majestic.

The Soul Snatchers â Scratch My Itch (Unique)

With such a strong month for Funk releases it seems a pity to put one album above others, but this authentic Dutch group have absolutely nailed it. Their last album was great, with a few tracks poking out as obvious club winners, but although a contradiction, this album is both varied AND focussed (the two don't normally go together) and consistent throughout. So, with repeated plays (and there will be many) I'm sure my favourites will vary from listen to listen. I haven't heard a better Funk album in recent times.

Funkshone â Funkshone 2 (Skyline)

Written and produced by band-leader, red-hot Funk drummer and Hip Hop fanatic, Mike Bandoni, so it's not surprising that this album (their second) has a very informed sound throughout. Normally, if any album, Funk or not, was this diverse in styles it may be accused of lacking in direction but here it's done with such authority it all makes complete sense. It takes us on a journey of all the permutations of Funk from mid-60's to mid-70's. There is such an attention to detail in arrangement that a lot of time, effort and money has obviously been spent on it, and it's all the better because of it. A timeless album.

Rita Lovely & The Soultwisters â Fast Love (Jupiter)

How many more great Funk albums can be released in one month? This time it's Finland we're visiting. Despite the population of this country being only less than half of the population of London they consitently keep pouring out a LOT of amazing music. We've already been introduced to the Soultwisters a couple of years back, with their authentic mid-60's Funky Boogaloo sound, and this time are backing this great new discovery, Rita Lovely. Rita has a powerful voice and delivers with the gusto of the very best best European Funk and soul divas in the current (vintage) Funk scene. There are many standout tracks here, like the immediate dancefloor filler "Put The Kettle On The Fire and a very groovy version of the Jazz standard Cry Me A River. It's just all so damned good.

Jezebel Sextet â Lift It Up (Soul Cookers)

On a French label, but based in the UK. This bands album has been produced by Speedometer's band-leader, Leigh Gracie, and recorded at the UK's equivalent of Daptone studios, 'Big Noise' in Rochford, Essex. It's a fantastic album and is Jazz and Funk in equal measures. The CD is littered with potential club winners throughout, and as yet I can't point you in the direction of one in particular. With the competition being so tough this month, if there had not been 6 others released in March it may well have been album of the month. It's certainly up there and a guaranteed winner.

Snowboy

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Please feel free to contact me with any Jazz news/event info that you feel would benefit others at snowboy@bluesandsoul.com Thank you.

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