Tuesday, February 19, 2013



A great solo set from Heidi Vogel – a vocalist you may know from previous work with the Cinematic Orchestra – stepping out here in a bossa-heavy set that's a perfect fit for the Far Out label! Heidi's style is deeper and more expressive than before – not a voice as part of larger instrumental backdrops, but a lyrical presence first and foremost – often supported with lighter instrumentation that echoes an older bossa era – with strong use of acoustic guitar, light percussion, piano, bass, and cello – all with very melancholy shades of sound. There's a light glow to the record that's really beautiful – mellow, yet soulful enough to have some subtle power – and the set also features guest vocals on two tracks by Cleveland Watkiss, and guest piano on two other numbers by Austin Peralta. Titles include a nice version of Joao Donato's "The Frog" – plus "Inutil Paisagem", "Chelsea Bridge", ""Bonita", "Juazeiro", "Black Narcissus", "Copacabana", "Love Dance", and "Modinha". CD also fatures three remix numbers – "Black Narcissus (Cinematic Orchestra rmx)", "Black Narcissus (Emanative rmx)", and "Turn Up The Quiet (IG Culture rmx)". ~ Dusty Groove


The magnificent return of The Relatives – the group's first new recording since the 70s – hot on the heels of their rediscovery on the Don't Let Me Fail compilation! The lineup features some younger members alongside leader Reverend Gean West – but the sound here is very much in the spirit of the early recordings – with a strong emphasis on vocal harmonies, served up in the righteous blend of soul and gospel roots that made the group so great in the first place! Other instrumentation is mostly funky, and pretty darn respectful – some sharp-edged guitar and tight drums that often sit out and let the vocals take center stage. Titles include "Revelations", "We Need Love", "Say It Loud", "Trouble In My Way", "Things Are Changing", and "Bad Trip". (Heavy vinyl and cover – with a bonus CD of the whole album, and an MP3 of the album as well!) ~ Dusty Groove


Maybe the greatest album we've ever heard from bassist Nilson Matta – a set that mixes Brazilian jazz modes with a much more complex approach – all in a style that offers up a really rich reworking of the famous soundtrack to the film Black Orpheus! The original score by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Luiz Bonfa is augmented by key passages from Matta himself – and other moments feature just spare percussion and cuica, in ways that recall the almost-ethnographic quality of the the original film recording. Yet together, these elements are all interwoven into a rich musical tapestry with a shimmering sense of sound – pulled together from diverse contributions by artists who include Kenny Barron on piano, Randy Brecker on trumpet, Anat Cohen on clarinet, Guilherme Monteiro on guitar, Anne Drummond on flute, and Leny Andrade on vocals. Titles include "Batucada", "A Felicidade", "Samba De Orfeu", "Repinique Interlude", "Ascend My Love", "Violao Interlude", "Hugs & Kisses", "Um Nome De Milher", and "Frevo De Orfeu". ~ Dusty Groove

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