Friday, July 25, 2014

New Releases - Sophie Alour - Shaker; Ray Barretto - Eye Of The Beholder / Can You Feel It; Acid Jazz Mod


For her fifth record, young French saxophonist Sophie Alour returns with a new formula, a beautiful trio album, with saxophone, organ, and drums. Is it because she played with Rhoda Scott? Or just because she likes the somewhat historical funky sound it carries. With gusto and a hint of mischief, she sheds a new light on some of her own compositions, plus a colourful version of the Sergio Mendes arrangement of 'My Favourite Things'. Tracks include: Joke; In This World; Comptine;
Shaker; En Ton Absence; Mystère et Boule de Gomme!; I Wanna Move My Body!'; Nos Cendres; My Favourite Things; and En Ton Absence (alternate take). ~ Amazon UK


Raymond Barretto came from New York and was a drummer, percussionist, bandleader, composer and producer. He was born in 1929 and was a member of Tito Puentes orchestra from 1957 to 1960. He recorded for a number of labels including United Artists and Fania Records and was with Atlantic for the two albums we present here for the first time on CD, Eye Of The Beholder and Can You Feel It. Both these albums come from the heyday of jazz fusion in the late 70s (1977 and 1978 respectively), the first a production collaboration with The Crusaders. With Joe Sample penning Here We Go Away, the music is just one step away from what The Crusaders were making themselves at the time, short of Stix Hooper on drums but in the sturdy hands of Frank Zappas Terry Bozzio doing the beats. Elsewhere on the album the UK's Steve Ferrone, a former member of Average White Band, features prominently on drums with Ray focusing on congas and percussion, as he does across these two sets with Wilton Felders Numero Uno (the albums US 45) highly regarded as a masterpiece of jazz fusion. ~ Amazon UK


While the name of Acid Jazz evokes images of the jazz, soul, funk, disco and hip-hop movements that dominated the British music scene during the Nineties, the label (which many credit with naming the musical genre) quickly proved flexible with regards to the roster and the releases that emanated from it. Many of the names signed in its early days are still rightfully regarded as heavyweights in the acid jazz movement, such as Brand New Heavies, JTQ (James Taylor Quartet, for the uninitiated) and Mother Earth. There aren't many labels that can place the likes of Geno Washington in-between Corduroy and Mother Earth and get away with it, but Acid Jazz is certainly one of those. While 'Mods' might lead you to think that this is an album rooted in the Sixties, the Mod scene is still very much alive and kicking, with many of the tracks that appear here being given an airing or two. The end result is a diverse album, but extremely enjoyable. ~ Amazon UK

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