LAURA DREYER – VIDA. ARTE. AMOR.
Of her current work she says, "I discovered an intrinsic emotional quality in Brazilian music that helped me find a deeper level of self-expression. After having performed many times with Brazilian jazz artists throughout the years in New York City and Brazil, I began to envision recording my newest album in Rio de Janeiro. I had worked with world-class Rio-based jazz artists in Brazil, and realized that I had found the perfect group of musicians to perform my music and complete my vision." In the spirit of creating a multi-cultural recording, vocalist and music educator Professor Roger Wesby wrote lyrics in Spanish for one of Dreyerʼs compositions. Brazilian vocalist Débora Watts adapted these lyrics to Portuguese, and penned lyrics to another one of Dreyerʼs songs. Vocalist Teri Koide contributed her vocal talents and English lyrics to another piece, and Karen Rodriguez helped with further Spanish lyrics and stellar vocals. The repertoire was completed with the addition of two arrangements of a composition by the legendary Romeo Santos.
DAN MASTROIANNI – TEARS AND WHISPERS
Recorded in 1984, Mastroianni recorded his album with banks of keyboards, and a few musician buddies. The ‘experimental’ nature of the album shines through on nearly every track. This was new technology, and it sometimes sounds like Mastroianni was finding out exactly what each machine could do, as he did it! He also provided the edgy vocals, making for a very idiosyncratic artist/writer/producer album. Many of you will now know the brilliant uptempo boogie of Just One Touch (which was featured on BBE’s own Americana 2 compilation last year) but whatever you are expecting from this ultra-rare private press, you are likely to be surprised. Style, tempos and moods changes throughout, the only constant being Dan Mastroianni’s harmonic adventurousness, and primitive, expansive synth sounds that never quite let up. You can tell he was having fun making the album, and was coming from a place all of his own, though one might guess he’d listened to a fair amount of Weather Report, Yellow Magic Orchestra, George Duke and funk/boogie before he committed himself to wax. Some highlights: You and I is in floaty mid-tempo soul mode and features some fine soloing from Dan. Lead On is blue-eyed boogie, bringing to mind the likes of David Bendeth; Million and One is nothing short of trippy with its manic bassline and swelling synth chords. Blame It On Love has enough changes of direction for three tracks, and again showcases what a good player Dan was when he soloes. Shine could conceivably get the two-step vote. And look out throughout for some noteworthy playing from Dan’s brother on reeds. As Dan says, this album was a ‘fusion’ concept in every sense: a fusion of man and machine, of ‘carbon and silicon’, mind and matter… it was recorded as a labour of love, and now, three decades later, it’s time for the rest of the world to share the love! ~ bbemusic
MEGA JAWNS – TEN LETTERS FROM HOME
Mega Jawns were born on March 10th 2014 in a basement studio deep beneath the frozen streets of West Philadelphia. The product of a chance meeting between two veteran producers, both named Will. Their debut LP ‘Ten Letters From Home’ was written, recorded and mixed within seven days of the pair first shaking hands and is due to be released later this year on BBE. Philly keyboard player, vocalist and producer Will Brock has been a journeyman on the international soul & jazz scene for many years, touring and performing alongside the Stylistics, Miles Jaye & Marion Meadows others. Equally at home in the studio as behind the piano, Will has seen releases on King Street Records & recorded with Stephanie Cooke & King Britt as one half of production outfit Soul Dhamma. UK producer & DJ Will Sumsuch has been a stalwart of the European deep house scene for over a decade, playing shows from Brighton to Barcelona, Hoxton to Helsinki. His unique brand of deep-thinking electronic production has found favour with discerning DJs the world over, among them Ben Watt, Osunlade, Justin Martin & Jody Wisternoff. The duo initially worked together on Sumsuch’s single ‘Simpatico’, which was released on his own label Colour and Pitch in 2013, garnering support from legendary house vocalist Robert Owens among many others. Following the release, Sumsuch decided to hop on the plane to connect in person, and maybe make a couple of tracks too. The pair joked about making an LP, but neither really thought it would happen in a week… The resulting music can only be described as the joyous sound of two talented musicians and producers working together in unison, completing each other’s sentences. With the full weight of Philly soul tradition underpinned by unmistakably restrained European electronica, this record captures a character that neither performer could have summoned up alone. “Spirits were with us in the studio that week” says Brock and for once, the usually jovial Sumsuch simply nods solemnly. Joy is a taster from the the album, due to be supported in the clubs by John Morales, Louie Vega, Boddhi Satva and Kerri Chandler. ~ bbemusic