LIONEL LOUEKE - GAIA
Maybe the most dynamic record we've heard from guitarist Lionel Loueke so far – even though it's only a trio set, with less musicians than some of Lionel's other albums! The approach here is pretty fierce – heavy drums at most times from Ferenc Nemeth, and brooding bass from Massimo Biolcati –both of whom really follow Loueke's lead sound, which is more brash and hairy than before – still filled with that sense of color we've always loved in his playing, but at a level that's more growling, and which demands attention in a far more direct way. The shift is a great one – and once again, Loueke's really keeping us on our toes – on titles that include "Gaia", "Even Teens", "Broken", "Sleepless Night", "Aziza Dance", "Wacko Loco", and "Procession". ~ Dusty Groove.
A killer little set that's as heavy as it sounds from the title – a wealth of rare material pulled from the studio of Detroit producer Dave Hamilton – a good deal of it never issued at the time! Hearing this set is like finding a pile of rare 45s stuffed in the back corner of a long-lost record shop – because although much of the work was never issued, it crackles with the intensity of the best funky 45s – lots of funky drums, offbeat guitar, and raspy soul vocals – produced with a real edge to all the work, so that all of the hardest elements of the tunes really come through in the mix! The album features one track appearing here for the first time ever – "Remember" by Chico – plus other rare tracks that include "Marriage Is A State Of Mind" by James Carpenter, "Soul Suite" by Dave Hamilton, "You Fool You Fool" by Prophet & His Disciples, "The Deacons" by Dave Hamilton, "Funky Trip" by Johnny Walker, "A Drop In The Bucket" by The Deacons, "Brand New Girl" by Billy Garner, "The Devil Is Gonna Get You" by The Future Kind, "Party Time" by James Carpenter, and "Grown Folks Thing" by OC Tolbert. ~ Dusty Groove
SHARON JONES & THE DAP KINGS – IT'S A HOLIDAY SOUL PARTY
A wonderful Holiday set from Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – easily one of the coolest albums you'll ever hope to spin in December! The group really recreate the vibe of a classic Christmas soul album – like records from James Brown or Stevie Wonder – and do an excellent job of moving between funky numbers, deeper soul, and some righteous message cuts that remind us that the Holidays aren't always happy for everyone on the planet. And these guys also don't just hang out at Christmas – and instead touch on other December holidays too – in a sweet mix of cuts that features Sharon in the lead on many numbers, plus some great instrumentals from the Dap-Kings too. Titles include "8 Days", "Ain't No Christmas In The Projects", "Big Bulbs", "Funky Little Drummer Boy", "World Of Love", "Got Rest Ye Merry Gents", "Silent Night", "Just Another Christmas Song", and "Please Come Home For Christmas". ~ Dusty Groove