Thursday, April 05, 2012



The first-ever contemporary recording on Soundway – but a set that's still got firm roots in the 70s African scene that's usually represented by the label! Batida is the brainchild of Portuguese DJ Mpula – who brings together samples from older Angolan recordings with contemporary beats and rhythms – often in a blend that's got the quick-stepping sort of pace you'd hear in favela grooves from the Brazilian scene – yet which comes across completely differently, thanks to the rich array of acoustic elements in the original recordings! There's loads of sweet guitar lines that rifle through the music – and the set also features guest contributions from contemporary MCs and producers. Titles include "Alegria", "Pronta Pra Batida", "Puxa", "Bazuka", "Ka Heueh", "Saudade", "Cuka", and "Tirei O Chapeu". (Includes download.)


Smoking soul from the mighty Lee Fields – and a set that really has him getting back to his roots, as well! The record's billed as a follow-up to the previous My World – but it's got a style that's much more deep soul, much more southern-tinged than that great record – a beautiful indication of Lee's rich legacy in soul music – which stretches back decades, with rare releases on small indie labels! Yet the sound here is much stronger than Fields ever got back in the day – thanks to help from The Expressions, and some sublime Truth & Soul production – a combination that really has the record feeling as if it were recorded for Atlantic at Muscle Shoals at the end of the 60s. Lee's vocals really rise to the setting, and may well be some of his best in years – and that's saying a hell of a lot, given how great he always is! A stone home run throughout – with titles that include "Faithful Man", "Wish You Were Here", "Moonlight Mile", "Walk On Thru That Door", "Still Hanging On", "You're The Kind Of Girl", and "I Still Got It”.


A really wonderful record from Yusef Lateef – one that almost sounds like a lost indie spiritual jazz set from the 70s – of the sort that Lateef hardly would have cut at the time! The session is solo, with some overdubs – a really beautiful mix of Lateef's work on tenor, piano, and flute with some spoken/sung passages based around stories he wrote back in the 70s – delivered with a really warm, intimate sort of style – one that reminds that, after all these years, Lateef is still one of the most righteous cats in jazz music! The whole thing's a real revelation – of the sort that's got us going back to track down other indie sides by Lateef in recent years – although we'll bet that none are as great as this one. Title sinclude "Roots Run Deep", "Cream Puff", "Where Is Lester", "Goodbye", "Motherless Child", and "Interior Monologue".

~ Dusty Groove

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