IBIBIO SOUND MACHINE
A really fresh group with a very unique sound – a combo that's partly rooted in older Afro Funk modes, but who also deliver their groove with kind of a leaner, New York street soul vibe as well! The album's cover image really gets the groove right – as the vintage is more 70s through 80s – with some playful crisscrossing of modes that never hurt the core soul of the music, but which provide some really fresh touches throughout! Some rhythms are programmed, but in a spare old school mode – and then mixed with acoustic drums and percussion, warmed up with keyboards and horns – and carried off with some great vocals from Eno Williams Uffort in the lead! Imagine Fela recording for 99 Records – or ESG getting some time in Lagos – but that's only part of the album's appeal, which only broadens with repeat listens. Titles include "Voice Of The Bird", "Ibibo Spiritual", "Got To Move Got To Get Out", "Let's Dance", "The Tortoise", "Uwa The Peacock", and "The Talking Fish". ~ Dusty Groove.
BADBADNOTGOOD - III
The best work so far from this ultra-hip trio – an amazing combination of keyboards, bass, and drums – served up in styles that are rooted in funk and jazz, but go to so many other places as well! The drums crackle with a quality schooled in 70s breaks and beats, stripped down to their core – and the mix of keyboards echo a range of innovators from CTI to Money Mark, with a spacious flow that leaves plenty of room for the basslines to drive the tunes! Other instrumentation includes bits of guitar and percussion from the group, plus some guest tenor and strings as well. Titles include "Hedron", "Differently Still", "Confessions", "Triangle", "Can't Leave The Night", "CS60", and "Since You Asked So Kindly". ~ Dusty Groove
PAUL BLEY - PLAY BLUE: OSLO CONCERT
Some of the best material in years from pianist Paul Bley – a sublime solo set recorded live, and done with the warmth and personal expression of Bley's best albums from the 70s! The tunes have this balance between modern ideas and slightly more sentimental touches – the latter of which never overwhelm the freshness of Bley's piano, but definitely serve to humanize it a bit – such that the range of soul here is greater than we can remember in many years! It's great to hear Paul still find this sort of space – and it's even more captivating when he's out there on his own, which seems an even greater reminder of all the contributions he's made to jazz piano over the decades. Titles include "Far North", "Way Down South Suite", "Flame", "Longer", and "Pent-Up House". ~ Dusty Groove