PAUL BOLLENBACK – PORTRAITS IN SPACE AND TIME
One of the most highly sought after guitarists in jazz for both live performance and recording, Paul Bollenback may be best known for his ongoing, decades-long association with Joey DeFrancesco. In addition to his work with the celebrated organist, Bollenback has recorded and shared the stage with Houston Person, Geoffrey Keezer, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Joe Locke, Terri-Lyne Carrington, Gary Smulyan, Buster Williams and Mike LeDonne, among many others. Bollenback has been rated a Rising Star in the DownBeat Critics Poll in 2013 and 2014; he also earned a Grammy nomination for his production on DeFrancesco's album Never Can Say Goodbye. Bollenback's latest album as a bandleader, Portraits in Space and Time (September 23, 2014, Mayimba Music) captures the guitarist in an intimate trio session with Joseph Lepore on bass and Sao Paolo's Rogerio Boccato on drums and percussion. This new collection of fourteen original compositions reflects the group's eclectic influences, imbued throughout with a warmly tropical flair that attests to the chemistry between the musicians. "As a group, we move organically, like a conversation," Bollenback explains. "One tune will leap into another...we did sets of three or four tunes without any break. We weren't really trying to go tune by tune: we were trying to recreate a live performance in the studio."
THE GRITS – MAKE A SOUND
Following their well-received debut album for Freestyle and a bunch of singles on a variety of labels (Mocambo, Music With Soul, Fraternity, Hamhock), The Grits have beefed up their indeed ‘gritty’ raw funk with fuller instrumentation and explored the possibilities suggested by a move further in a psychedelic direction. Their music brings to mind an array of influences: think Dick Hyman’s moog albums with the eastern vibes of an Anandar Shankar, and maybe a touch of the Small Faces, and you’re getting warm. They cite The BBC Radiophonic Workshop (where the aforementioned Derbyshire shook up the musical and social establishment), Funkadelic, Os Mutantes, Pierre Henry, and even Stockhausen as artists that have shaped their sound. Singer Sophie Alder-McKean, with her distinctively English voice providing vivid contrast to all the sweaty funk comes to the fore on (I’d Walk A) Funky Mile, Just A Little Bit and Yeah, No. Black Sambuca is in the tradition of early 70’s sitar-funk, culminating in some experimental Moog madness, and we almost get into dub territory as the track breaks down. Heel and Toe sounds like Afrobeat organ atop hip-hop drums, and references James Brown’s immortal advice to Bootsy Collins, ‘You gotta get to the heel and toe, or else you’re gonna blow!’ for the funk cognoscenti. Six Pack is slow grinding psychedelic-funk complete with spoken/shouted vocals provided by Brazilian DJ Joel Stones and a girlie chorus. Let Me Know is also pure ‘60s beat business with its catchy hook, plus some stinging guitar work and an exciting percussion and bass breakdown. Make A Sound (Like James Brown) is another pure funk groove, with the horns to the fore and some wicked percussion/bass/drums interplay, mutating into psychedelic electronics, while Skin and Bone could be a long-lost psych-funk curiousity of the early ‘70s, complete with a very ‘punk’ chorus and a really wild guitar outro! It seems The Grits never play it totally straight… ~ bbemusic
OMAR - STOP WAR MAKE LOVE
Omar Lyefook, legendary singer, songwriter, actor and MBE is never a man to mince his words. On 2013's album 'The Man', he vented his frustration at mankind's willingness to wage war on itself in an explicit lyric version of this track. Such an important & sadly topical message should be heard by the widest audience possible, and so we present the radio friendly version re titled Stop War, Make Love. Lyrical message aside - this track is also musically super heavy, a funking Fender Rhodes hook line, squelchy synthesiser sounds, deep dish drums and massive horns all lock together this airtight uptempo groove that's a perfect combination of music and message. Grammy award winning producer The Scratch Professer retwists of Stop War, Make Love and Omars' evergreen classic There's Nothing Like This, will whet your musical tastebuds for the forthcoming full length Scratch Professer reworking of The Man album. As a producer, DJ, remixer, and who also just happens to be Omars' brother and long term co-producer, he puts his unmistakable stamp on Omar's music.