Friday, December 05, 2014



‘Measures’ is the second album from the Nostalgia 77 & The Monster guise, bringing a flavoursome take on instrumental jazz. The collection of songs sees Ben Lamdin’s long time collaborator, bass player and arranger Riaan Vosloo stepping to the fore, bringing six original compositions. The album also contains nods to the two dominant influences on this group over the years, in renditions of Sun Ra’s otherworldly “An Island In The Sun” and British firebrand (and previous Nostalgia 77 collaborator) Keith Tippett’s “Thoughts To Geoff”. Nostalgia 77 and the Monster is the second incarnation of the Nostalgia 77 Live band, his original Nostalgia 77 Octet having been disbanded after the death of drummer Graham Fox. Lamdin and Vosloo’s aim was to produce an album ranging from the chaotic to the meditative. On ‘Measures’, Vosloo’s writing strikes a delicate balance between strong themes and free space for the improvisers – a perfect canvas for the impressive cast of Kit Downes (piano), James Allsopp (reeds), Fulvio Sigurta (trumpet), Tim Giles (drums) and Vosloo himself on bass. The record captures the fiery fluidity of the band’s live performances. A regular name in the music press for more than a decade, Nostalgia 77’s recent work has raised his profile to a new level. February’s 2014’s bluesy ‘A Journey Too Far’ solo LP and September’s intrepid jazz/dub exploration ‘In The Kingdom Of Dub’ (with Prince Fatty) have been lauded everywhere from The Wire to Clash, Q, DJ Mag, Metro and Blues & Soul, and the latter gave rise to Nostalgia 77’s first BBC 6Music Playlist for the “Medicine Chest Dub” single. He was recruited to produce long time fan Jamie Cullum’s return to Jazz this year, a record which has been met with critical acclaim and has charted across Europe. ~


Brazilian grooves that sound a lot more American than you might expect – a great run of funky club cuts that are dripping with plenty of soul and jazzy instrumentation! These tracks may hail from Brazil, but they have a vibe that really shows the growing Brazilian love of American soul at the time – especially the sweet blend of styles that came into play on the dancefloors of the late 70s! None of these tracks are straight disco, and none have the too commercial styles of the European disco wave of the period – and instead, all the instrumentation is nice and tight, and done in styles you might know from bigger Brazilian groups like Banda Black Rio or Unaio Black – but served up here by more focused solo artists in the lead. Junior Santos hand-picked the tracks from his deep collection of grooves – and titles include "Moral Tem Hora" by Cristina Camargo, "Quero Um Baby Seu" by Solange, "Gosto Amargo De Vida" by Paulo Ramos, "Relax" by Painel De Controle, "Labirinto" by Famks, "Escorpiao" by Carlos Dafe, "Negra Flor" by Sandra De Sa, and "Um Momento Qualquer" by Claudia Telles. ~ Dusty Groove


A great little title for this very soulful album – and for the Soul Junction label in general, given how many wonderful records they've given us over the years! Soul Junction was started by folks with a long history of digging for rare soul in the US underground – and with their knowledge of obscure artists and singles, they've also uncovered some great contemporary American talents too – a few of whom are older soul singers working in obscurity, and others who may well represent the deep soul generations for years go come! Most of these cuts were recorded in the past few years, but have a really classic vibe throughout – almost like some lost work from the modern soul generation and the southern scene of the 80s – a bit more contemporary in the instrumentation and production, but still filled with deeply soulful vocals all the way through. Titles include "Have You Had Enough" by Clayton Hooker, "Don't Pop The Question" by Oliver Cheatham, "Fly Away" by August Heat, "Love Don't Live Here Anymore" by Pixy, "I Can't Wait" by Bill Spoon, "I Like Your Style" by One Nation, "We're Gonna Make It Through" by Natural Impulse, "Say It Again" by Clayton Hooker, "Games" by David Washington, "Love That's Real" by Darold Ghoulston, and "Back Stage" by Extra Rich In Class.  ~ Dusty Groove

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