CARMEN RODGERS – STARGAZER
It's been way way too long since we last heard from Carmen Rodgers (her debut was over a decade ago) – but it's really great to have her back, and sounding better than ever! Carmen's really grown up a lot over the past few years – and she's got this tight, sophisticated groove that holds onto all the best elements of her roots, but also gives the music a jazzy flourish that's right on the money – this cool, calculated vibe that's often augmented by just the right sort of keyboard touches – not throwaway riffs, but warm lines that flow beautifully alongside her sublime vocals! Anthony David makes a guest appearance on the set, but Carmen's the clear star all the way through – brilliantly back in the spotlight with tracks that include "Make A Way", "Camille Leon", "Beyond The Stage", "Stargazing", "Heartless", "Stay", and "Not Sure". ~ Dusty Groove
THE MIGHTY MOCAMBOS - SHOWDOWN
The Mighty Mocambos' new album "Showdown" sets another cornerstone in their prolific career as a globally active instrumental funk outfit. While maintaining their organic approach of recording real musicians live on tape, the group has refined their trademark sound with a dramatic edge, a hard hitting production and ventures into less obvious musical territories. While highly enjoying themselves as the tight unit they are, The Mighty Mocambos invited an exciting list of guests to contribute to their musical "Showdown": German film composer icon Peter Thomas, hip hop godfather Afrika Bambaataa, rap legends Charlie Funk aka Afrika Islam (member of Rocksteady Crew) and Donald D (of Ice-T's Rhyme Syndicate), plus Nichola Richards, Shawn Lee, DeRobert from peer label GED Soul in Nashville, Zulu Nation MCs Deejay Snoop & DJ Hektek and organ genius Guillaume Metenier. With two highly successful albums under their belt as The Mighty Mocambos and a plethora of singles and music releases under different monikers such as the Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band, this new full-length is by no means the final battle, indeed the show has just begun. The album shows a group who is prepared to stand up to anyone in the game. Their guns are heavy beats, epic horns, dual guitars and outstanding compositions – and they are locked and loaded!
MATANA ROBERTS - COIN COIN CHAPTER THREE RIVER RUN THEE
Maybe the most dense, most complex work we've heard from Matana Roberts to date – a unusual effort that blends together her own instrumental passages with sound samples recorded during a wintertime ramble through the states of Mississippi, Tennessee, and Louisiana! Roberts moves away from her previous group efforts, to hit even more experimental sounds here – which include her own alto saxophone lines, plus work on a Korg Monotron, an early 1900s upright piano, and even a bit of vocalizations too – all taken at a level that's way beyond jazz, and which has elements of found sound mixing with processed instrumental passages, and even some odd snippets of classic American songs. The effort comes off sounding as if an avant jazz album were recorded with an older 4AD aesthetic – with all the dense sonic structures that might imply – and the whole thing's definitely one more reason to keep your eyes focused on Roberts' genius in years to come! ~ Dusty Groove