MAURICE BROWN – THE MOOD
Fantastic sounds from trumpeter Maurice Brown – a straight jazz player by training, but one who opens up here in a warmly soulful groove! The record bristles with loads of great keyboards from Kris Bowers – whose sound is as important to the album as Brown's trumpet – and the rhythms are played live, but have a nicely chunky quality that fits in well with the occasional vocal from Maurice – as well as guest vocal contributions from Talib Kweli, Chris Turner, and J Ivy! Most tracks also feature tenor from Chelsea Baratz – and the whole thing's got a nice groove that's maybe in the same electric territory as some of the more soul-drenched titles in recent years from Blue Note. Titles include "The Mood", "On My Way Home", "Stand Up","Moroccan Dancehall", "Shenanigans", "Capricorn Rising", and "Journey Exotique". ~ Dusty Groove
ROBERT LUTHER SMITH - PSYCHEDELIA
Robert Luther Smith is an R&B artist from the UK who has been at it since 1973. All these years later he's still got it as he's released his sixth album, Psychedelia.
Robert Luther Smith has been playing music since the early '70s and in between then and now has done his fair share of legwork. Now he's ready for the world to get their hands (and ears) on his latest release, Psychedelia. When Luther sits down to construct his music, he tackles every element. Writing, singing and producing. He puts his all into his work, and the result he says is more like a collection of short stories laid over R&B music. He called it "romantic fiction." A term not often used in music, but easily understood. Luther writes with his heart and his latest result is his album, Psychedelia. R&B with hints of pop, singles such as "Philly Girl" and "Mediocria Firma" have garnered attention from listeners via his site since being released. Starting in the early '70s at the legendary Regent Sound Studios in Denmark Street London, he started making his own records come 1978. A short while later he was signed to RCA in '82. From there he was on the road with Hot Chocolate that same year. Six records released to date, including Psychedelia, Luther has shown no signs of slowing down in his lengthy career. Although he doesn't gig as much as he used to, today he's focused more on people hearing his music via the record.
DEZRON DOUGLAS – SOUL JAZZ
Bassist Dezron Douglas is always a name we look for on a record – and although this set is one of the few he's ever given us as a leader, his playing and approach never let us down! For the set, Douglas revisits a number of older soul tracks, but in a way that's completely instrumental – much more complicated than the 60s soul jazz modes you might expect from title, with a wonderfully changing sense of rhythm and flow that's abetted by work from Donald Brown on piano and Willie Jones III on drums – both working at a level that matches their own great records as leaders. Saxophonist Jimmy Greene blows both tenor and soprano sax on the album – adding an important voice over the top – and titles include "Hey There Lonely Girl", "I Want You", "Tears Of A Clown", "Cupid", "Ooh Baby Baby", "Having A Party", and "So Amazing". ~ Dusty Groove