Thursday, September 28, 2017



The debut album by Bette Smith – a singer with a definite 70s look on the cover, and a definite sound to match! Bette was raised in Brooklyn, where she worked for years to hone her voice to a uniquely raspy style – but she recorded this album in Mississippi, with a deep soul vibe that really fits the spirit of her vocals – certainly different than if she were singing with a funk band up north! Jimbo Mathus is the second creative vision on the project – as he produced, wrote most of the songs, and even plays guitar and keyboards – with an overall vibe that maybe feels like some of the rootsier Malaco productions in the 70s. Titles include "Jetlagger", "Moaning Bench", "Shackle & Chain", "Durty Hustlin", "Manchild", "City In The Sky", "I Will Feed You", and a nice remake of Isaac Hayes' "Do Your Thing".  ~ Dusty Groove


Fantastic sounds from Hermeto Pascoal – an artist who first set the world of Brazilian music on fire in the early 70s, and has continued to be one of its most creative talents for decades! One of the great things about Hermeto is not only his own talents as a composer and instrumentalist, but also his warmly collaborative style, and strong sense of mentorship – which often has him working with younger players who not only realize his vision perfectly, but help spur him on to new creative heights! This double-length set is a fantastic testament to that tradition – as it has Hermeto working alongside his son Fabio, who helped organize the date – plus other instrumentalists who provide a range of sharp sounds with the sort of fast changes and inventive timings that we've really come to expect from Pascoal at his best. Most tracks are instrumentals – in a mode that's somewhere near jazz, but very much in its own territory – but the set also has one especially amazing number with indivdual associates speaking a bit with very cool backing. Titles include "Viva Piazzolla", "Som De Aura", "Para Miles Davis", "Salve Pernambuco Percussao", "Viva Edu Lobo", "Um Abraco Chick Corea", "Rafael Amor Eterno", "Ilza Nova", and "Para Ron Carter".  ~ Dusty Groove


That's a pretty clever title from Otto – but then again, the man's always been one of the most clever artists of his generation – and that's saying a lot, given that Otto rose up on a big wave of newly creative Brazilian talents at the start of the 21st Century! All the promise we've loved in his music is still strongly in place here – wonderful songwriting, of the sort that can make the tunes completely compelling, even if you can't understand their lyrical language – served up with inventive production that folds together acoustic and electric elements to resonate the gentle soul of the lyrics. We've always wondered why Otto's talents have never broken bigger on a global scale – but his underground status is maybe one of the reasons we've always enjoyed him so much too – as we greatly do this time around, on titles that include "Teorema", "Orunmila", "Bala", "Atras De Voce", "Caminho Do Sol", "Carinhosa", and "Meu Dengo".  ~ Dusty Groove

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