Sunday, January 23, 2022

The Jazz Defenders | "Live Slow" feat. Herbal T

Bristol's soul-jazz brothers The Jazz Defenders hit us with a brand new single on November 26th via Haggis Records, another taster from their forthcoming second album "King Phoenix" which drops in February 2022 from the same label. The quintet, led by keyboard maestro George Cooper from the UK funk kings The Haggis Horns, deliver a new bumping hip-hop/jazz jam called "Live Slow" featuring guest MC Herbal T, from the USA.

The original music burns bright in a mid-late 1960's soul-jazz style made popular by the likes of Ramsey Lewis and Herbie Hancock. Funky backbeat, in-the-pocket bassline, snappy and sharp brass, soul claps, and infectious piano vamping from that man Cooper. Then a third way in, guest MC Herbal T jumps on the mic and flips it into a hip-hop/jazz gem with some classy old-school bars that fit perfectly with the funky soul-jazz instrumental vibe. A great collaboration that references those golden era 90's hip-hop x jazz experiments by bands like Guru's Jazzmatazz and US3. With a nice upbeat tempo, this is definitely one for the b-boy/b-girl jams and cyphers worldwide.

The Jazz Defenders have slowly been building their reputation as a great jazz unit since their debut Blue Note/hard bop-inspired album "Scheming" appeared on Haggis Records back in 2019. The right heads were turned and when their new single dropped in summer 2021, The Jazz Defenders finally got the respect they rightly deserved. The double A-side vinyl single "The Big Man/Love's Vestige" got some heavy support on the radio from top folks like Craig Charles (BBC6 Music), Helen Mayhew (Jazz FM), Jamie Cullum (BBC Radio 2), and Worldwide FM resident DJ's Ashley Beedle and Colin Curtis.

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