Wednesday, January 25, 2023

New Music Releases: Mood Mosaic Vol 20, Tyler Mitchell with Marshall Allen, Princess Erika, Yussef Dayes

Mood Mosaic Vol 20 – This Is Not New

The mood here is pretty darn groovy – so much so, it will help you get past the gratuitous image of naked women on the cover! Just keep your clothes on, and enjoy the wonderful selection of cuts within – funky numbers from a variety of genres – jazz, soul, easy listening, and other odd sources – brought together in a collection of cuts that more than lives up to the genius of this long-running series! As with previous volumes, there's no set style, just a batch of cool cuts in pursuit of all things groovy – as you'll hear on titles that include "Cool Echo" by Piet Van Meren, "Pink Movement" by Experience, "Disco Tek" by Syd Dale, "Stepping Stones" by Johnny Harris, "Chica Boom" by Jimmie & Vella, "All I Dream" by Estelle Leavitt, "Use Me" by Kimiko Kasai, "Get Off The Streets Y'All" by Eric & The Vikings, "Damn Somebody Stole My Pants" by Leroy Vinnegar, "Tuane" by Hammer, "Romantic Attitude" by John Fitch, and "Land Of 1000 Dances" by Nino & April. ~ Dusty Groove

Tyler Mitchell with Marshall Allen - Sun Ra's Journey

That's the legendary Marshall Allen on the cover with bassist Tyler Mitchell – the latter of whom leads a very cool combo through a set of material that includes classic tunes by Sun Ra, plus tracks from other sources as well! The octet has the mixture of cohesion and individuality that Ra brought to the Arkestra back in the day – yet the presentation here is hardly slavish to their roots, even with Allen in the group – as there's plenty of personal spirit in Mitchell's arrangements, carried forth by a lineup that includes Chris Hemmingway on tenor, Nicoletta Manzini on alto, Giveton Gelin on trumpet, and Farid Barron on piano – all working here with Mitchell and Allen on a live performance recorded at Smalls. Titles include "Dancing Shadows", "New Dawn", "Love In Outer Space", "Velvet", "Cosmic Hop", "Free Ballad", "Eddie Harris", "Discipline", and "Bouncing At Smalls". ~ Dusty Groove

Princess Erika - J'Suis Pas Une Sainte

A beautiful meeting of contemporary soul and deeper roots – served up here by a singer from Cameroon, but one who works in the best criss-crossing traditions of the scene in France! Elements of hip hop, reggae, and other modes filter through the record – and although the lyrics are in French, there's a really universal sense of soul to the whole thing – maybe a bit in that territory that Les Nubians hit so many years back. Guests include Marka, Petite Guele, and Julien & Oudima – and titles include "African Ladies", "Peur Sur La Ville", "Oh Mama", "Je'Suis Pas Une Sainte", "Elle Sa Fait Appeler Natty", and "Jusqu'a Demain".  ~ Dusty Groove

Yussef Dayes - Yussef Dayes Experience: Live At Joshua Tree EP

Drummer Yussef Dayes leads the group here – but the whole thing's awash in lots of other wonderful touches too – including plenty of sweet keyboards, and the kind of slinky saxophone solos that take us back to the glory days of CTI/Kudu Records in the 70s! The music is lean and laidback – with crisply crackling live drum work from Dayes that really sets the tone – warmed up by the keyboards, and sounding especially great when the soprano sax makes its way through the grooves! A few tracks feature guest appearances – from Elijah Fox, Rocco Palladino, and Vienna – but the core of the record comes from the drums, keyboards, and sax – all sounding mighty nice! Titles include "Raisins Under The Sun", "For My Ladies", "Odyssey", "Golden Hour", "Mystics", and "Rhythms of Xango". ~ Dusty Groove

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