Recording artist and record label owner Robert Johnson has spent the last few decades smoothly taking the world by storm. His knee-weakening vocal timbre has appeared on national commercials; he has shared stages with Bob Hope, Stevie Wonder and Roberta Flack; he has appeared in regional productions of iconic shows and won plenty of awards along the way.
Most recently, he has released his highly-anticipated album, So The Story Goes, which will be an instant nostalgia hit for jazz fans and the gateway soundscape for many future Jazz fans.
The album starts with the ardent single, Everything Must Change, which cinematically explores the roots of jazz, blues and RnB before pulling them all together in an exploratively invigorating yet teasingly serene score.
Jazz and Blues fusionist Ikechi Onyenaka’s latest extended instrumental soundscape, City Dreams, eases you into the twilight grooves gently before the rhythms pick up funk around the smoky jazz timbre. With the next progression, City Dreams moves towards a stormy sax blues riff that rivals the jazz-punk frontman Pete Wareham’s pipes.
In the latter half of City Dreams, psych blues tendencies start to accumulate in the single, in a way that there was no anticipating. The ambience from the intro allows the volatile expressionism to leave you broadsided by the sheer ingenuity. Is there any better feeling than that?
Jazz musician, composer and producer, Daniel Ben Mortiz released his latest single, Beso Solar, on September 30th; while the blissful tones induce you into a state of entrancement, the complex time signatures in the organic, almost primal soundscape have the opposite effect as they affirm that your rhythmic pulses are well and truly at the command of Mortiz and his unpredictably arresting progressions.
What starts as a lofty and meditative soundscape transgresses into a bassline-driven feat of improvised jazz and funk alchemy that won’t fail to leave your consciousness entirely consumed.
Jazz fusionist and soundtrack composer OSLU released their latest album, Explaudere, on October 1st. By taking modern film scores and classical music as inspiration, the neo-blues pioneer orchestrates accessible soundscapes that tenderly bind you into the ease of the progressions and the cinematic flair.
The instrumental single, Goodbye Old Friend, uses clean-cut blues guitars, shimmering crescendos and nuanced rock elements to testify to OSLU’s ingenuity when it comes to creating orchestral catharsis. It would be no surprise to see OSLU’s name on a Blockbuster’s roll of end credits. The sheer talent is enough to allow you to question everything you heard on the radio today.
‘Peace in the Sky’, featuring vocalist, Ellen Mara, is easily the most hypnotic RnB trip pop single so far from the jazzy instrumental duo Mid Ground. The easy movements of the notes remind you of how sweet freedom can feel as the lyrics do the same.
The single switches the RnB narratives that consistently chase and mourn lust; it delivers a reminder that the only person worth finding is yourself. By playing with rich, ethereal and electrifying textures, the lush reverb-swathed grooves in Peace in the Sky leave you absorbed from start to finish. My soul feels infinitely lighter for hearing this tranquil yet fierce affirmation that independence is infinitely more rewarding than co-dependence.
Peace in the Sky was officially released on September 17th; you can check it out for yourselves via Bandcamp & SoundCloud.
Bassist, singer-songwriter and empowerment speaker Kayla Lynn has released her latest jazzy funk single, More Than Friends, with her band The Change; the rich harmonic tones paired with the fresh take on funk is an aural experience that you are unlikely to forget.
She has been making major waves in Asheville, NC’s funk scene with her blissfully textured sound and endlessly dynamic vocals that practically write success into the artist’s future. It is almost a paradox how More Than Friends simultaneously sends you back to the roots of soul and has the potential to definite the future of neo-soul. It’s a stellar release from a refreshingly exceptional artist.
South-East London-born and raised Jazz singer-songwriter Camille Rose’s signature sound is quickly becoming synonymous with arrestingly unique jazz instrumentals that groove and improvise around her soulfully lush vocals.
Before the first verse runs through in her latest single, Raining in July, you’ll find yourself captivated by the mellifluously rich soundscape that flows with such ease and finesse; listening to it is as easy as breathing. For anyone going solo this summer, Raining in July should be a feel-good playlist staple for the way it captures romantic grief but emanates radiant soul despite the wistful sorrow.
Through the influence of Amy Winehouse, Nina Simone and Ella Fitzgerald, the 24-year-old artist started studying jazz performance at Trinity Laban conservatoire to hone in on her craft. Discernibly, she has already mastered the art of weaving narratively compelling lyrics into a melodically cathartic soundscape. We can’t wait to hear what follows.
Check out the live recording of Raining in July by heading over to Spotify.
It’s always a pleasure to review something a little bit out of the blue and unexpected, and when it’s from someone as accomplished as Oli Morris that holds doubly so. A saxophonist and composer originally born in Northridge, California but now living in Bristol, Oli studied music at the University of Chichester, but soon found himself an in-demand session player and live sideman, performing at Bestival and Glastonbury as well as decamping to Rockfield Studios with festival favourites Cut Capers.
Shortly before the world paused and ‘roadmap’ took on a new, Covid-related meaning, Morris returned from a month-long backpacking tour through India. The result, featuring a collective of Bristol’s up-and-coming music glitterati, is ‘Bimal’, a jazz-neo-soul fusion in two halves, featuring the stunning, silky-smooth vocals of Chrissie Huntley wrapped around Morris’ masterful saxophone, interspersed with Snazzback’s Eli Jitsuto’s deliciously restrained guitar parts and the oh-so-cool jazz-funk rhythm section of Sam Fox and Andee Liu. There’s some serious Rare Groove and Acid Jazz smoothness here, echoes of the Brand New Heavies and Incognito mixed with touches of Galliano’s ‘Joyful Noise Unto The Creator’ around Ruaridh Wilkinson’s Rhodes piano-work; it’s chilled, mellow, and it’s got some serious soul.
‘Memories Made’ is just one of the singles that alt-rock outfit, Smooth Retsina Glow, has toured the US with since making their debut in 2020; with international airplay and 60 shows under their belt, they’re well on their way to shedding their ‘up and coming’ status.
With enough funk to give Nile Rogers a run for his money and sticky-sweet pop sensibilities to the female vocals, Memories Made is a tranquil yet equally enlivening track. There are serious melodic grooves in the rhythm section but with the choppy staccato guitar chords, there’s plenty of upbeat energy pouring from the heart and soul of this nostalgia-inducing track.
You can check out the official video to Memories Made by heading over to YouTube.
There is seemingly no end to the Brighton-based experimental artist 8udDha bl0od’s versatility; in his discography, you’ll find it all, from drone electronica to Alt indie 90s rock to 70s psych. With his latest release, he has bestowed upon the airwaves a stunning fusion of Jazz and Blues that carries the same stylish cinematic air as a neo-noir classic.
With Fr33 jA2234 5UPeRm00n, 8udDha bl0od proved that Jazz is as accessible as the other genres he virtuosically dabbles in; those complex time signatures quickly start to feel like home when they are up against blues scales and guitar chords that work a little indie garage rock accordance into the mix.
You can check out 8udDha bl0od’s latest single by heading over to SoundCloud.