Browsing Tag

Jazz Fusion

Robert Prester & Adriana Samargia gave jazz a sophisticated edge with ‘Altar Ego’

Two major talents collided for the creation of the superlatively cultivated jazz-pop score, Altar Ego; with Robert Prester in deft charge of composition, lyrics and piano & Adriana Samargia lending her cinematic vocal timbre to the number, it unravelled as a standing ovation-worthy triumph.

Sophistication spills from every note in the sublime, bordering on baroque, score which exhibits Robert Prester’s virtuosic flair when his hands find harmony over piano keys while Adriana Samargia’s vibrant-with-zeal contribution to the single infuses Altar Ego with swathes of commercial appeal. With a voice which wouldn’t be out of place on Broadway, Adriana was the perfect fit to add even more vigour to this exhilaratingly distinctive number.

Stream the official music video for Altar Ego on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Martin Packwood wrapped his latest jazz fusion, Moonlight in Paris, in the warmth of the Parisian night

Martin Packwood’s latest single, Moonlight in Paris, is a scintillatingly smooth journey through the streets of jazz fusion, where every note feels like a step along the Seine under a starlit sky. This amorous installation unravels as a sensory expedition, wrapped in the warmth of a Parisian night.

Packwood’s guitar work, reminiscent of the bluesy soulfulness of Eric Clapton, intertwines effortlessly with the jazz keys. The bluesy guitar notes, like whispers of a distant love affair, meld with percussive fills that don’t just give the score structure, they fill Moonlight in Paris with anticipation.  Each progression in the track teases the listener not unlike the narrative arc of a classic romance.

The genius of Packwood lies in his ability to draw from a diverse palette of influences. His style, a confluence of Santana’s rhythmic mastery and the improvisational spirit of jazz, makes Moonlight in Paris a track that transcends mere auditory experience. It’s a piece that paints pictures, evoking the filmic aura of a David Lynch creation.

This release, following Packwood’s consistent contributions to the jazz-rock fusion domain, confirms his place as a sculptor of soundscapes rather than just a musician. Moonlight in Paris is a nocturnal stroll through the heart of jazz fusion, leaving listeners with a longing for just one more night in the city of lights.

Moonlight in Paris will officially release on March 15; stream the single on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Daniel Walzer – Space Thing: A Cosmic Journey Through Jazz Fusion

Tripglitch by Daniel Walzer

Daniel Walzer’s single, ‘Space Thing’, from his LP ‘Tripglitch’, is an innovatively entrancing blend of jazz, electronica, and progressive rock elements and a shining example of Walzer’s prowess as a composer and multi-instrumentalist. His ability to compose avant-garde soundscapes deeply rooted in musical tradition is evident in the synthesis of spacey tones and mind-altering melodies.

The prog-rock guitars add a unique dynamic, intertwining seamlessly with the more traditional jazz and classical elements. This fusion creates a soundscape that is vibrant and upbeat yet laced with subtle hints of dystopia. Even amidst the more energetic progressions, Space Thing evokes a sense of quiescence and solace while sharing a few tendencies with the ‘War of the Worlds’ OST.

The production of ‘Space Thing’ is gentle yet potent, allowing each instrument to shine without overpowering the others. This balance is a hallmark of Walzer’s work, reflecting his deep understanding of and respect for each genre he incorporates into his music.

‘Tripglitch’, and particularly ‘Space Thing’, is a reflection of Walzer’s journey through various musical landscapes, from jazz fusion to new age and ambient pop. His ability to blend these styles while maintaining a cohesive sound is nothing short of remarkable.

Space Thing is now available to stream and purchase on Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Blowing My Own Trumpet redefined the landscape of protest music with their world music single, Sama Rainbow

Sama Rainbow by Blowing My Own Trumpet

Blowing My Own Trumpet’s latest single, “Sama Rainbow,” is a striking blend of vibrant world music and poignant political commentary. The track is a rich tapestry of Latin and African rhythms, infused with the soulful essence of jazz. This musical family, led by Claude and Josephine Lamon, along with Joe Dorstal and Mattie James, has crafted a piece that is as thought-provoking as it is rhythmically exhilarating.

From the first note, “Sama Rainbow” immerses the listener in a world where the joyous beats of Africa and Latin America collide. The instrumentation is a kaleidoscope of sound, with each note painting a picture of vibrant landscapes. However, beneath this bright exterior lies a narrative of deep sorrow and frustration towards the political turmoil that taints the beauty of Africa.

The lyrics, poignant and direct, speak of the enduring pain caused by political corruption in Africa. Phrases like “Politicians still playing their games” and “Help save the broken Rainbow” are powerful calls to action, urging listeners to acknowledge and address the ongoing struggles.

What makes “Sama Rainbow” particularly compelling is its ability to balance the beauty of its musical composition with the gravity of its message. The track doesn’t just lament the state of affairs; it also offers a sense of hope and resilience. The final verses, “There are colours in the Rainbow / We have saved the broken Rainbow,” suggests a future where unity and justice might prevail.

In essence, “Sama Rainbow” is a powerful statement on the state of our world, wrapped in a melody that captivates and moves. It’s a reminder that music can be a tool for change, echoing the struggles and hopes of people across the globe.

Sama Rainbow is now available to stream and purchase via Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Jess Fuller lent her jazzy RnB etherealism to soulful realism in her post-breakup redemption arc, My Enemy

Jess Fuller’s seminal single, My Enemy, taken from her debut EP, Alchemy, unravels as a mesmerising blend of jazzy R&B grooves and soul-aching poetry. It’s a luxurious auditory journey, guided by Fuller’s smoky vocal timbre, her masterful command of the keyboard, and the equally as sharp command she holds over her audience as she keeps them captive to her luxe aura.

Fuller, a Los Angeles-based maestro of melody draws inspiration from eclectic influences like Hiatus Kaiyote and Stevie Wonder before crafting soundscapes that are as dreamy as they are grounded in soulful realism. The Jess Fuller Trio, with its rhythmic versatility, adds layers of depth to the track, making it resonate with anyone who’s ever navigated the turbulent waters of love and loss.

My Enemy delves into the complexities of affection turning into affliction. Fuller’s lyrics paint a vivid picture of the post-breakup journey. From the ashes of a relationship marred by control and power play to the triumphant stride into newfound independence and regained strength. The production is a cinematic masterpiece, directed by dreamy vox and catchy melodies. Yet, it is the fatalistic shots fired towards the protagonists who need to deplete your power to hold any of their own over you that become the defining feature of this scintillating redemption arc.

Stream the Alchemy EP by Jess Fuller in full via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Suedejazz Collective broke jazz-fusion boundaries with ‘Spinal Chord’, ft Louie Le Vack & LEYLAH

Suedejazz Collective assembled once more to create their sophomore single, Spinal Chord and brought Louie Le Vack & LEYLAH into the fold to orchestrate an unflinching foray into the darker side of contemporary jazz-fusion.

The intro sees piano keys sway against the rigorous drum fills and fervid horns before sultry RnB vocal lines, perfectly pitched by LEYLA, become a demure anchor in the track, but it isn’t long before there’s another seamless yet breakneck transition in the exhilarant feat of genre fusion. Hip-hop often borrows timbres from jazz, but Suedejazz Collective reverse-engineered the fusion by bringing in Louis Le Vack’s rap bars that bite down hard on the psyche over the synthesis of electronica fervour to effortlessly complement the ensnaring alchemy which grooves through the release.

There aren’t many jazz-inclined outfits that can transcend the fusionist flair of Melt Yourself Down and Acoustic Ladyland, but the energy and attitude which charges through Spinal Chord is set to seal the London-based multicultural collective’s fate as unrivalled conduits of experimentalism. The uniqueness of their sonic blueprint goes beyond edgy pretension. It opens up viscerally constructive arenas of sound that you’ll want to feel the heat of time after time. Forget the smoky jazz you’ve inhaled before. Spinal Chord is a wildfire in the form of a riptide.

Stream Spinal Chord on all major platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Maryama teased her listeners through the time signatures in her jazz fusion reimagining of Britney Spears’ Toxic

Though covers often pale in comparison to their originals, Maryama’s rendition of Britney Spears’ Toxic stands as a seductive exception. This renaissance of a pop classic, draped in the finery of loungey jazz fusion, is fittingly intoxicating.

Maryam Mirbagheri, known artistically as Maryama, infused her multicultural musical prowess into this track, creating a soundscape that’s as rich in texture as it is in history. Her Iranian-American heritage, coupled with a profound grounding in jazz, soul, Persian, and classical music, sets the stage for a rendition of Toxic that’s almost inconceivably intimate.

The track begins with a seductive ease with complex time signatures weaving a hypnotic tapestry that’s both intricate and inviting. It’s a bold move, transforming a well-known pop anthem into something that feels more at home in a smoky jazz club than on a dance floor, but Maryama executes it with nothing short of remarkable finesse.

Her rich, airy, and velvety vocals glide over the music to breathe new life into the lyrics while the song retains its catchy core, despite the adornments of decadent instrumentals. For those who have yet to experience her music, this track is the perfect gateway into the lush, diverse world of Maryama.

Stream Toxic on Soundcloud. 

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Joseph Batrouney gently deconstructed the monocultural mould with his jazz fusion score, At Hand

For his latest seminal piece, Joseph Batrouney collaborated with Niran Dasika, Flora Carbo, and Jacques Emery to orchestrate a beguiling instrumental serenade, which sees jazzy smoke signals billow through the progressions in the sublime score, At Hand.

At Hand stands as a beacon of his unique musical vision, seamlessly blending influences from Middle Eastern, jazz, and flamenco traditions. Batrouney, with his profound understanding of musical fusionism, presents a track that is as organic and fluid as a meandering river, gently challenging and deconstructing the monocultural mould. The track moves with a natural grace, each note and rhythm flowing into the next, creating a harmonious and captivating auditory experience.

Batrouney’s musical skills, honed under the tutelage of luminaries like Tony Moreno, Nate Smith, and Israel ‘Piraña’ Suarez, and through his studies at prestigious institutions like Monash University and New York University, shine brilliantly in this release. His ability to infuse his music with a rich tapestry of rhythmic textures and motions is evident in every beat.

The artist’s noteworthy performances, including appearances alongside the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and tours with Arte Kanela Flamenco, have undoubtedly contributed to his deep understanding of rhythm and melody. This understanding is palpable in At Hand, where every chord and rhythm seems to tell a story, inviting listeners into Joseph’s world of rhythmic exploration and cultural fusion.

At Hand was officially released on the 20th of November ahead of the EP of the same name, which subsequently reached the airwaves on December 8th. Stream the EP on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Omni Optometrist prescribed the antidote to sonic monotony with his jazzy prog-rock track, ‘Converging Forces’

Omni Optometrist’s (AKA Mitch Protheroe) jazzy synth-driven prog-rock-driven soundscapes won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re looking for the antidote to sonic monotony, look no further than his latest Avant Garde orchestration, Converging Forces.

Between the frenetic time signatures which the scintillating symphonic tones weave through, there’s just enough room for star-roving constellations of trip-hop to add to the superlative almost dystopic in nature instrumental score, which adds a touch of interstellar ambience to the release.

Along with Omni Optometrist, Mitch Protheroe’s creativity has known many guises; he started composing under the name Of Keys and Cages in 2008, since then, he has released several jazz fusion records and has only become more ambitious with each subsequent release. After honing his production skills, he’s reworking his old demos and slowly but surely started introducing them to the airwaves from his studio in Florida. If Converging Forces set the standard, we can’t wait to hear what follows.

Converging Forces is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Stix Bones is back on the skins in his funked-up jazz fusion, LEAP

Following the phenomenal success of his hip-hop-influenced LP and a string of critically acclaimed singles, Brooklyn’s most prodigal jazz son, Stix Bones, is back on the skins once more with his seminal release, LEAP, featuring Bob Beamon.

With flavours of North African Funk in the culturally layered rhythmics of the instrumental track and sparks of Latino flair within the keys, vibrancy radiates from the exuberantly sophisticated core of LEAP. While the syncopated percussive fills and seductive bassline growls set up the grooves, the horn section shimmers the soundscape with an unfaltering sense of expressive euphoria that will heighten any mood.

With his previous releases, including his debut LP, Groove Like This, Stix Bones featured on 40 radio stations across the globe and became no stranger to the jazz charts. He’s equally as accoladed in the live circuit; when he’s not opening for the likes of Chaka Khan, Charlie Wilson, and Babyface, he’s helping world-renowned artists complete their albums and playing with the likes of Soulfege. It’s only a matter of time before he becomes a permanent fixture in the Jazz Hall of Fame.

Stream LEAP, which was officially released on September 22, on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast