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jazz

Music

Dion Kerr showcases their experimentalism with “Cosmos”

https://bacerecords.bandcamp.com/track/cosmos

Kicking in with some proper old style TR808 drum sounds before a set of mildly discordant piano and brass chords, ‘Cosmos’ by Dion Kerr is nine minutes of jazzy instrumental, a series of repeating motifs, moving through arrangements and phrases, alternating saxophone and experimental guitar courtesy of collaborator Jeff Parker.

Here using an original composition from his days at the Manhattan School Of Music, Kerr deconstructs and recasts the piece into an improvisational modern big band arrangement, marrying old school drum machine beats, cassette tape saturation, and experimental modern jazz.

‘Cosmos’ is from Kerr’s new album ‘Ivy’, available to preorder from his Bandcamp page.

Review by Alex Holmes.

Music

Marvin Muoneke offers deep rounded resonance with “How About You”

Marvin Muoneké

‘How About You’ starts simply enough, a few measures of descending piano riff and Muonoke’s vocal before the full-on ‘brushes and hi-hats’ rhythm section kick, and we’re treated to the rich pleasure of Muoneke’s outstanding vocal.

This is full, old-school combo swing-time jazz a la Gershwin, Basie, or Woody Herman, or the best of West End show-tunes, the piano riffing alongside upright bass and a perfectly phrased trumpet interlude, Muoneke’s voice deep, rounded, and resonant throughout. The timbre and tone of his mellow baritone a perfect counterpoint to the band beneath; Muoneke describes himself as ‘the young man with the old soul’, and on ‘How About You’ he’s not wrong, the song instantly transporting us back to a 1940’s pre-Bebop era of smoky jazz clubs, expressive, strong, and vibrant, Muoneke’s lyrics a canny mix of old school (‘Lady Ella’s voice’) and new (‘Some roti curry goat, rice, and peas’), self-aware but never jarring or incongruous.

A masterclass of swing, Muoneke’s debut album is available to pre-save via his Facebook page.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

Yoni Mayraz – I used to think about God

Starting off with a subtle piano-and-drum part before the pulled back distorted vocals and mellow saxophone kick in, Yoni Mayraz’s ‘I used to think about God’ is a chilled-out, jazzy deep-cuts style wander through anger and acceptance, a cry to revisit a simpler, more peaceful time when the beauty of home and comfort had yet to be superseded by the fear and confusion of the last few months.

Noam Darvish’s vocal is pulled masterfully back in the mix, the track carried instead by Matan Vardi’s freeform jazzy sax, a three-minute paean to love and acceptance, the lead single from Mayraz’s new ‘Rough Cuts’ EP.

You can hear the full EP on YouTube.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

Close friends Tropical Boyfriend Catalogue amaze our senses with new EP ‘Sugar Freak’

Sugar Freak‘ is the brand new EP from the UK band with the ultimate artist name- Tropical Boyfriend Catalogue.

Tropical Boyfriend Catalogue are a UK based indie-pop gathering of music lovers and they win our hearts with a genuine feel and jazzy postcards with wonderful vocals and beats. Consisting of members Kami Ivanova (vocals, guitar), Zak Lyons (guitar, keys), Craig Medlin (guitar) and Adam Thomas (bass), you can tell that this band love playing together. The intricate beauty shines above the bursting bass lines and I love the care that each song has been made with.

After meeting in Croydon in England, the band became good mates after University and a music flow soon wove into creations together. This close bond blends a mixer full packed synth-pop journey that gets you reminiscing and grooving.

The highlights on this fine EP are definitely ‘Holding On‘ and ‘Reverence‘ as these two efforts are sung with such passion and the background matched the songs the best I feel.

Sugar Freak‘ is a great release from Tropical Boyfriend Catalogue and the close friends impress on this stripped bare gem. There is an authentic feel that helps our hearts in 2020. They weave pop, rock and jazz into a tight bow of fantastic music.

Click here for the Spotify link.

Head through to the Facebook link.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Music

Dangerbirds – Red Tea: Kaleidoscopically Entrancing Melodic Jazz

‘Immersive’ isn’t usually the first adjective which comes to mind to describe a standout track from Jazz ensemble but discernibly, the Leeds-lauded Jazz outfit Dangerbirds are anything but archetypal.

After forming in 2018, Dangerbirds took their time crafting their transcendently warm album “Shapes”. Part Ambient Jaz and Part Progressive Melodic Instrumental Rock, the album is a deluge of complexity weaved into trustable rhythms. The standout track is undoubtedly Red Tea, it may not use typical time signatures, yet, you’ll want to surrender your pulses to the alchemy weaved by virtuoso-level composer and guitarist Sam Horan regardless.

Never let it be said that Jazz can’t be accessible and fit for contemporary airwaves.

You can check out Red Tea along with the rest of Dangerbirds debut album Shapes via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Jakub Byzia is here with tremendous single ‘Beloved in the Fairground’

Polish singer-songwriter Jakub Byzia is here with a fantastic new song and it’s called ‘Beloved in the Fairground‘.

Jakub Byzia is a guitarist, composer, producer currently based in Warsaw, Poland. A Berklee College of Music graduate, Jakub pursues a career in the music industry as a solo artist. He is such a talent and the class shines through here.

Born in Warsaw, POLAND, Jakub started singing early on and later picked up the guitar when he turned 11. To further his music education, he studied jazz for two years in Dublin, Ireland and later completed his music studies in Boston. His performance history covers multiple music contests, various Warsaw music clubs, the Grand Orchestra of Christmas Charity concert in Berlin, Polish National Television appearances and a number of regular shows at the Warsaw music theatre, Studio Buffo.

This is about remembering your youth and those days in the playground. With exquisite guitar riffs and that fine voice, this is a top song with lots of heart. With a long intro, you really get into this song as it builds up all the way. ‘Beloved in the Fairground‘ from Jakub Byzia is such a fine effort as this has class written all over it.

Click here for the splendid Spotify link.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Music

‘Sleep Safe and Warm’ is the theme from Rosemary’s Baby (Komeda) – Adam Simmons | Jean Poole

Sleep Safe and Warm‘ is the Jazzy delightful theme from Rosemary’s Baby (Komeda) – Adam Simmons and Jean Poole.

This is the second single release from ‘Zatoczka – Tribute to Komeda‘ – and famously known for being the theme from Roman Polanski’s film Rosemary’s Baby. 2019 was 50 years since the untimely passing of legendary Polish jazz pianist and film composer Krzysztof Komeda and, to mark the occasion, celebrated Australian saxophonist Adam Simmons produced a large-ensemble tribute to the musician in collaboration with video artist, Jean Poole. The team effort has been a fantastic success due to the quality of the music.

Zatoczka – Tribute to Komeda‘ is the resulting album captures the magic from the concert, which saw Adam Simmons’ 8-piece Creative Music Ensemble joined by legendary Australian pianist Tony Gould and masterful vocalist Deborah Kayser.

Adam Simmons and Jean Poole bring us a beautiful song and the video matches the aura. The young boy is learning about the world as he walks around and seeks to be safe around himself. This is a stunning song and I feel so relaxed with the jazzy energy and occasional vocals that hit the spot. ‘Sleep Safe and Warm‘ is a work of art in a troubled year for the world. With 11 artists and team members featuring here, this is a true team effort.

Click here for the YouTube link.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Music

Dion Kerr – BLOOM featuring Adam O’Farrill: Cinematically Blissful Downtempo Jazz

Up and coming Jazz artist Dion Kerr has served up 6-minutes of sublime serenity with his latest tonally glowing feat of Ambient Experimental Jazz “BLOOM” featuring Adam O’Farrill.

The cinematically blissful offering of Downtempo Jazz carries some nuances of Avant-Garde within its perplexingly indulgent progressions which have plenty of aural curveballs instore. BLOOM has a way of demanding repeat attention by allowing you to draw more ingenuity out of the multi-layered resolving soundscape with every hit. With a new album in the pipeline, you’ll definitely want to save space on your radar for Dion Kerr.

You can check out the official video to BLOOM which premiered on August 19th for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Utterly, beautifully, helplessly smitten – Imagesong’s “Lost In You”

When you feature such luminaries as Jazz chanteuse Alexis Cole (possibly the greatest singer ever to hold a top-secret military security clearance), the Grammy-nominated pianist Mike Eckroth (John Scofield’s New Quartet), and saxophonist Marc Phaneuf (Quincy Jones, LA Philharmonic, Aretha Franklin, Iggy Pop…) to showcase your songwriting talents, you’d better hope that your craft is up to the same standard as your performers.

Thankfully, for songwriter and poet Connie Marotta AKA Imagesong, it is. In spades. ‘Lost In You’, from the ‘Imagesong Presents’ portfolio, is everything you could hope for; late-night laid-back New York Jazz Club cool, Eckroth’s beautifully sparse keys perfectly complimenting Cole’s sultry, smoky vocal timbre and Phaneuf’s subtly understated baritone sax fills. ‘Lost In You’ is stunning, seductive, the aural equivalent of twenty-year-old scotch on the rocks and a slowly burning Chesterfield. Gorgeous.

Imagesong’s single Lost in You is available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

Pablo Ojeda’s latest single “Greasy” oozes contemporary Funk appeal

Funk Bassist Pablo Ojeda released their 6-track EP Gotta Move on July 17th. While each of the instrumental tracks is sure to be a hit with any fans of Jazz Funk, the perfect introduction to their almost impossibly smooth style is “Greasy”.

Greasy may seem like a strange choice for a bass-led Jazz Funk mix, but once you’re half-way through, you’ll notice that your consciousness has already been consumed by the mesmeric unpredictable progressions which in true Jazz style, throw time signatures out of the window.

There may be plenty of nostalgia to be found in Greasy, but there’s no disputing that it’s a modernistic soundscape which oozes contemporary Funk appeal. Get it in your ears.

You can check out Pablo Ojeda’s single Greasy for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast