jazz posts

Carmen Souza

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013 by Julija

world jazz // cape verdean

The music of Lisbon-born and London-based songstress Carmen Souza is hard to categorize, but easy to love. In her recent studio-album Kachupada (2013), Carmen embodies the influences of traditional Cape Verdean sounds, American jazz, Latin, Afro-Caribbean rhythms and more. Carmen’s remarkably soulful voice is the center of it all, as she easily swings through exotic beats and mellow jazz tones with a feeling of saudade. Her version of Charlie Parker’s bebop classic “Donna Lee” sounds festive, danceable and extraordinary original.

Jazz-tingled tropical musical adventure.

Carmen Souza – Donna Lee

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Willy Moon

Monday, April 8th, 2013 by Sjoerd

Rock & Roll // BeatsWilly Moon b/w

If the ’50s had sampling, New Zealand export Willy Moon would be a flashback. But at the age of 23, his brash mix of rock & roll’s early days and contemporary sampling turns the clock forward to a bold new charm. Before settling into his new home of London, UK, this autodidact ditched school at 16 and shaped his raw sounds with sojourns in Valencia, Morocco, and Berlin; evolving from hip-hop and club into sonic sledgehammers having sole-blistering effect. Willy’s supercharged collage of well-known samples, combined with his unique retro vocals, makes a fiercely catchy package, and his visual style looks equally well mastered in a slick ‘Rat Pack’ refined naughtiness.

Smokin’ hot throwback beat explosions.Willy Moon – I Wanna Be Your Man
Willy Moon – Railroad Track
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Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rackettes

Monday, October 22nd, 2012 by Sjoerd

doo-wop // retro soulphoto by Tom Franks at Bakehouse Studios

Firey Soul, Doo-Wop, Rhythm n’ Blues are smashed together by Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rackettes to create a big sound with an 18-carat edge. These cats mix retro styles like a bartender with 2-day stubble in a juke joint, breaking down ’40s and ’50s Jive into a modern flare. Clairy’s voice lets through emotion in gasps and wails, supported by her gang of Rackettes spitting out background vocals you don’t wanna mess with. The band delivers smoking licks through Australian airwaves resulting in a hot plate that’ll surely blow your top.

Finger snappin’ ooohhss and bop-bop she’do-bops.
Clairy Browne – I’ll Be Fine
Clairy Browne – She Plays Up To You
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Ann Sophie

Saturday, September 8th, 2012 by Julija

jazz // soul

In a vast sea of female jazz vocalists, the newcomer New York-based chanteuse Ann Sophie quickly caught our attention with her retro glamorous single “Get Over Yourself”. As the debut single sets the tone, the real treat is actually down the road – her upcoming EP. Ann Sophie possesses a truly passionate, convincing vocal style that would appeal as much to soulful jazz-pop lovers as well as retro-soul sweetness devotees.

Strong vocals and superb production.
Ann Sophie – Get Over Yourself
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Hidden Jazz Quartett

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012 by Sjoerd

Jazz // SoulHidden Jazz Quartett band picture

Dedicated to presenting original raw jazz straight out of Germany’s Hannover, Hidden Jazz Quartett‘s organic sound breezes your way in crisp tumbling rhythms and versatile sax. They combine styles from both ends of the spectrum: hard-hitting drums underpin laid-back melodies in “High Heels,” with its off-kilter beat in perfect contrast to the silky colours of Omar’s voice. Instrumental jazz from the top shelf is served in “Wälzer” as a strong groove that evolves into a swirling river braved by ballsy brass solos.

Grooving jazz uplifts your mood.
Hidden Jazz Quartett – High Heels (feat. Omar)
Hidden Jazz Quartett – Wälzer
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Tino Contreras

Friday, August 3rd, 2012 by Kyle

latin jazz // tropical

First appearing on Jazz in MexicoThe Legendary 1954 Sessions, pioneering Mexican drummer and composer Tino Contreras was born in 1928 in Chihuahua, Chih., and has recorded over 40 albums to date. El Jazz Mexicano De Tino Contreras (2011) showcases his ingenuity of styles absorbed from world travels – containing ritual chants, waltz, psychedelia, devout choirs and microtones to name a few. However, the successful arrangements of Jazz Tropical (1962) is my aurgasm as double bass swings through proclaiming horns, congas are aplenty, and occasional shouts propel excitement. Tino’s drum solo in “Conversacion” is a highlight, while the cascading piano from his take on Ernesto Lecuona’s “La Malagueña” and the lively swagger of “Night in Tunisia” is exquisite.

Invigorating Latin flavors.
Tino Contreras – Noche en Tunisia
Tino Contreras – La Malagueña
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Bev Lee Harling

Monday, May 7th, 2012 by Sjoerd

Jazz // PopBev Lee Harling 'junk' PR shot by Hannah Daisy

An intriguing personality shows in the words and music from Bev Lee Harling. Songs about expectations, modern life & love are matched by a diverse production which is sometimes tongue in cheek, but always spot on in presenting the song eloquently. Don’t be fooled by the sweetness of her voice; she conceals a dark twist and wickedness underneath her cute appearance. “Private Life of a Puppet” sees a fine balance between innocent & dark, while “Barefoot in Your Kitchen” has you guessing whether it is a smart analogy or just a loving tribute.

Jazz pop with an intriguing twist.
Bev Lee Harling – Private Life of a Puppet (acoustic)
Bev Lee Harling – Barefoot in Your Kitchen
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Bottom Rhythm Jam

Sunday, April 15th, 2012 by Kyle

jazz // thunder

Hopefully your speakers can fully embrace the percussive salvo of Bottom Rhythm Jam. Featuring Indigo Jam Unit‘s drummer, Takehiro Shimizu, and pianist Yoshichika Tarue, led by Kosuke Tsuji, with Gandhi on contrabass, this is the hardest hitting, relentless pounding jazz I’ve ever enjoyed. A ferocious and awesome Encounter binding earthly tremors to your body.

Explosive jazz from Japan.
Bottom Rhythm Jam – Crisis
Bottom Rhythm Jam – Core G
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Hindi Zahra

Thursday, April 12th, 2012 by Julija

acoustic jazz // world

Moroccan-born, Paris-based songstress and multi-instrumentalist Hindi Zahra is truly a world artist. Her debut album Handmade (2011) embodies the spirit of American jazz and blues traditions, Django Reinhardt’s gypsy guitar rhythms and North African beats. Sung nearly entirely in English with occasional Berber whispers, Handmade ranges from smoky ballads to soulful urban blues. In “Beautiful Tango” Hindi’s sweet vocals, acoustic guitar, light hand percussion, and overall easy jazz style steal your heart away.

Soulful grooves with a tinge of Morocco.

Hindi Zahra – Beautiful Tango
Hindi Zahra – Imik Si Mik
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Miss Li

Monday, March 26th, 2012 by Julija

swedish pop // cabaret-jazz

Swedish pop is flourishing and the world can’t seem to get enough. At Aurgasm, we always want to give you more. Chances are, you might have heard Miss Li & Amanda Jenssen’s adorably catchy “Bourgeois Shangri-La” featured in Apple’s iPod nano campaign back in 2009. Here’s another opportunity to enjoy the groove. Miss Li’s latest release Beats & Bruises (2011) certainly shares current Swedish pop tendencies with such artists as Hello Saferide, Maia Hirasawa, Veronica Maggio and Laleh. Yet her vocal delivery, particularly in the standout “Forever Drunk”, brings to mind the velvety torch-style of Shivaree.

Late-night bittersweet serenades, delicious pop melodies.

Miss Li – I Can’t Get You Out Off My Mind
Miss Li – Forever Drunk
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