jazz posts

Little Dragon

Wednesday, November 7th, 2007 by Kyle

electrojazz // glitch-soul

If a few piano keys can give way to glitchy sounds swirled around to accompany a soulful, jazzy, bassline bop, then strutted with a parade of atmospheric keyboards, hi-hats, and 80’s movie charm, where a melodically-luscious, poignant voice plays freely atop a heartbeat’s skyline, than you’d be listening to Little Dragon. Yukimi Nagano, by way of Swell Session, Koop, and José González, is making music with high school friends Erik Bodin (drums), Fredrik Wallin (bass) and Håkan Wirenstrand (keyboards). Peacefrog!

A jack-in-the-box of passionate and playful stories.
Little Dragon – Twice
Little Dragon – Constant Suprises
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Emma Salokoski Ensemble

Monday, October 1st, 2007 by Julija

bossa nova // finnish folk

Light-hearted rhythms of various bossa nova interpretations come from all over the world, yet one could not expect such seamless recreation of summery vibes coming from the land of gloomy winters. In their album Kaksi Mannerta (Two Continents), the members of Emma Salokoski Ensemble easily mix the essence of bossa nova aesthetics and traditional Finnish folk. Richly melodic Caetano Veloso’s Brazilian pop, Madredeus’ modern folk influences, and Emma Salokoski’s bright voice, singing in her native Finnish, caress the ear, and certainly is the perfect antidote to chilly autumn air.

Unique synthesis of Nordic attitude and tropical flavours.
Emma Salokoski Ensemble – Mina Maneira
Emma Salokoski Ensemble – Sua Jos Aattelen
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Gwyneth Herbert

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007 by Andrew Ladd

jazz // folk // acoustic

At the Fringe venue where I work most summers, the name Gwyneth Herbert has always lurked deep in the music program, and this year I finally decided to check her out. This is what I wrote about the show at the time:

She is stop-you-in-your-tracks, shoot-you-in-the-face fantastic. Her lyrics are tight, her voice elegant, her manner onstage masterful; and it was all backed up by some really superb guitar by Al Cherry.

These tracks are from her latest LP, Between Me And The Wardrobe, which has just been picked up by Blue Note UK. They’re full of beautifully sparse instrumentation over which her vocals get to really gleam and shine. Do yourself a favour and buy the album.

Quiet and beguiling.
Gwyneth Herbert – Lay You Down
Gwyneth Herbert – Sweet Thing
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Bernadette Seacrest

Sunday, July 29th, 2007 by Julija

retro vocal jazz // torch singer-songwriter

Femme fatale, enchanting heroine of film noir, Bernadette Seacrest, creates mystery around her. Following jazz vocal standards and torch singing without the syrup sweetness in it, she sings to rip your heart out. Dark vintage jazz blends with the modern, drenches with her sultry voice and noir atmosphere of a smoky bar.

Sweet romantic demon.
Bernadette Seacrest And Her Yes Men – Money
Bernadette Seacrest And Her Yes Men – Sweet Salvation
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Love Trio

Saturday, July 28th, 2007 by Paul Irish

turkish electrojazz // jamaican dub

Sometimes the back-story is as intriguing as the music. The seeds of Turkish Ilhan Ersahin’s music career were sown upon hearing dub legend U-Roy as a child in Sweden. Now a successful jazz saxophonist and the driving force behind many experimental side projects, as well as Nublu – an eclectic Lower East Side club and label – his musical experience came full circle when he recorded with U-Roy to produce Love Trio In Dub. “Lovers Rock” combines traditional Turkish notes with elegantly programmed and languid dub bass, and features vocals by Sabina Sciubba of the Brazilian Girls.

Intercontinental blunted jazz ripe for Sunday morning repose.
Love Trio – Lovers Rock

Music and words contributed by Kerry Harwin
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Yoko Kanno

Sunday, May 6th, 2007 by Paul Irish

jazz // funk // anime soundtrack

Yoko Kanno is the mind behind some of the finest anime music out there. Lucky for me, in college I lived down the hall from an anime fan. As the horns from the intro theme song to the popular Cowboy Bepop blared out, I crept down the hall to investigate. After falling in love with a dynamic and unpredictable arrangement, I delve deeper into the songwriter. I found a breadth of vocal and melodic writing in a wide span of genres. Below is a good sampling of her work:

A masterful execution across musical worlds.
The Seatbelts – Tank!
Yoko Kanno – Dreams In A Pie
Yoko Kanno – The Egg and You (ID’d by Tony Cabrera in Name That Artist #1)
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Name That Artist #1

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007 by Paul Irish

Oftentimes I like to play the “Name that artist” game with my friends. First one to trainspot the tune gets the points. Here’s what I’m guessing the blog equivalent would be:

Once whoever wrote this tune is identified, I’ll post two more tracks from them. And you’ll like those even more. Good luck!

Wow that was quick! You guys nailed it. The song was composed by Yoko Kanno and performed by The Seatbelts. One post coming up!


Tuesday, February 27th, 2007 by Paul Irish

downtempo // jazz // soul

I hate to be a label fanboy, but Brighton-based Tru Thoughts always seems to dominate in my best-of lists. Their roster is small and focused, but includes saucy downtempo heavyweights like Bonobo and Quantic. Jumbonics turns out an organic jazzy slip-n-slide, a pleasant distraction from your ruff-n-tumble day. It’s Money Mark meets Buddy Rich at the pad of Booker T and the MGs. It’s a deep soul ride.

Melody-led song-structures and a more mature soul sound.
Jumbonics – Bubble Drop
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Miles Davis

Monday, February 26th, 2007 by Paul Irish

soundtrack jazz // hard bop // film noir

To record this soundtrack, Miles Davis stood in front of a screen, watched the movie, and played in the moment, improvising his own musical impressions of the drama on-screen. The music of this film, Ascenseur Pour L’Echafaud, helped define the sound of film noir–the slow-walking bass beats and muted, slithering horn lines miming the characters’ action and emotion. Perfect tunes for relaxing, studying, or just completely zoning out. [Thx Angad]

Nostalgia and suspicion from jazz’s finest.
Miles Davis – Nuit Sur Les Champs-Elysees (take 2)
Miles Davis – Final (take 1)
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Thursday, January 25th, 2007 by Paul Irish

soul // german post-jazz

Flanger first recorded records in the experimental downtempo realm. When they started recording their 2005 album, Spirituals they seemed to take a page from label-mate Jamie Lidell‘s book: they transitioned into more soul ‘n blues based songwriting. The reeded instruments in “Crime in the Pale Moonlight” provide the perfect accouterments to Riff Pike’s crooning. “How Long is the Wrong Way” gives us a little lighter jaunt down Finger Snappin’ Lane.

Where inspiration to play and sing come from above.
Flanger – Crime in the pale moonlight
Flanger – How long is the wrong way
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