Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Various Artists - Bar Bubbles - 2009 - Holophon

If you love nu Jazz as much as I do then this is one hell of a compilation. This German compilation really cuts the mustard, lifting numerous modern jazz cuts from Europe and the US and bundles them all together for our pure listening enjoyment. In both soul and jazz music the Europeans are washing the floor with their US counterparts and how better to exemplify this than with the BRILLIANT opening cut by the Bahama Soul Club featuring the wonderful pat Appleton on vocals? "Late Night Bossa" is a fantastic outing in a Schema / Far Out kind of style with vocals akin to Koop's featured Japanese vocalist Yukimi Nagano. Worth the price of admittance alone, I would say. This is not the case though as there is so much more to sink out jazzy teeth into! Musically the WK Collective's "All The Time" is right on the money - the rap leaves me a bit cold but the soulful, funky edge is so so tasty. One of my fave US jazz singers right now is Brenda Boykin...her endearing, deep and sonorous style is perfectly pitched on the KILLER "Far Far Away" by Tape Five. This is real jazz - let's sweep aside this boring lift music called smooth jazz and get back to the real stuff. it jolly well is!

Italy's Brother Groove add a straight jazz feel with plenty of double bass and sax, and if you adore the lively and hip coolness of Nicola Conté and the High Five Quintet then you will so easily find a place in your heart for this. Check out the sax! Wynton Marsalis eat your heart out!!! A familiar name to you from these pages will be Glam Sam and his Combo - the excellent bouncing gait of "The Concept Of Being Hip" should get you moving in the right direction - straight ahead! What seriously gets me moving is Una Mas Trio featuring Malaika. This is a hard Bossa groove with strong Latin and Afro Cuban elements. may recall Malaika from her 1993 album "Sugar Time" on A+M records! The Lady sounds glorious on here and well suited to such an exotic groove. The Italo-Jazz sound of Now hits with a real vengeance on "Turtleneck" by Afternoons In Stereo. My goodness, this is what jazz is to me! Oh this song is pure heaven. plenty of fresh, vibrant instruments and a rollicking good Latin rhythm to boot! In fact, there is little or nothing on here that fails to impress me. If you love this new - yet excitingly familiar - jazzy Bossa bop straight ahead and then some (!) scene then look no further than this compilation courtesy of Djane Lady Smiles from good old Vienna. ESSENTIAL.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe