Category Archives: Jazz

Ian Dury & The Blockheads – What A Waste (1978)

YouTubeAmazoniTunesDiscogs

A year after Iggy was striking out again, another remarkable performer was also playing his own tune. “I could be the driver an articulated lorry/I could be a poet I wouldn’t need to worry/I could be a teacher in a classroom full of scholars/I could be the sergeant in a squadron full of wallahs.” ‘What a Waste’ was originally released on Stiff Records as a single. Essentially a song about being in a job that makes you happy; for Ian Dury and his Blockheads, this included mixing Two-tone with glam and jazz funk.

Tagged , , , ,

Mariya Takeuchi – Plastic Love (1984)

YouTube – No Amazon – No iTunes – Discogs

I started the week with a track from Haruomi Hosono… I end with another influential figure in the world of city pop. Outside of Japan, Mariya Takeuchi is best known for marrying her collaborator Tatsuro Yamashitathe and releasing the classic 1984 song ‘Plastic Love’, with its dancefloor-filling final chorus. The Japanese genre is an unexpected mix of 1970s/1980s smooth AOR and jazz funk. This very American sound is strange through the filter of a Japanese scene. Have a great weekend.

Tagged , , ,

The Go! Team – We Just Won’t Be Defeated (2005)

YouTubeAmazoniTunesDiscogs

A year after The Go! Team released Thunder Lightning Strike, they produced a remixed version of the album due to sample approvals/clearance etc. It was a masterstroke by the Brighton band, particularly because ‘We Just Won’t Be Defeated’ appeared on the disc. Have a great weekend.

Tagged ,

The Comet Is Coming – Summon The Fire (2019)

YouTubeAmazoniTunesDiscogs

From the supernatural to the cosmic. Dan Leavers, Maxwell (Betamax) Hallett and Shabaka Hutchings are The Comet Is Coming. On the almost onomatopoeic ‘Summon the Fire’, Hutchings’ distorts a horn to Betamax’s pulsating snare drum. It’s a hard groove full of jazz, electronica and trance. The track features on their sophomore album Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery.

Tagged , , , ,

Alice Coltrane – Turiya And Ramakrishna (1970)

YouTubeAmazoniTunesDiscogs

John Coltrane’s second wife was Alice Coltrane née Alice McLeod. Alice was able to establish herself in her own right as a talented composer and performer. None more so than on the Astral Jazz album Ptah, the El Daoud. More specifically, listen to her late-night piano solo on ‘Turiya and Ramakrishna’. Soothing jazz and blues to take us into the weekend. Have a good one.

Tagged ,

Melvin Bliss – Synthetic Substitution (1973)

YouTube – No Amazon – No iTunes – Discogs

In 1973, Melvin McClellan aka Melvin Bliss thought he had struck gold with the Herb Rooney-penned track ‘Reward’. Released on Sunburst records, the single saw some chart action… and importantly enough interest to get the pressing into the right hands. A decade later, it was its jazz-funk-tinged B-side that was making all the news. The opening drum break on ‘Synthetic Substitution’ would quickly become a hip-hop staple. Have a great week.

Tagged

L’indécis – Soulful (2018)

YouTubeAmazoniTunesDiscogs

I am revisiting instrumental hip-hop music for the second time in the week. Where Joakim’s Karud’s work was full of energetic loops, French producer L’indécis plumps for something much more chilled out. Soulful features on last year’s Playtime EP, released on the suitably named Chillhop Records ‎label. Have a great weekend.

Tagged , ,

Cave – San’ Yago (2018)

YouTubeAmazoniTunesDiscogs

What was once a space rock side project has now become something much tauter. The Chicago quintet Cave have channelled the syncopated sounds of jazz, jazz funk and afrobeat to create ‘San’ Yago’. It features on the new album Allways.

Tagged ,

Kokoroko – Abusey Junction (2018)

YouTubeAmazoniTunesDiscogs

Evening folks. It’s late and the time is ripe for Kokoroko. The London-based Afrobeat band is led by trumpet player Sheila Maurice-Grey. The sublime sound that is ‘Abusey Junction’ is clearly inspired by Fela Kuti, but with a smoothy smooth thing applied. The track features at the end of the We Out Here released by Brownswood Recordings earlier this year.

Tagged , , ,

Tommy Guerrero – Organism (2003)

YouTubeAmazoniTunesDiscogs

Sorry for delay; just recovering for a birthday hangover. I give you ‘Organism’ from Tommy Guerrero’s downtempo Soul Food Taqueria.

Tagged ,

Steve Kuhn – The Meaning Of Love (1971)

YouTubeAmazoniTunesDiscogs

‘The Meaning Of Love’ features on Steve Kuhn’s self-titled 1971 long player. While the album is a little experimental, the tempo of this song is simply beautiful. Have a great weekend.

 

Tagged ,

Kamasi Washington – Fists Of Fury (2018)

YouTubeAmazoniTunes – No Discogs

‘Fists of Fury’ is the opening song of Kamasi Washington’s new, double (yes!)  album Heaven and Earth. The album will be available on 22 June on Young Turks. Rejoice.

Tagged ,

St Germain – Rose Rouge (2000)

YouTubeAmazoniTunesDiscogs

St Germain is the stage name of Ludovic Navarre, one of the leading purveyors of the “French Touch”, the wave of French filter house of the late 1990s. His style has a mixed up deep house, jazz and lounge. With its understated Marlena Shaw sample, ‘Rose Rouge’ is the opening track off his 2000 album Tourist. “I want you to get together/put your hands together one time.” Have a great weekend.

Tagged , , ,

Nilüfer Yanya – Thanks 4 Nothing (2018)

YouTubeAmazoniTunes – No Discogs

London-based singer-songwriter Nilüfer Yanya makes her version of soul jazz sound so delightfully easy. Not as deep as Sade, more relevant than Norah Jones and less fragile than Macy Gray, her sound feels alive. ‘Thanks 4 Nothing’ is off her recent EP Do You Like Pain? Have a great weekend.
Tagged ,

Nat King Cole – Nature Boy (1948)

YouTubeAmazoniTunesDiscogs

‘Nature Boy’ was first recorded by Nat King Cole. Released as a single by Capitol Records in 1948, it is one of the earliest pop songs to feature on this blog. It was written by Eden Ahbez, an unusual chap by any measure. A beatnik poet and proto-hippie, Ahbez chose to wear long hair and Jesus kit. When Capitol Records sought Ahbez and the publishing rights, a deal was far from straightforward. Eventually they located him camping out beneath the first L in the “Hollywood” sign. The back story seems at odds with one of the smoothest sounds in the pop canon. Have a great weekend.

Tagged ,