Mario Biondi —
Sun ... CD Sony, 2013. Used ...
The sun shines brightly on Mario Biondi – really making this record sparkle with a charm that goes way beyond Mario's previous albums – a quality that's less retro than before, and which shows Biondi as a growing soul star with really universal appeal! There's still some of the old school jazz in the mix that we love from Mario's Schema work – but the album's also got a fuller production style at times, one that really expands the palette of Biondi's colors, and which has him working here with help from key guests who include Omar, Leon Ware, Al Jarreau, Incognito, and Chaka Khan – and even a bit of organ from the James Taylor Quartet! Jean-Paul "Bluey" Maunick helped co-write a good number of tracks on the set – and titles include "Shine On", "Come To Me", "Woman Woman", "What Have You Done To Me", "Never Stop", "La Voglia La Pazzia L'Idea", "Girl Blue", "Light To The World", and "Catch The Sunrise". CD
A current Italian vocalist – but one who's taking a lot of cues from older singers of the 50s and 60s – particularly those of the ice-blonde sexpot variety! Anna's working here in a blend of acoustic and electric instrumentation – often given a retro-styled mode that reminds us of some of the Irma La Douce artists in recent years – but which also gets a bit more abstract as the set moves on. From covers of tunes like "Call Me" and "An Occasional Man", Anna moves into more personal original material like "Swimming" and "Could Be", which have a more modern, chilled out sort of groove that pushes the album into new territory. Other tracks include "Hopelessly Fool", "A Guy What Takes His Time", "U Go To My Head", "Adrian", and "Love Is A Reason". CD
Recorded live at the Montreal Jazz Festival, and a special set featuring the acoustic talents of trumpeter Tim Hagan and soprano saxist Bob Belden, mixed with electronics by Scott Kinsey, and turtablism by DJ Kingsize. Most of the material is fairly out – with off-kilter solos draped over loud junglist rhythms – and the album reminds us more of Derek Bailey's drum n bass album of a few years back, than it does some of the more recent new funky work on Blue Note. Titles include "Big Moment", "Dans La Ville Sombre", "Love's Lullaby", "Are You Threatening Me?", and "Trumpet Sandwich". CD