More Afro Funk than the soul jazz you might guess from the group's name – but that's OK with us, because the record's plenty darn great! SouljazzOrchestra are one of the best of the current wave of Afro combos to hail from Canada – and they manage to get an incredible full sound from a surprisingly small range of instruments – usually just 3 saxes, a trumpet, keyboards, and percussion – but played with a sense of power to earn them the "orchestra" in their name! There's a definite Fela influence going on here – grooves that move fast with very skittish rhythms – snaking out with great horn bits and keyboard lines. But the overall approach is a bit tighter too – much more focused at times, on slightly shorter tunes, about half of which are vocal numbers. Two tracks have the group breaking format a bit – a great cover of "The Creator Has A Master Plan" and the Latin-inflected "Little Habana" – and other tunes include "Mista President", "The Blind Leading The Blind", "Insurrection", and "Mojuba". 9 tracks in all! CD
Manifesto ... CD Do Right (Canada), 2008. New Copy ....
A searing second set from SouljazzOrchestra – easily one of the funkiest groups in the contemporary Afro Funk underground! The set's even sharper than their first – really tight on the rhythms, which are filled with skittish guitars that cut a groove strongly – vamping and quick-stepping with a wicked sort of feel that brings back plenty of James Brown influence to a 70s African sound! There's lots of great horns and keyboards too – again played with a sharpness that's wonderful – a meaningful approach to solos that's not as extended as on other records, but often much more powerful. Vocals are often shouted or called – second stage, next to the instrumentation – and titles include "State Terrorism", "Kapital", "Parasite", "Interested Benevolence", "Amen", and "Grasshopper & Toad". CD
Solidarity ... LP Strut (UK), 2012. New Copy ....
$16.9918.99Out Of Stock
We've always loved these guys – but they really blow us away with this smoking album – a set that has them funkier than ever, yet also reaching out to embrace some great new styles too! The Afro Funk of their core is still firmly in place – yet there's also wider echoes of global sounds really being embraced by a younger generation – bits of Colombian rhythms, psychedelic inflections, and really vibrant instrumentation that helps make this record sparkle even more than their already-great previous efforts! Production is totally smoking, too – and makes the set feel more like a Soundway compilation of rare tracks from the 70s than a contemporary set – definitely another plus in our book. Titles include "Cartao Postal", "Kelen Ati Leen", "Bibinay", "Kingpin", "Conquering Lion", "Tanbou Lou", and "Nijaay". LP, Vinyl record album