A jazz trio, but one who serve up tunes from a whole host of different hip hop sources – instrumental readings of cuts originally served up by 9th Wonder, Jurassic 5, Pete Rock, MF Doom, and Tribe Called Quest! The setting is familiar – bass, drums, and either piano or keyboards, depending on the cut – but the group really live up to the spirit of the originals, first by using drums in a way that often feels like beats – and second by never jazzing things up too much, and often just laying in the cut and really loving the rhythms! Titles include "Shapes", "One Beer", "We Our Future", "Wordplay", "The Way You Do It", "Great Expectations", "TROY", "Let's Group", and "Koolout Ish". LP, Vinyl record album
A really heady record from British drummer Brian Bennett – an artist known for both jazz and funky sound library work – here stretching out in a mode that really fits the image on the cover! The tunes are longer than some of Bennett's earlier sound library material – almost a mix of progressive energy with jazzier funk – a lot cooler than the disco reference in the title might imply! The set's got tremendous keyboards from Francis Monkman – who handles all the spacier elements, while the drums of Bennett works the rhythms with bass from Alan Jones – on long tracks with plenty of complexity, but also plenty of groove! Titles include "Voyage", "Solstice", "Chain Reaction", "Pendulum Force", "Air Quake", and "Ocean Glide". 2CD version features a full CD of bonus material – including 7" single mixes of "Pendulum Force" and "Ocean Glide" – and working mixes of every track on the album. CD
Johnny Guitar Watson —
Giant ... LP DJM, 1978. Very Good+ ...
Not of Johnny's more famous albums, but it's plenty darn nice – and done in a wicked blend of spacey vocals and keyboards that's very much in the best Guitar Watson mode! There's a bit of a bump to a few tunes on the set, clearly a move to make it onto the dancefloor – but the album's hardly a cheap disco effort, as all the Watson guitar, vocals, and humor dominate the record strongly – and seem to come alive with a bit of new energy away from some of the usual bluesier settings. Titles include the great scatting number "Wrapped In Black Mink", plus "Miss Frisco", "Baby Face", "You Can Stay But The Noise Must Go", and a remake of "Gangster Of Love". LP, Vinyl record album
(Cover has light surface wear but is nice overall.)
Johnny Guitar Watson at the top of his game – working here in a sublime mix of funk, blues, and soul – all crafted into a groove that was uniquely Watson's own! Johnny may have started the 70s in relative obscurity – down from some hit work in the 50s and 60s – but by the time of this set, he was back on top, and working in a confident groove that few others from his older era could ever hope to achieve! There's a youthful sense of sex and soul that run through the entire set – an effortlessly slinky groove that never goes too over the top in the funk department, and which makes just the right use of electric instrumentation and tripped-out production, but never gets too wrapped up in either – and often comes off with some great jazzy touches as well. Titles include the anthemic "Real Mother For Ya", plus "Your Love Is My Love", "The Real Deal", "Tarzan", "I Wanna Thank You", and "Lover Jones". LP, Vinyl record album