Sweet 70s Afro Funk from the great Manu Dibango – a record that adds in a bit more of a full production sound than on his earlier albums, but still sounds pretty darn wonderful overall! There's definitely more of an uptempo club groove going on – and the band has a lot more players than ever before – but the funk component is still high, and Manu's work on funky sax solos is as great as ever. Very much in Manu's "Big Blow" mode – and with the tracks "Mimbo", "Angola", "Bokilo's Boogie", and "Mouvement Ewondo", plus the slow spacey "Besoka On Salsa". Essential listening from Dibango's best period – with loads of great little twists and turns in the production and instrumentation! CD
Bertil Strandberg —
Cirrus ... CD Arac/CreoleStream (Japan), 1973. Used ...
A hip Swedish jazz set from the early 70s – a set of warmly soulful numbers from the quintet of trombonist Bertil Strandberg – a player with some strong modal sensibilities! The group here features tenor, piano, bass, and drums – in addition to Bertil's trombone – and the album's got a sound that's a bit more laidback and righteous than other European jazz sessions of the time – a bit more like some American indie jazz session from the period, with a really nice balance of sounds. The frontline of trombone and tenor comes off wonderfully on the bolder cuts in the set – especially the tunes "Cirrus" and "Intakt" – which burst out beautifully, yet without ever going too far out! Other titles include "Glir", "Relik", "Cambodia", and "Elegi". CD
(Note: The mastering for this reissue isn't up to the usual Creole Stream standards, due to an issue with the master tapes – although the music is still wonderful overall. Includes obi.)
A wonderful bit of spiritual jazz from this richly collective ensemble! The album's got a groove that's as promising as its title – and features a large assemblage of percussionists, singers, and instrumentalists – all coming together in longer tracks penned by Wainwright, with a feel that's like the best Strata East sides from the mid 70s! Wainwright himself plays percussion on the session, and the tunes shift mood from number to number – sometimes coming on full on and soaring with a full vocal chorus – other times stepping out with a mostly-instrumental array of sounds that includes some nice work on vibes by Ricky Kelly! The whole thing's great, and extremely solid and visionary all the way through – with tracks that include "The Healer/Don't Break", "Imani", "Ayoka", "Our Song", and "The Mfecane". CD
A rare gem from percussionist JF Fabiano – a really unique little set of jazzy grooves that was recorded in Martinique, and features musicians both from the European and American scenes of the 70s! There's some mighty great horn work on the set – thanks to work from guests Clifford Jordan on flute, Marvin Peterson on trumpet, and Carter Jefferson on soprano sax and tenor – but the real strength of the album comes from the rhythms – which are a complicated blend of Fabiano's work on drums, gong, kalimba, and other percussion – then augmented by other percussionists, and electrified with some sweet work on Fender Rhodes, clavinet, mini moog, and guitar! The result is a record that's got the sharpness of a fusion outing, but the organic touches of a spiritual jazz set – all crafted in a space that's far away from the influence of mainstream studios of the time. Bunny Brisset-Fabiano sings on a few tracks, but most of the set is instrumental – and titles include "Half Moon Bay", "West Indian Meditation", "Butterfly Island", "Pointe Des Chateaux", "Creole", and "For Ca Change". CD