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Our recommended album releases

The latest album releases on vinyl and news from the world of Jazz and beyond.

8 February 2023

Julius Brockington - Sophisticated Funk

Next up in the Perception/Today records series of BBE Music re-issues is the keyboardist, producer and arranger's 1972 album Sophisticated Funk. Released initially on the Today Records imprint headed by future 'Godfather of Disco' and Universal Robot Band member, Patrick Adams.

Co-produced by Adams and Dizzy Gillespie's cousin Boo Frazier, Sophisticated Funk is an album that combines cover versions of tracks from Stevie Wonder (If You Really Love Me), Al Green (Let's Stay Together), Aretha Franklin (Rock Steady) and Isaac Hayes (Do Your Thing) along with his own composition Cold Water.

Brockington's musical pedigree goes beyond Sophisticated Funk, and it's Today Records 1973 follow-up release The United Chair, both as being a member of Larry Young's Fuel, founder of the gospel outfit The Julius Brockington Ensemble and in his work being sampled by Hip-Hop royalty Jurassic 5 and, more recently, Madlib.

Further pedigree on this organ fuelled funk masterpiece can be found in the production values of Boo Frazier who also produced Dizzy Gillespie, Chuck berry, Astrud Gilberto, Johnny Hartman, Shirley Horn, Black Ivory and Tyrone Washington. Sophisticated Funk represents one of those genuine moments in the history of creative, Black music. You do need this!

Pre-order here
7 February 2023

The United Chair by Julius Brockington - Forty​-​Nine Reasons

“Released in 1973 on Patrick Adams' Today subsidiary of Perception Records, The United Chair, is the follow up to Julius Brockington's debut 1972 release, Sophisticated Funk. The United Chair is an album that once again highlights Brockington's virtuosity as both keyboard player and songwriter, Indeed, of the seven tracks on this album Brockington is the composer of all but one; the exception being the final track, 49-Reasons, penned by Alto saxophonist and flautist Steve Turner (Wanda Robinson, Benny Johnson, Julius Brockington Ensemble).” 

Pre-order here
6 February 2023

Alina Hipharp - Altera Vita (For Pharoah Sanders)

Altera Vita (Alter Life) is a heartfelt tribute to spiritual jazz master Pharoah Sanders, performed by two of his master students; saxophonist Tony Kofi and harpist Alina Bzhezhinska.

Pharoah Sanders’ music has been a part of Tony & Alina’s musical upbringing for as long as they can remember, but their physical paths crossed on a memorable night in 2017 at London’s Barbican Centre, for a night titled ‘ A concert for John & Alice Coltrane’. The night was commemorating the 50th and tenth anniversary of John’s and Alice’s passing.

Pharoah Sanders had worked with both Alice and John Coltrane, and this night served as a spiritual passing of the baton to Tony & Alina, the former heavily influenced by John and the latter by Alice.

The evening was as timeless as the figures honoured, and served as a pivotal moment in both Alina and Tony’s careers.
On September 24th 2022 on the eve of Alina’s HipHarpCollective’s Reflection album launch, the Jazz world mourned the passing of the great Pharoah Sanders. Pharoah's spirit was definitely present in King’s Place that night, when Kofi and Alina led a moving tribute to the Jazz legend with their rendition of Astral Travelling, which gave goosebumps to many in attendance.

Tony found himself back in the studio soon after this night and composed a very fitting tribute to the master of spiritual jazz- Alter Vita (For Pharoah Sanders), He then enlisted Alina Bzhezhinska whose improvisations helped to provide an elegant call and response between harp and saxophone, delivering a warm and metaphysical send off for one of Jazz music’s greatest composers and saxophonists Pharoah Sanders. 

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5 February 2023

As​-​Shams Archive Vol. 1: South African Jazz, Funk & Soul 1975​-​1982

AS-SHAMS ARCHIVE VOL. 1 introduces the core catalogue of As-Shams/The Sun, the independent record label that documented some of the most exciting developments in jazz, funk and soul from South Africa in the 1970s. With 10 tracks from 10 iconic albums featuring 10 different artists and 10 original compositions, this compilation delivers 85 minutes of South African music history.

Including essential tracks by the likes of Dick Khoza, Black Disco and Harari, remastered from the original analog tapes, As-Shams Archive Vol. 1 is an unbeatable introduction to South African rare groove for new listeners as well as a long-awaited first anthology for the label’s many devoted followers.

As-Shams Archive is home to the catalogues of As-Shams/The Sun, its predecessor Soultown Records and the reissue imprint MANDLA. The archive holds original master tapes, unreleased recordings, photographs, artwork and ephemera documenting the story of South African jazz in the 1970s. 

Pre-order here
4 February 2023

Priase Poems 9 - A journey into deep, soulful jazz & funk from the 1970s

After 8 years and 8 volumes, the Tramp Records crew invites you to join them on yet another enlightening journey into soulful Jazz, Folk and AOR from the 1970s and 80s.

This 9th volume contains sixteen (almost) forgotton Soul, Jazz and AOR/yacht rock nuggets from between the mid 1970s and early 1980s. One of the many highlights is the opening track by Ronnie Miler, balearic soul at its very best. But that's just the beginning. Praise Poems Vol.9 covers a wide selection of genres, from AOR (Leaves of Autumn, Mirage and Germany's own People) to pop-soul-rock (Stroke, Tom Miles and Jan Lewis Group), from Terry Callier-type folk-soul (Danish-Swedish singer & guitarist Mikael Neumann, Babe and the previously unreleased "Love Is Not For Real"), to jazz (Dianne Elliott and Phil Palumbo), completing the set with a couple of melancholic soul and psych beauties, most notably AOH's mind-blowing "The Answer Lies In Love".

Very few compilation series' release as many as nine volumes and those that get that far often start to run out of quality music or meander too far from their original artistic direction. That certainly is not the case with the "Praise Poems" series which leaps from strength-to-strength as our team of compilers and researchers continue to unearth lost and often overlooked music from an era long gone. Many of these records were released in small quantities as private pressings or by small regional labels. Obviously, those labels neither had the budget, expertise, nor options to promote their releases in a sweeping way. Therefore the majority of these artists failed to find the wider audience their music so richly deserved. 

Pre-order here
3 February 2023

Valtteri Laurell Nonet - Tiers are Better Looking

Composer Valtteri Laurell Pöyhönen presents his Nonet formation of We Jazz Records. Their debut album "Tigers Are Better Looking" is released 3 Feb and the ensemble features internationally renowned Finnish clarinetist Antti Sarpila, plus a strong cast of Helsinki-based musicians from several of the top Finnish groups.

Based on the writings of British-Caribbean author Jean Rhys (1890–1979), the 6-track album is a melancholy, intimate chamber jazz creation. Laurell's music swings, yet he doesn't stop there, but moves further to paint an original, richly-toned sonic image with the highly potent Nonet.

Laurell states Gerry Mulligan, Miles Davis's "Water Babies" and Charles Mingus among the key musical influences of his compositions on this album. Through Rhys's text, Laurell finds a special sense of detachment and melancholy evident in his new material. Laurell's music swings, yet he doesn't stop there, but moves further to paint an original, richly-toned sonic image with the highly potent Nonet. Antti Sarpila's masterful clarinet provides the icing on the cake, floating high above the clouds of sound.

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2 February 2023

Roger Damawuzan - Seda

Since his introduction in the 60’s, he has lit stages on fire, whether it be with The Rickers Orchestra or with The Melo-Togo Orchestra (taking home 2nd place for the first National Festival of Tologese Music).

His first seven-inch vinyl, “Wait For Me,” is a holy grail for diggers all around the world. It was such a hit that Togolese music is and will forever be stamped by Roger Damawuzan. He was principal in introducing Gazo, Akpesse and Kamou rhythms to modern day soul music.
In Avépozo - a few kilometers from the capital, Lomé.
Though Tropicana Hotel has been closed for years, the many European tourists who were lucky enough to visit have not forgotten the nights that Roger Damawuzan set ablaze throughout the years. Indeed, in their collective memory is nostalgic of his flaming spirit and the rawness of his rigorous funk. He is timeless: since 1987, the Tropicana is no longer but Damawuzan roars on.
In response to requests from his studio and his label, “Tropicana Sounds”, which, during 80s, was responsible for releasing his work, Damawuzan also gave his expertise and was a major influence on the evolution of hip hop and Tologese electro.
Relentless and unstoppable, Roger Damawuzan is now making a comeback with SEDA. Afro. Soul. Funk. Vaudou.
This album may be described, but it cannot be explained. Only through listening to this disk at a high volume will one completely understand, at its full scope, Roger Damawuzan’s emotions, his complaints, his cries, and all his evisceration when he takes the mic.
Such a force of nature, Roger Damawuzan could have been supported by only one group. Led by Peter Solo, the members of the Vaudou Game and Lomé’s most talented musicians are at Damawuzan’s disposal for this album.
The bass thunders in his honor, the brass escorts his arrival through the drums' rhythmatic steps, and the guitars riff so perfectly to serve as the ideal bedrock.
Such a force of nature, this album could have been only captured, if not mastered, by one studio.
Such mission was accomplished by the legendary studio OTODI (Office Togolese of Disks) by utilizing solely analog equipment to translate and to breath all of Damawuzan’s soul into this album.
In Mina, Roger Damawuzan’s native tongue, SEDA means “listen.” And this is neither advice nor a suggestion - it’s an order!
SEDA!

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1 February 2023

Alfa Mist - Variables

"I've been focused on who I am in my music, but now I'm exploring where I am," Alfa Mist says. "I'm asking: how did I get here?"

This is the journeying question that underpins Alfa's fifth album, Variables. Traversing luscious, big band swing, head-nodding boom-bap rhythms and yearning vocal melodies, the record is expansive, soulful and moving, in both body and spirit. On Variables, his second release for ANTI-, Alfa achieves his most fully-realised, expressive musical work to date, coupling his keen ear for looping,

memorably emotive piano melodies with intuitive grooves and a free-flowing jazz improvisation.

Since the release of his first full-length project Nocturne in 2015, Alfa has established himself as one of the UK’s most focused, in- demand and distinct musical voices. He has worked with the likes of Jordan Rakei and Tom Misch. Artists look to him for his unique blend of intimate bedroom production and expansive jazz group orchestration, since Alfa is yet to be boxed into a specific genre. His music spans everything from hip-hop beat-making to producing for artists such as rapper Loyle Carner, composing neo-classical works for the London Contemporary Orchestra, and reworking tracks from composer Ólafur Arnalds and pioneering jazz label Blue Note. The return to live shows has been a welcome one for Alfa and his fans, resulting in an extensive tour throughout UK and Europe. Including a sold-out headline show at the Barbican in London. Alfa Mist will be touring Europe, UK and North America in 2023 again.

It is a balance between feeling and perfectionism that ultimately gives Alfa’s music its depth and capacity for repeated listening. It is also an ethos that has enabled his remarkable work-ethic to date. "I've never been a ‘one album every four years’ artist – I want to put out new projects every year," he says. "Music is an extension of my life; it is the practice of creating.''

Pre-order here
31 January 2023

Malcolm Strachan - Point of No Return

Scottish jazz trumpeter Malcolm Strachan releases his second solo album "Point Of No Return" on Haggis Records on 27th January 2023. A follow-up to his debut album "About Time" from March 2020 (also on Haggis Records), which received great critical acclaim and strong radio support across the globe. Once again, Malcolm delivers an album of original music written by himself and featuring material covering a broad spectrum of jazz styles. From modal jazz grooves to Brazilian samba beats, Latin rhythms to cinematic soundtrack vibes, and along the way, some beautiful ballads.

If the first album nodded slightly to mid-late 1960s classic Blue Note Records type jazz, this one is more reminiscent of the jazz fusion albums that Malcolms's jazz trumpet hero Freddie Hubbard recorded for the legendary CTI Records label in the early-mid 1970s. The same groove-based jazz where soul and funk beats are at the heart of the arrangement. Rock solid rhythms that allow complex horn parts and improvisation to float over the top with ease. The ensemble playing is strong and the leader's trumpet solos show why he's been one of the most in-demand session musicians in the UK for the last 20 years.

He's recorded and toured with the likes of Mark Ronson, Amy Winehouse, Corinne Bailey Rae, Jamiroquai, Martha Reeves and The Vandellas, Jess Glynne, The Craig Charles Fantasy Funk Band, Black Honey, The New Mastersounds, Abstract Orchestra and Blue Note Records jazz saxophone legend Lou Donaldson. Of course, he's also a founder and existing band member of the UK funk kings The Haggis Horns.

The core band on "Point Of No Return" are musicians that Malcolm has known and worked with for over two decades, often in The Haggis Horns, and most appeared on the debut album. Those musicians making a welcome return are Atholl Ransome (tenor sax/flute), George Cooper (piano), Danny Barley (trombone), Courtny Tomas, (double bass), and Erroll Rollins (drums). Newcomers this time are longtime Haggis Horns guest percussionist Sam Bell plus special guest vocalist UK jazz singer Jo Harrop, who adds non-verbal Flora Purim style vocals on tracks one and three. Three tracks feature strings, arranged by Phil Steel, with all the strings played by Richard Curran. One of the tracks is the beautifully poignant ballad for strings and trumpet "The Last Goodbye" which could easily have come from a film soundtrack and where Malcolm digs deep into his love for jazz ballads in his solo.

"Point Of No Return" by Malcolm Strachan will definitely appeal to lovers of contemporary acoustic jazz with a classic jazz feel. For those who love the music of Blue Note Records and CTI Records and trumpeters Freddie Hubbard, Donald Byrd, Lee Morgan, Art Farmer, and Miles Davis. Without a doubt, it will be one of the standout UK jazz releases of 2023.

Get it here
30 January 2023

Johnny Pate - Brother On The Run (The Original Soundtrack)

Famed for his prolific creative partnership with fellow Impressions member Curtis Mayfield, bassist Johnny Pate comes into his own here on one of the most critically acclaimed film soundtracks and score to come out of 1970's Hollywood. Released in 1973 on the Perception label and coming a year after Pate's collaboration with Mayfield on the iconic Superfly soundtrack, Brother On The Run launched Pate as a go to film score composer. Indeed, this album led him to be commissioned write the score and soundtrack for the Blaxploitation classic Shaft In Africa.

Something of an auteur soundtrack Pate not only composed every track he also did all the arrangements, produced the album and conducted the orchestra in the recordings. His selection of musicians to feature on the album reads like a who's who of African American Jazz and RnB greats starting with the inspired choice of selecting Adam Wade to sing the title track. Add into the mix the likes of James Mtume and James Beck; two musicians who have worked with Gato Barbieri, Miles Davis, Carlos Franzetti, James Brown, Lonnie Liston Smith, Wes Montgomery, Carlos Garnett and Eddie Henderson amongst others and you get a clear sense of how good this album is.

Now available from BBE Music, this re-issue of the original soundtrack of Brother On The Run not only showcases Johnny Pate's creative genius as a composer, songwriter and arranger, it also combines heart rending Soul with the bass heavy Funk driven sound that would ring the changes for African American RnB to be much more Afrocentric, more political, more hard edged and ...well... just more damn funky. 

Pre-order here
Calendar

It’s show time!

Our recommended list of upcoming concerts, events and festivals you don't want to miss... Enjoy!

17 February 2023  |  Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Maestro at the Concertgebouw Lounge

Website here
24 February 2023  |  Sint Michiel, Curacao

Maestro at Blue Bay

Vinyl rules!

Website here
26 February 2023  |  Willemstad

Maestro at Curaçao

More info soon

3 March 2023 - 3 March 2023  |  Bonaire, Dutch Antilles

Maestro at Bonaire

More info soon

31 March 2023  |  De Kring, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Maestro at De Kring

Maestro all night long!

De Kring website here
14 April 2023  |  Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Maestro at De Kring

Maestro all night long!

De Kring website here
21 April 2023  |  Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Maestro at A'dam.co

Pretty private, but a little guest list is possible.

Vinyl only! 

Link to the club
5 May 2023  |  Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Maestro at De Kring

Maestro all night long!

De Kring website here
9 June 2023  |  Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Maestro at De Kring

Maestro all night long

De Kring website here
14 July 2023  |  Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Maestro at de Industrieële Groote Club

Maestro solo

IGC website here
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Live from the Netherlands, especially for you, we made a selection of the coolest music, news and events... in Jazz and beyond! We offer 4 different streams, or even better 4 different mood streams. Discover music that inspires you, that you can dance to, relax with, and everything in between. Thanks for listening!

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Jazz de Ville is an online jazz radio station, which airs globally from its office in Amsterdam. It's a platform for everything that has to do with Jazz and is founded by DJ Maestro, the infamous Dutch DJ, master of vinyl and producer of the platinum awarded compilation series Blue Note Trip for Blue Note Records. Recently he joined forces with Michiel Lamens of Goodmorrow.com and Korstiaan Zandvliet.

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You will never hear a DJ spin that embraces such an enormous variety of styles! Take one quick look into Maestro's massive music collection and you find great records lying next to each other: John Coltrane with Cerrone; Nina Simone with Fela Kuti; or even better Masters at Work with Chet Baker.

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Hear him spin and you'll understand why some people call Maestro a musical rollercoaster.
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