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Our recommended album releases

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

30 November 2021

Malik Alston Presents Painted Pictures: Air

'Malik Alston Presents Painted Pictures: Air' is a spirited celebration of jazz virtuosity and Motor City house music, showcasing Alston’s roots in jazz, gospel, soul and dance music. Alston’s story is one that is intrinsically aligned with the story of Detroit itself. Having hosted one of the first Slum Village concerts, and teaching vocal lessons to many members of the Detroit music community, plus production and writing collaborations with Alton Miller, Amp Fiddler, Roy Davis Jr. and Javonntte who released his Virtual Dreams EP with The Jazz Diaries earlier this year. 

Many of Malik's records have been released via his own Truth Manifest Records so it is a joy to share his music with the world via The Jazz Diaries. 

Presenting a collection of long lost tracks created by Malik and his band Painted Pictures, Alston expresses strong emotions for the LP’s title track ‘Air’. As he explains, “When I think of ‘Air’... for me, it exists to express a combination of freedom, self awareness, and doing something different and new. In ‘Air’ you get to really hear the band as a whole, no one stands out individually. It was all a matter of showing that we brought the music to life together as a unit. ‘Air’ is definitely a true reflection of what Painted Pictures was: free musicians who play good music.” 

The immaculate and vivacious qualities of the LP convey a message steeped in the spirit. The production elements perfectly marry the instruments, vocals and scatting to offer a cheerful, soulful and expressive work of music and emotion. 

In the words of Badriyahh, vocalist in Painted Pictures and Alston's wife, this record is a "great reflection of the healing power and the force of music to unite people". 

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29 November 2021

Timo Lassy - Trio

Tenor saxophonist Timo Lassy, one of Finland's leading jazz artists, is back with a new album release "Trio" on We Jazz Records. The album, to be released on 27 August, introduces Lassy's new combo with bassist Ville Herrala and drummer Jaska Lukkarinen – both We Jazz Records roster artists on their own right. 

The new Lassy sound is tight, swinging and funky, led by the strong and riff-ready sax of the tenorman. That being said, the album's sound is not limited to that of the swinging trio. Lassy's new vision also brings in some subtle electronics (played by Lassy, Dalindèo frontman Valtteri Laurell Pöyhönen and Ilmiliekki Quartet pianist Tuomo Prättälä) and lush strings performed by Budapest Art Orchestra as arranged by Finnish artist Marzi Nyman. It's a new sound for Lassy, but one which keeps true to his no-nonsense cookin' on the tenor. 

This combination proves to be a winning one on the album, ranging from the more solemn moments on tracks such as "Sunday 20" and "Sointu" to the all out groovers like "Pumping C" and "Subtropical". The basic three sylinders of the band tenor sax, bass and drums, are strong throughout and the strings add air beneath the wings to really lift things off. Electronics are used as a tasty condiment, not taking over the main course but adding to it just right. 

"We began the process with the bare bones trio but along the way, the sound started evolving into something else" Lassy explains. "That's how I like to work, anyway, while the trio can take this music to great lengths live, on the album I like to paint a fuller, more colourful picture sonically." 

Speaking of painting, the sleeve of the album features the original artwork "Subtropic" by Finnish artist Ilari Hautamäki. "Trio" by Timo Lassy will be released by We Jazz Records as blue and black vinyl editions complete with a heavy duty tip-on sleeve, on CD and digitally.

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29 November 2021

Tete Mbambisa – Tete's Big Sound

The album Tete’s Big Sound emerged during a golden age for local South African jazz recordings in the 1970s. Issued by the independent As-Shams/The Sun label in 1976, it was the first album attributed to pianist Tete Mbambisa as a solo artist. Yet, Mbambisa was already a seasoned composer, arranger, bandleader and performer by the mid-1970s - an artist at the peak of his powers who had patiently cultivated his craft to create his enduring debut. 

Born in 1942 and raised in South Africa's Eastern Cape province, Mbambisa’s childhood home also served as the family’s small business - an informal tavern where social gatherings orbited around his mother’s carefully curated music collection and live performances by a local pianist. His musical roots are thus deeply embedded in marabi - the syncopated piano sound of urban black South African culture in the 1950s that took cues from American jazz, blues and ragtime while fostering the sensibilities that would shape modern South African jazz. 
A self-taught musician, it was as the leader of the vocal group The Four Yanks that Tete Mbambisa’s music career began in earnest in the early 1960s. Mbambisa humbly recalls to this period as his education in harmonic structure but his special talent for musical arrangement was quickly recognised and widely admired. With encouragement from Abdullah Ibrahim, he dedicated himself to the piano and was a member of the award-winning Swinging City Six ensemble in 1963 (with the added distinction of receiving the Cold Castle Festival’s piano prize). Mbambisa went on to assemble and record with The Soul Jazzmen in the late 1960s and the group’s sole release Inhlupeko (1969) joined Winston Mankunku’s Yakhal' Inkomo (1968) and Chris Schilder’s Spring (1969) to create a wave of aspirational modern South African jazz albums that expanded the ambitions of artists and labels in the 1970s. 
As a record store owner with a direct relationship to the jazz scene, producer Rashid Vally led the charge for the independent labels with early 1970s releases by Gideon Nxumalo and Abdullah Ibrahim on Soultown Records. Rebranding as As-Shams/The Sun for the release of Ibrahim’s Mannenberg - ‘Is Where It’s Happening’ in 1974, Vally’s breakout success found himself at the 
helm of an autonomous production enterprise with access to mainstream studios, manufacturing and distribution. As-Shams/The Sun quickly earned a reputation as the home of the vanguard of local South African jazz, offering an unmatched platform for artists to create without compromise and attracting a host of South African jazz luminaries, including Mbambisa, as a consequence. 
Leading on piano, Mbambisa enlisted the support of a five-piece brass section with guitar, bass and drums for the January 1976 recording session at Gallo Studios in Johannesburg that yielded 
Tete’s Big Sound. The arrangements were meticulously prepared and confidently executed but there was more at stake than personal reputation for Mbambisa as a jazz creator in 1970s South Africa as Vusi Khumalo, writer of the album’s original liner notes, passionately extolls. Tete’s Big Sound was an affirmation of black excellence in modern arts and culture that calmly dismantled the doctrine of a regime that denied equality to black citizens on the basis of race. And while much of Mbambisa’s early work was guided by black heroes from the United States, Tete’s Big Sound articulated a voice that was both proudly South African and unmistakably his own. Reissued in collaboration with Tete Mbambisa and As-Sham/The Sun, Mad About Records’ 2021 edition of Tete’s Big Sound marks the album’s very first international release. 
Using a quartet format, Mbambisa recorded a second album for As-Shams/The Sun entitled Did You Tell Your Mother in 1978 and unreleased sessions from this period have yet to be fully issued. 
In recent years, Mbambisa has released a pair of live recordings in partnership with the Music Research Centre at the University of York. Turning 80 in 2022, Tete Mbambisa lives in Cape Town and continues to enchant audiences with ad hoc special appearances. 
Text by Calum MacNaughton 

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28 November 2021

Crackazat - Monday Jam 05. Things

According to Crackazat:

"Monday Jams are all about sharing the joy of music making in real time. To achieve this I’ve turned my studio and live set up into one entity. It goes down something like this: I’ll make the drums, pick a couple of musical ideas, draft out a structure, press record and perform live.
As any live or electronic improviser will know, your limitations are your strengths. You have to commit to the moment, and as a musician at heart, I’m looking forward to sharing these moments with you"
credits.

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27 November 2021

Amancio D'Silva - Konkan Dance

Following in the footsteps of the landmark 1966 double-quartet recording by Joe Harriott and John Mayer, Indian born musician Amancio D’Silva produced some of the most adventurous and sophisticated recordings within the canon of ‘indo-jazz’, a term used to define a pioneering east meets west synthesis that reflected the shifting musical and cultural landscape of post-war Britain. An experiment which reached a pinnacle in 1972 with D’Silva’s seminal recording Dream Sequence by Cosmic Eye (The Roundtable TRZY001), an adventurous fusion of modal jazz and Indian classical music viewed through the psychedelic lens of swinging London. Exotic third-stream jazz conceived by a visionary composer whose virtuosic technique and deeply emotive guitar playing defined his two earlier and now legendary 1969 UK jazz albums Integration and Hum Dono with Joe Harriott, both recorded for the much celebrated Lansdowne label.


Also recorded in 1972 although not released at the time was Konkan Dance, an unofficial sequel to Dream Sequence that further explored the unchartered possibilities of an Indian music-jazz fusion. Featuring many of the same personnel, this session also included support from Don Rendell and Alan Branscombe, two giants of the UK jazz scene who add serious credentials to D’Silva’s singular and intimate compositions. For reasons unknown the album was cancelled by Lansdowne at the time and never saw the light of day until being resurrected again in the 2000s. The Roundtable are pleased to once again showcase this important artist and present a new addition of this incredible and almost forgotten piece of the Amancio D’Silva story. Pressed on 180g vinyl and packaged in a custom 1960s-style flip-back sleeve.

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26 November 2021

J.P. Bimeni & The Black Belts - Give Me Hope

Burundian-born soul singer JP Bimeni doesn’t see the world through rose colored glasses, but he exudes optimism in his sophomore album, Give Me Hope. A royal refugee who escaped death more than once and found his sonic calling in the UK, Bimeni's latest channels prime Otis Redding while meditating on ambition, community and love. 

Give Me Hope grooves between classic ‘60s Motown and Stax-inspired soul, psychedelia and Afro-funk. Inspired by leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and James Stern (the namesake of an empoweringly funky track) and propelled by the wisdom of prolific creators like Lee Scratch Perry, Bimeni’s deep consciousness and vulnerability is on full display without losing pop sensibility. 

“I've been trying to see in terms of the journey I’m on as an expressive artist: what I’ve overcome, what's ahead and where I am now. It feels like I have a lot of cleansing to do,” Bimeni says. “It’s an emotional process. Your individual status can change, but you still can identify a lot of your stages and understand how you deal with that internally.” 

A descendant of the Burundian royal family whose parents held opposing political views, Bimeni escaped his country aged 15 during the 1993 civil war and genocide. Following multiple attempts on his life, including being poisoned by doctors in hospital, he was given refugee status and fled to Wales. Soon after Bimeni's arrival at Trinity College in Wales -- a school for children who have escaped conflict, where he received a United Nations organised scholarship -- Bimeni was taken record shopping for his birthday. He immediately gravitated toward the music of Ray Charles, Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye and his idol, Otis Redding. 

“Music is my great escape. My first album, Free Me, was me finally doing what I wanted to do and feeling like music is my freedom,” he says, adding that his frame of mind evolved while recording Give Me Hope. “You realize that you have a platform that is much larger than you expected, so you have to question yourself: What am I trying to express? Who am I?” 

JP Bimeni showcases himself as resilient and conscientious, conjuring a deep spirituality and pain to demand hope. After experiencing unimaginable tumult as a young man, Bimeni’s belief that love is our collective future remains steadfast. Where his critically acclaimed debut was a joyous, super funky celebration of achievement – Give Me Hope is a deeper contemplation on the need for unity and a sense of global community. 

Much like Otis Redding, Bimeni is a master of both the forlorn and ecstatic. Give Me Hope opens with a cover of Eddie Holman's 1969 string-laced midtempo burner “Four Walls,” in which Bimeni aches with regret of losing a love he once took for granted. On “Not In My Name,” a unique pop-soul message song, Bimeni encourages a reciprocity of our communal existence. He uses the album’s ballads as metaphors for loving thy neighbor, folding hints of gospel and Sam Cooke sweetness into songs such as “Find That Love” and “When Everything Is Wrong”. 

Give Me Hope also deals in complex internal themes, and Bimeni imbues “Guilty and Blessed” with his personal history of trauma and war. Hundreds of thousands of people died in Burundi’s 1994 genocide, including some of Bimeni’s young friends. The singer was shot and read his last rites, poisoned by doctors and put on life support – and yet Bimeni managed to survive, thriving as his passion for music unfolded. Yet despite his successes, Bimeni is often wracked with survivor’s guilt. 

“I know people who probably deserve more than I do, but they didn't have that chance,” Bimeni says. “I feel blessed to have survived and keep moving. But sometimes I feel guilty. This music is an exploration of my emotional journey to self-discovery and healing.” 
Uplifting the album are the supremely funky title track and “Mathematics,” in which stabbing horns and heavy bassline conjure both Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings and Fela Kuti. Bimeni honors his heroes on “James Stern,” a slightly psychedelic tale of the Black activist who destroyed an American neo-Nazi group, adding to the album’s themes of self-empowerment. The horn-forward swing of “Precious Girl” erupts as soul dancefloor crusher, buoyed by Bimeni’s incredible vocal depth. 

Much like JP Bimeni’s belief in the need for global cohesion, Give Me Hope is the result of a collaborative effort. His six-piece band, The Black Belts – Rodrigo Diaz "Niño" (drum & percussion), Pablo "Bassman" Cano, Fernando Vasco "Two Guns" (guitar), Ricardo Martínez (trumpet), Rafael Díaz (sax) and Alex Larraga (Keyboards) – contribute their diverse musical backgrounds to the breadth of soul stylings on Give Me Hope. The Black Belts shine throughout but are given space to breath on the cinematic instrumental “Ghost City”. 

The creating of Give Me Hope was complex -- from processing trauma to managing during the pandemic. “People are so confined in their houses and the war is financial, for survival. There’s this heaviness of not knowing what’s next.” Bimeni recalled beginning to think that his musical success was a fluke: “But I realized that I'm in the same state with everybody else, which is quite profound. Reflecting on what gave me hope was the right sort of sentiment for this record”. 

Pre-order here
25 November 2021

DJ CAM & Frédéric Beneix - Wine4Melomanes

DJ Cam & sommelier Frédéric Beneix present Wine4Melomanes, an eclectic and unique compilation album concept, matching fine wines with rare pieces of music produced in the same year. 

Connecting the complexity, sensuality, liveliness of a drink with the harmony, arrangements, voice, orchestration, rhythm and melody of a song, Wine4Melomanes tours France, Germany, Holland, the USA and even Slovakia in search of only the finest musical flavours. 

Ranging from jazz, to pop-rock, to blue-eyed soul from the early 70s right through to 2016, Wine4Melomanes is defined by its sense of musical opulence, with warm rich tones and understated quality evident throughout. Frédéric Beneix’s expert wine pairing suggestions can be found in the album liner notes, or at  wine4melomanes.com 

DJ and producer Frédéric Beneix has released original music and edits on several internationally respected imprints, and he also serves as sommelier editor for Sommeliers International Magazine. DJ Cam is known for his pioneering abstract hip-hop musical compositions, his virtuoso use of technology and his fascination for acoustic jazz gaining him international acclaim.

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23 November 2021

Bremer McCoy - Natten

Tip!

It's a weird time in the world, but luckily we have Bremer McCoy's really lovely music to listen to. Natten, which is Danish for “The Night,” takes inspiration from the end of day, that regenerative time under the constellations when our lives look different. Let it be your companion on this Earth, under the stars, as you contemplate this crazy time we’re in.

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22 November 2021

V​/​a - New Horizons Vol. 2

Following a definitive first volume jam-packed with forward-thinking musical talent working in the South African creative improvised music idiom, New Horizons returns with a fresh iteration of young artists who continue in the same tradition and tone. 

The compilation showcases recent recordings from 14 more leading lights in South Africa’s contemporary jazz scene: pianists Thembelihle Dunjana, Afrika Mkhize, Sibusiso ‘Mash’ Mashiloane, Blake Hellaby and Siphephelo Ndlovu’s The SN Project; saxophonists Sisonke Xonti, Muhammad Dawjee and Linda Sikhakhane; singer Spha Mdlalose; drummers Ayanda Sikade, Leagan Starchild and Tefo Mahola; and trumpeters Ndabo Zulu and Marcus Wyatt accompanied respectively by Umgidi Ensemble and The ZAR Jazz Orchestra. 

Together they form part of a vibrant, connected community charting new sonic territory that speaks to today’s troubled times

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21 November 2021

Zeca Do Trombone - Rota-Mar

First time reissue of Brazilian MPB album including two bonus tracks from rare 1977 single featuring Azymuth. Comes with 8-page booklet, bilingual liner notes by Brazilian journalist Marcelo Pinheiro and previously unpublished pictures. Check out "Te Queria", well known to DJs and previously compiled in Ed Motta's "Too Slow To Disco"

Mainly known to DJs for the funk groover "Te Queria", Rota-Mar is the first solo album by the charismatic Zéca do Trombone. During a vertiginous career which started in the late 60s, Zéca was a permanent member of Wilson Simonal's band, toured with Luiz Eça's Sagrada Família (alongside Joyce, Naná Vasconcelos, Nelson Angelo and others), recorded the seminal Brazilian funk "Coluna do Meio" for his joint effort with Roberto Sax, and played and recorded for some of the big names of Brazilian music such as Tim Maia or Martinho da Vila. Particularly for samba artists such as Alcione, Leci Brandão or Moreira da Silva, Zéca do Trombone was the trombonist of choice.

Rota-Mar displays the work of an established musician who has nothing to prove. Impregnated with Zéca's characteristic voice, the songs draw inspiration from the sea, love and bohemian life, and let us all dream of what life in Rio the Janeiro was during that time. "Te Queria", penned by Zéca's childhood friend Elízio de Búzios (known for his highly collectable funk/boogie single "Tamanqueiro") is the obvious highlight, although we believe the real beauty of the album lies in the relaxed sea-side groove and MPB in the rest of the songs, including Zéca's superb take on Martinho da Vila's "Manteiga de Garrafa".

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Calendar

It’s show time!

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

22 January 2022  |  Amsterdam, the Netherlands

RCO Club Night

In co-operation with the Royal Concertgebouw orchestra

RCO homepage here
29 April 2022  |  Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Maestro at the Concertgebouw Lounge

Website here
11 June 2022  |  Amsterdam, the Netherlands

RCO Clubnight

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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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