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Our recommended album releases

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

24 February 2021

The Invisible Session - Echoes of Africa

After a long hiatus since the homonymous 2006 release on Schema Records, The Invisible Session is back with Echoes Of Africa to be released on the newly-launched Space Echo label. Initiated in 2006 by Schema Records’ co-founder and musician Luciano Cantone, The Invisible Session’s influences are rooted in Black music. 

Written in collaboration with trombonist and multi-instrumentalist Gianluca Petrella, and with lyrics by poet, rapper, and MC Martin Thomas Paavilainen (aka Benjamin “Bentality” Paavilainen), Echoes of Africa is an homage to African music. From a recording point of view, The Invisible Session embraces jazz as a constantly evolving mosaic - a fusion of musical influences that finds force and authenticity in the groove and cultural synergies. Part of the ensemble, are some of the best musicians on the international jazz scene: kora player Jalimansa Haruna Kuyateh, guitarist Riccardo Onori, singer Joyce Elaine Yuille, drummer & percussionist Abdissa “Mamba” Assefa, bassist Jukka ”Jukkis” Kiviniemi. 

Drawing influences from the rhythmic structures of Afro-beat and Ethio-jazz, the 11 compositions sparkle in various timbres by incorporating elements of funk, psychedelia, and modal music. But it is the intersection of ancestral melodies built on African pentatonic scales that gives the album its sustained flow and vibrant atmosphere. 

Under the influence of vibraphonist Mulatu Astatke’s music, “Journey To The East” incorporates sound studies on Ethiopian music with melodic structures built on the Bati Lydian major scale - a pentatonic scale with origins in the Middle East. Ethiopia is also celebrated in “Entoto” and “Breathe the Rhythm” - both entirely written by Gianluca Petrella. 

Although it may seem speculative after May 25’s event in Minneapolis, “Hearing The Call” was conceived and written in 2018, and expands on the themes present in Haki R. Madhubuti’s poem “Children”, released on Medasi’s 1984 album “Nation”. In “Hearing The Call”, ancestral sounds and percussions hypnotize the listener, while the performance of the poem written and interpreted by African-American/Finnish artist Benjamin “Bentality” Paavilainen, flows with naturalness. 

A theme already addressed by The Invisible Session with “To The Powerful’’ released in 2006 on the homonymous debut album on Schema Records is climate change. On Echoes of Africa, The Invisible Session’s “Ideas Can Make the World’’ and “People All Around The World Can Make It’’ are messages of hope and encouragement. Further reflections on this theme can be found in “Mother Forgive Us’’, with lyrics and interpretation channeled by Bentality, and Joyce Elaine Yuille. 

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23 February 2021

The Afro Soul Prophecy - Heat in the City

The Afro Soul Prophecy is an atypical musical project, out of time and trends, as evidenced by a several years gestation that has finally ended with the release of “Heat in the City”, an album that includes all the songs ever recorded, some of which have already been published in 2017 on 7” (SC716, “Red Light District / The Game of Love” - SC717, 

“Daddy’s Groove / Let Me Be your Lover”) and 10” records (SCEB002, with three different versions of “The Devil Made Me Do It”). The Afro Soul Prophecy was born thanks to the initiative of Luciano Cantone, co-founder of Schema Records, here also spiritual leader and producer of the project. 
“Heat in the City” is an almost completely instrumental album that finds its strength in its simplicity and balance between parts. The songs’ composer is Alex Puddu, well-known especially for his “Golden Age of Danish Pornography” disco-sex-funk triptych, surrounded by a long series of international artists who gave musical life to his ideas: Abdissa “Mamba” Assefa (Ethiopia, drums and percussion), Antti Lötjönen (Finland, double bass), Georgios Kontrafouris (Greece, Wurlitzer and Hammond), Timo Lassy (Finland, saxophone), Gendrickson “Pucci” Mena (Cuba, trumpet), Massimo Martellotta (Italy, guitar) and Morten Grønvad (Denmark, vibraphone). The Afro Soul Prophecy’s sound and groove are exquisitely black, but so rich of shades that require in-depth listening to be fully assimilated and to understand the overall range of “Heat in the City”, a record that draws inspiration from The Meters, War and Roy Ayers’ downbeat funk, but also indulges in afrobeat (The Devil Made Me Do It), Latin (Let Me Be Your Lover, The Game of Love, Daddy’s Groove) and disco contaminations (Everybody’s Going Uptown, Fire in Acapulco, Mean Street), while “Summer of ’75” and “The Crowd Pleaser” evoke pure urban blaxploitation scenarios. All these influences are fully rooted in this album, making it almost mystical and visionary, as if the aforementioned music genres scenarios could materialize in front of the listener’s eyes. “Heat in the City” owes most of its qualities to the fundamental contribution of Abdissa Assefa on percussion and Antti 
Lötjönen on double bass - a particular and atypical instrument in a context like this, as well as to Pietro Ciancaglini’s arrangements. The overall result, wide-ranging and full of hidden details, is the ultimate consequence of the multi-ethnic nature of this project, which involved musicians from all over the world; once again, the language of music has contributed to unite different cultures and to erase distances in the creation of “Heat in the City”, an album that needs multiple listenings to be discovered in full. 

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22 February 2021

Nicola Conte & Gianluca Petrella - People Need People

New music forms contaminated by various genres characterize our globalized world’s recent history; the intertwining of individual experiences creates new collaborations, as in this specifc case. Sixteen years after the release of “New Standards” (2001, SCEP336) Nicola Conte meets again his friend and colleague Gianluca Petrella, an eclectic Italian jazz scene talent, open to new experiences and collaborations: this encounter let to the publication of three new 12” EP’s in only three years, plus the recent single “The Higher Love” and the release of “Let Your Light Shine On” by Nicola Conte & Spiritual Galaxy. 
The exchange between the two musicians / producers takes place not only on a songwriting level but also on a research one: vinyl rarities, the diggin’ activity, the use of samples, sounds, rigorously vintage instruments and sounds deliver a product brave enough to communicate the club culture enthusiasm to conquer a new market capable of soliciting new interests in the nu-soul and jazz scene. From Detroit future dance to afrobeat and spiritual jazz through a nu-disco sound, the unique vibe of “People Need People” drags us in search of deep music in a spiritual and mantric context. In a peculiar historical moment Nicola Conte and Gianluca Petrella send a message of hope, of aggregation and Universal Love. A feeling of elevation and solidarity is shared Through Raashan’s poetry, something that can predict winds of change for humanity, a feeling that flows from a higher love. 
“People Need People” is more than just a new album, it’s a collective experience wisely directed by Nicola and Gianluca that sees the participation of numerous artists from different parts of the world: Raashan Ahmad (USA), Nduduzo Makhathini (South Africa), Magnus Lindgren (Sweden), Débo Ray (USA), Bridgette Amofah (England), Abdissa Assefa (Finland/Ethiopia), Teppo Makynen (Finland), together with young Italian promising stars Davide Shorty, Carolina Bubbico, Tommaso Cappellato, Seby Burgio, Marco Rubegni, Pasquale Calò, and the already known Pasquale Mirra and Simone Padovani. “People Need People” is the mature fruit of an unstoppable and constantly evolving work of research and exchange that’s been able to break down every possible distance during its long and complex making-of process. The songs taken from the previous EP’s have also been further revised, reworked and expanded, with the addition of six new tracks. Looking at the past and fetching sounds, rhythms and instruments typical of 
tribal / African traditions, soul / spiritual jazz and cosmic music from it, Nicola and Gianluca have performed an operation of strong contamination with modern electronic sounds, disco and hip-hop, creating a completely original hybrid. Their goal is to accompany the listener through a collective spiritual elevation path, guided by the only true universal language: music. In a historical period marked by contrasts, lack of communication and forced social distancing, “People Need People” proves to be even more essential and necessary. 

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21 February 2021

R+R=NOW LIVE - R+R=NOW

In October 2018, Robert Glasper settled into the Blue Note club in NYC for a month-long residency several nights of which featured the new dream team collective R+R=NOW with Glasper on keys, Terrace Martin on synthesizer, vocoder, and alto saxophone, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah on trumpet, Derrick Hodge on bass, Taylor McFerrin on synthesizer, and Justin Tyson on drums. The band had recently released their debut album Collagically Speaking and the music had already taken on expansive new dimensions in concert as evidenced on R+R=NOW Live, a thrilling live recording with standout tracks including “Respond,” “Change of Tone,” “Resting Warrior,” and a cover of Kendrick Lamar’s “How Much a Dollar Cost.”

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20 February 2021

Billy Prince (Of The Precisions) – Angel / I Want You 7″

Fresh from the press plant, Soul music pioneer Billy Prince (of The Precisions) releases new 45: “Angel” b/w “I Want You”. Side A features an original composition; “Angel”. Angel is a beautiful and tender, gospel-inspired dedication to Aretha. Side B features “I Want You”; a modern twist on the classic Marvin Gaye tune.

“I Want You” was produced by Jason McGuiness (Empyrean Tones, Passages) and John Michael Howcott. John is a platinum music producer and songwriter with more than two decades’ experience in the industry, who has worked with the likes of Spike Lee, Keith Sweat, and countless others.

Buy it here and check other releases as well!
19 February 2021

St Germain - Tourist (20th Anniversary Travel Versions)

To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of his TOURIST album, Ludovic Navarre aka ‘St Germain’ has invited UK, South Africa, USA, Reunion Island and Franceproducers, DJs and remixers with various musical inspirations, from Deep House to Afro House and Chicago House …

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18 February 2021

The Legendary Beyons

For over fifty years, The Legendary Beyons have delighted Portlanders with their music. And now, for the first time, their work has been documented in this high fidelity LP accompanied by a detailed oral history of the group. The album’s well-designed booklet features a wide range of archival photography, serving as a period piece for the uninitiated.

On the cover of this previously unreleased 1977 album, there’s an image that tells you nearly everything you need to know: four Black men, resplendent in custom-tailored suits, are working it with synchronized steps before the rushing falls of Portland’s Fourcourt Fountain. In their joyous faces is written a brotherhood that began when this core of singers—Jeddy Beasley, Thurtis Channel, James Tims, and Ira Hammon—endeavored to harmonize as The Legendary Beyons. The group’s presence in this image reveals the richness of their soulful, Motown-inspired vocal sound.

These songs are the culmination of a story that began when these young men began singing in the locker room after basketball games at Jefferson High School. As their reputation grew, The Beyons––with the help of a crack backing band featuring arranger Dan Brewster and The Soul Masters–aspired for greatness in Albina’s club scene. A litany of touring acts on the Chitlin Circuit stopped through the area, performing side-by-side with The Beyons: The Whispers, Bloodstone, Blue Magic…the list is deep. But without a local recording industry or sustainable income for gigging Black musicians, The Beyons never released a recording in their heyday.

This session represents a seasoned group roughly a decade into their career. It is their only 20th-century recording that has survived. These songs, ranging from the jazzed “Dreaming You In My Mind” to the quiet storm of sweet soul ballad “There We Were, Here We Are,” spotlight the group’s tightly knit harmonies––pleading, sensual, playful, and romantic. Meanwhile, album single “Love Notes” comes as a burst of energy and “Let’s Talk About Love” begets a cosmic intro calling upon Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle to assist in sharing the band’s take on a topic called L-O-V-E.

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17 February 2021

Lonnie Smith - Breathe

Breathe captures the Hammond B-3 organ legend Dr. Lonnie Smith during his 75th birthday run at the Jazz Standard in NYC in 2017, the same week he recorded his acclaimed trio album All In My Mind.

On this night the good doctor took the stage with an expanded line-up featuring Jonathan Kreisberg on guitar, Johnathan Blake on drums, John Ellis on tenor saxophone, Jason Marshall on baritone saxophone, Sean Jones on trumpet, and Robin Eubanks on trombone. Two additional studio tracks that open and close the album present the unique collaboration between Doc and Iggy Pop including a sublime cover of Donovan’s 1966 hit “Sunshine Superman.

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16 February 2021

Kenny Mann With Liquid Pleasure

I can't begin to tell you how many people want this album. The original press is always sold over 1000 usd. Recorded and edited in 1980 in a small local press in North Carolina, it became a cult and a holy grail LP over the decades. 
In 2016 the producer Kon revised “Tin Top” in a edit that elevated it to the anthem of dance floors. 

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15 February 2021

Fitz Gore and the Talisman - Soundmagnificat

Deep spiritual jazz recorded in Germany, performed by Jamaican born saxophone player Fitz Gore and his international group The Talismen, featuring a.o. bassist Gérard Ebbo from Morocco and drummer Philippe Zobda-Quitman from Martinique. This is the first reissue of their second album, released in 1976 by the small private label GorBra from Bonn, including “Delilah” and “Requiem For Julian Cannonball Adderley”. The rare LP comes in a newly mastered version with original cover design and sleeve notes. Fitz Gore`s music is full of tremendous tension and movement between deep seriousness, inwardness and humility; it affects your life, it liberates and heals.

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