Among this week’s new releases are Ondatropica, Joey Negro & The Sunburst Band plus a previously unreleased recording of Keith Jarrett‘s 70s ‘European’ Quartet featuring Jan Gabarek, Palle Danielsson and Jon Christensen.
Jarrett/Garbarek/ Danielsson/Christensen – Sleeper (Tokyo, April 16, 1979) (ECM)
Keith Jarrett’s 70s ‘European’ quartet with Jan Garbarek, Palle Danielsson and Jon Christensen was a serendipitous, unrepeatable blend of uniquely gifted individuals who could handle Jarrett’s compositions with rare clarity and creative freedom. They finished in 1979 with Nude Ants and (released 10 years later) Personal Mountains. But a previously unsuspected, two-CD Tokyo concert recording from that vintage year is, in its expressive range and sheer communal joy in making music, up there with their best. Few groups could groove and create as they do on the trance-like Personal Mountains, segueing with seamless inventiveness into a contrast like Innocence. Or, in So Tender and the multifaceted Oasis, take group interaction to such a peak with Jarrett and Garbarek clearly enjoying a musical conversation.
[Reviewed by Ray Comiskey]
Read our Jan Garbarek cover feature in the new July/Aug 2012 issue of Properganda
Jarrett/Garbarek/Danielsson/Christensen – New Dance
Ondatrópica – Ondatrópica (Soundway)
In January 2012, producers Mario Galeano (Frente Cumbiero, Colombia) and William Holland (Quantic, UK), headed to the legendary Discos Fuentes studios in Medelin with a large group of Colombian musicians – veterans and younger artists making waves on the local music scene – for a British Council backed project looking to “re-interpret the tropical musical heritage of Colombia with new approaches in composition, arrangement and production”. Recorded entirely on analogue equipment, the result is an infectious mix of traditional styles such as cumbia, gaita and champeta melded with boogaloo, ska, beat-box, MCs, dub and funk that’ll have you shaking your hips in no time.
Among the 42 musicians taking part, you’ll find a stellar cast including percussionist Fruko, accordionist Anibal Velasquez and saxophonist Michi Sarmiento alongside a younger crew from Mario’s band and Quantic’s Combo Barbaro sucking you into a polyrhythmic vortex of brass, percussion, guitars, keys and vocals. Highlights across the full 26 tracks (double CD deluxe version or single CD with 7 bonus downloads) include the happy collision of accordion and hip-hop on Suena, “a 2-channel soundclash” between beatboxer Chongo and 82-year-old cane flute player Pedro Beltran on Rap Maya, Michi Sarmiento singing his father’s song El Caiman Y El Gallinazo followed by the irresistible Mi Negrita and legendary vocalist Markitos Mikolta singing Donde Suena El Bombo backed by marimba man Esteban Copete. Viva la musica colombiana! [Reviewed by Sofi]
Check out Soundway’s free in-store takeover of London’s Rough Trade East this Thursday, plus Ondatropica gigs at the Hackney Empire (20th July) and the Americas stage @ the Tower of London for the BT River of Music festival (22nd July).
Joey Negro & The Sunburst Band – The Secret Life Of Us (Z Records)
By the time the squelching bass of My Way hits, it occurs that the only sensible response to this CD involves body moves rather than pen and paper, such is the exuberant grooviness it’s hard to resist the temptation to throw a few shapes round the listening room. Content instead with a tapping foot and nodding head, with an occasional extravagant shuffle in the seat, this also proves to be a listen of substance, with sufficient going on to keep you enthralled throughout.
As one of the many projects that allows Joey Negro aka Dave Lee artistic expression, the Sunburst Band are a proper gigging concern including the likes of Tony Remy ( a serious jazzer) in the ranks. It could be called retro as it harks back to classic disco sounds, but the sound is so classic and funky that it matters not and you simply wish the rest of dance music would catch up. The Chic-a-like of The Secret Life Of Us is sublime, but then so is the Latin-tinged opener In The Thick Of It or the grungy mutant-disco of Jazz The DMX. It’s a proper, soulful delight, but turn it up and I’ll bet you won’t keep still for long. [Reviewed by Simon]
Check out our other new releases this week via Propermusic.com