Saturday, February 5, 2022

Flora Purim - If You Will (April 29, 2022 Strut)

One of the all-time greats of Brazilian jazz fusion, Flora Purim, returns with her first studio album in over 15 years, ‘If You Will’.

Conceived as a celebration of her music and collaborations, the album explores new compositions alongside fresh versions of Flora’s favourite personal songs and positive lyrics from across her varied career. Title track ‘If You Will’ reprises a song from her inspired collaborations with George Duke: “You will find... good love, real joy, so much peace of mind, if you will…”; the resilient ‘This Is Me’ updates an Airto jam band tune ‘I Don’t Wanna Be Myself Again’; ‘500 Miles High’ marks the heyday of the late Chick Corea’s Return To Forever band and ‘Zahuroo’ interprets a song by Claudia Villela about “a shapeshifting animal creature, a messenger who acts as a bridge between our thoughts and the universe.”

A family affair recorded primarily in Curitiba and Sao Paulo, ‘If You Will’ brings together many of Flora’s closest circle of musicians including Airto Moreira, guitarist José Neto, her daughter Diana Purim on vocals and percussionist Celso Alberti.
The album is the latest chapter in Flora’s long, illustrious and varied career. As well as her celebrated partnership with Airto and her early days with Quarteto Novo, Flora has worked with Stan Getz, Gil Evans, Miriam Makeba, George Duke, Chick Corea (as an original member of Return To Forever), Dizzy Gillespie’s United Nation Orchestra, Uruguayan band Opa and many more. Her solo albums on Milestone remain true jazz fusion classics. 

1. Flora Purim featuring Diana Purim & Diana Purim - If You Will
2. This Is Me
3. 500 Miles High
4. A Flor Da Vida
5. Newspaper Girl
6. Dandara
7. Zahuroo
8. Dois + Dois = Tres
9. Lucidez

Produced by Flora Purim
Co-Produced by Roberta Cutolo
Associate Producer: Filipe Castro

Ebi Soda - Honk If You're Sad (April 29, 2022 Tru Thoughts)

Born from ten-hour jam sessions in peeling Brighton bedsits, the technical parameters of a bootstrap recording process and the osmotic, multi-genre influence of internet music archives, quintet Ebi Soda have been steady-cultivating a unique sound amidst the exploding UK jazz scene.

Balancing irreverent musical and technical improvisation with an uncompromising instinct for vibe and prodigious musicianship, the Ebi ascent has been swift. Their eponymous debut EP, follow-up aptly titled “Bedroom Tapes” and debut LP ‘Ugh’ were originally released on Sola Terra, and won international plaudits, major radio plays and performances at Gilles Peterson’s We Out Here, London’s Jazz Re:Freshed, EFG London Jazz Festival and Latitude.

Despite their steep rise – the Brighton outfit have preserved as much as possible of their unique recording process, originating from their very first sessions. With just a two-track recorder around, the band would lay down whole takes, one instrument at a time, then immediately transform the overdub, digitally reshaping the sound with the same mischievous, adderall energy as the musical performance. This call-and-response between performance and production spurs an instinctive development – with musicality, player and producer egging one another on through naturally developing phases and textures.

‘Honk If You’re Sad’, their sophomore full-length album, stays true to these foundations, while bringing more ambitious experimentation, technical mastery and a stellar lineup of guest players to the studio including Yazz Ahmed, Deji Ijishakin and Dan Gray.

In typical Ebi style, while recalling jazz pioneers in playing style, ‘Honk If You’re Sad’ draws from a vast neural network of influences: the Ebi Brain has been marinating in a digital soup of trap, drill, dub, post-punk and no wave to name but a few. The result is a mercurial record that beams in psychedelia, dissonance, serene ambient passages, tough, neck-snapping beats and lush textures, all underscored by the intersection of jazz, hip hop and electronic music.

Across opening heaters, “Tang of the Zest” and “My Man from College”, Will Heaton’s trombone growls in and out of focus over a tight uptempo breakbeat. Deji Ijishakin’s tenor sax solo shrieks and shudders between lush layers of sound. Driving basslines, liquid keys, murmuring dissonant brass, delay and hazy reverb tumble into progressive cycles of frenetic climax and oceanic calm.

These patterns recur over the record. “Giraffe Bread” and “Listen, King” opens with a tight funk on the bass; short crisp phrases from drummer Sam Schlich-Davies dissipate in cascading dub echoes and the track opens into an instrumental, psychedelic jam, with rippling synth pads and trombone murmurs peeking out from a deep, reverberating soundscape. Ijishakin’s hyperactive sax solo on “Gated Community with a Public Pool” sits on a glitched-out rhythm section: a rocking, window-shaking bassline and sparse stuttering drums.

From influences as diverse as Kokoroko, Can, Lounge Lizards, BadBadNotGood, Ronin Arkestra, and The Fall, ‘Honk if You’re Sad’ focuses a cohesive whole; an explorative, playful and technically brilliant record that coaxes the listener through immersive phases of fun, chaos and harmony. 

1. My Man from College
2. Tang of the Zest
3. Pseudocreme
4. Soft Peng
5. Yoshi Orange
6. Chandler feat. Yazz Ahmed
7. Giraffe Bread
8. Listen, King
9. Sadboys2020
10. Gated Community with a Public Pool
11. Christmas Lights in June

Trish Clowes - A View with a Room (April 22, 2022 Greenleaf Music)

‘A View with a Room’ is the fourth release by saxophonist and composer Trish Clowes and her acclaimed band My Iris, an intense and thrilling quartet that represents the front rank of the contemporary UK jazz scene. Lauded for her imaginative approach to improvisation and composition, Clowes provides her bandmates Ross Stanley (piano/Hammond organ), Chris Montague (guitar) and James Maddren (drums) with a unique platform for individual expression, delivering driving grooves and lingering melodic lines, seamlessly morphing between earthy restlessness and futuristic dreamscapes.

Most of the repertoire came together during the pandemic for various livestream events, Clowes writing a new tune for each precious playing opportunity. Many of the tracks make direct reference to issues created and exacerbated by the global pandemic, commenting on personal loss and creativity as solace, the climate crisis, and the ever-growing migrant crisis. The title track suggests a surreal, and yet strangely relatable concept, forced upon much of the world during these deeply isolating times. "The Ness" is inspired by sounds and images from a Scottish coastline by filmmaker / collaborator Rose Hendry. “Amber" is for Amber Bauer, CEO of Donate4Refugees (a charity Clowes is an ambassador for), reflecting her energy and dynamism. “Ayana" is dedicated to Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, an inspiring writer, marine biologist and policy expert, who speaks clearly and positively on the issues of climate change. Creative music for and of our times.
1. A View with a Room
2. The Ness
3. Amber
4. Morning Song
5. No Idea
6. Ayana
7. Time
8. Almost

Trish Clowes - tenor & soprano saxophones
Chris Montague - guitar
Ross Stanley - piano, Rhodes & Hammond organ
James Maddren - drums

Production Credits:
Executive Producer: Dave Douglas
Producer: MY IRIS
Recorded at Livingston Studios (Studio 1) in London, England on August 31st & September 1st, 2021
Recording engineer: Darren Jones
Assistant recording engineer: Luke Farnell
Mixing and mastering engineer: Chris Kelly
Cover Photography: Rose Hendry
Studio photography: Chris Kelly
Graphic designer: Lukas Frei

All compositions by Trish Clowes (PRS)

Trish is a Vandoren UK artist, using Vandoren reeds and ligatures