Thursday, December 30, 2004

let it snow

xpressway, originally uploaded by thebeathunters.


snow's falling, fire is burnin' and the cats are sleeping. it's just one of these cool/warm winter afternoons. i'm pretty sure you all spent a nice xmas time and a fast blog surfin' told me everybody's now back on tracks, some with well-deserved time on their hands (hi, mr.O and thanks 4 the tips!), others eager to grab new sounds and xciting beats.
it's been a while since i wanted to post tracks from the Troublemakers' wonderful album but now's the time. EXPRESS WAY came out in june on Blue Note and is one great piece of 2004 music. TROUBLEMAKERS are lionel corsini and arnaud taillefer, 2 guys from marseille (south of france) who met at some dj workshop back in the late 90's. their first album DOUBTS&CONVICTIONS (with fred berthet) came out in 2001 on the notorious GUIDANCE RECORDINGS and offered a nice brew of jazz influences, phat grooves and beats mixed up in soulful compositions.
in 2003, they collaborated to STEREO PICTURES (vol.2/mk2 music) a series of selector mixes on the cinematic tip (vol.1 was by DJVADIM, number3 by I:CUBE just hit the racks) which reunited everybody's faves from nina simone, junzon crew to rahsaan roland kirk . T's are totally into black music and blaxploitation soundtracks but escape the cliche, thanks to a real talent for original compositions, clever sampling (adderley bros, sonny sharrock...), comprehensive knowledge of the french classics (francois de roubaix, serge gainsbourg) and solid guest delivery by THE GIFT OF GAB, among others.the cd is in fact the soundtrack of a short dvd movie included in the package but the music speaks for itself.
i mentioned it earlier but YOU REALLY SHOULD VISIT AWFUL THOM because his selection is pure buttered soul! if you don't get all of his nice french writing, at least don't miss the ANDY BEY tracks and three versions of LET'S STRAIGHTEN THIS OUT by latimore, etta james and gwen mc crae. ok, it's tea time and i need to feed a few logs in the chimney!

Sunday, December 19, 2004

baby, it's cold outside

ray&betty, originally uploaded by thebeathunters.

abc records, 1961
THE OF MIRROR EYE posted recently live tracks by ray charles that reminded me how i loved his duet album with betty carter.
their sensuous, flirtatious take on "baby,it's cold outside" is an absolute classic and a winter times favorite. the album's liner notes reveal the recording session was a special one, the studio and control room being jammed with fans, Hollywood and music business celebrities. be sure to add this album to your late gift list and set a sophisticated tone to any xmas party. lush marty paich arrangements will smoothly balance your egg nogg dizzyness and david "fathead" newman's tenor sax solos will provide the required soulful groove.
to everyblogdy out there: have a wonderful chritsmas.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

i want to jazz it up

leaf&marco, originally uploaded by thebeathunters.

sorry for such lack of posts but i've been swamped in work for a week and totally enjoyed it. my GoLive seems back on tracks too so it's time to blog again!
when i'm on working mode, the cd player is locked on repeat so i really get into the core of my selection. not all records pass the test of continuous repeating (5/6 times) but a few grew up on me and are running for my absolut best of 2004. i wonder if many of you out there really noticed the beauty of THE ALBUM LEAF/in a safe place album. as i mostly check blogs about soul, hiphop or electronic music, i'm pretty sure it's probably huge on any indie-pop bloglist.
JAMES LAVALLE recorded it in iceland with sigur ros as the ultimate all-star backing band.
he played his fender rhodes parts but back to california, felt he had to re-record them on his cherished own instrument. i'm a sucker for the rhodes sound, herbie hancock's style- but here it's very interesting to hear it in a non-jazz context. though playing the rhodes for more than 20 years, lavalle confesses he must really suck 'cause he's no virtuoso. but his technique serves his musical ideas perfectly. IN A SAFE PLACE is a must, the perfect winter album and i won't reveal its beauty here, but you can listen to several previous works of lavalle thanks to EPITONIC
more on james lavalle at HOME
from MY LONDON FRIENDS/arision, 2004
just when i thought the last record i needed was a jazz one, i took a chance on di marco's album and really got into it. what led me to this album is NATHAN HAINES' collaboration.
this UK multi-instrumentist (saxes, flute) has a few interesting jazz/house albums under his belt. i confess i knew nothing about di marco, a charming senior italian piano player but the kind liner notes by martial solal establish him as some serious cat. di marco shares a great sense of melody and a true original touch, in the tradition of other italian masters such as enrico pieranunzi. though i enjoy going back to my classics (bill evans & trane above all), i don't really dig the new jazz scene anymore. i listened to keith jarrett's trio latest opus (out of towners) and found it pretty boring, though i'm an early KJ's fan. di marco's album has the nicest blend of contemporary jazz sound without any beat or electronics involved. interesting review and lots of samples
i particularly love the brazilian waltz track because its "my favorite things" flavor and a beautiful flute solo.
IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD: it's real hard to keep up with the good spots popping up everyday! recent thrills include these guys:
thom speaks french but don't let this stop you on his soulful way
some UK lad who will give mr.soulsides a few sweats
mac daddy digs in his crates and delivers a bi-monthly mp3 mix that blends soul, funk and disco with an attitude.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004


life2, originally uploaded by thebeathunters.

on this quiet monday evening, listening to the very good BUILD AN ARK cd (thanks to
SCENESTARS to remind me about how great this album isINFO REVIEW AND PURCHASE ), a very cool selection of tracks seems appropriate.
since i'm facing some bugs with GoLive these days, i'm using YouSendIt files from now on.
track one is SAUDADES
mostly renowned for his blending of indian and electronic music, nithin shawney signed here with co-author and singer NINA MIRANDA, a pure brazilian downtempo jewel.
nina miranda is/was the voice of smoke city.
and arkestra one.
SAUDADES really makes want to dig into her discography and check her previous collaborations (though the one with robert miles sounds frightening...)
track two is REDE DE ESPERA
by AZYMUTH from PARTIDO NOVO, Far Out recordings, 2002
since the 70's, IVAN CONTI (vocals & drums), ALEX MALHEIROS (vocals&bass) and JOSE ROBERTO BERTRAMI (vocals & keyboards) a.k.a AZYMUTH have been playing the perfect brazileo jazz-funk cocktail. i won't even dare to resume their music and career (more than 25 albums!) here, and let their current UK label FAR OUT RECORDINGS do the job
azymuth's electric bass/rhodes funk is very distinctive but this track displays the gentle sound of a beautiful ballad, perfect to warm up your week.
maybe everybody out there knows that famous elvis presley track:the one he can't stop laughing because of a baaad chorus singer. if you do, just have a laugh with him. if you don't, you're very lucky, it will cheer your life up.

Friday, December 03, 2004

looking good

Originally uploaded by thebeathunters.

Good Looking Records, 2000
i was totally into music, djing and the club scenes when the UK jungle/drum'n'bass thing hit the decks in the early 90's. as i always tried to keep an eclectic and open mind, i stashed a few jungle jams in my record bag but actually never was a dedicated fan. the scene was pretty hardcore: you had to be a jungle dj or get the hell out and there was no way you'd dare to throw any other style of music in your sets. but as it happened with hip hop or house music, the early scene threw jazz elements- sampled or live- in the mix and among the producers, LTJ BUKEM stood out as one of the best. early on, he created his own label, GOOD LOOKING RECORDS and mixed many influences of soul, downtempo and even house music in his many releases, with always the right balance between pure dance tracks and music you could actually listen to and enjoy outside the club.
plenty of info about the man, the history and the current drum'n'bass/broken beat/nujazz scene at GOOD LOOKING RECORDS
their radio program is pretty good too, very close to gilles peterson's worldwide groove and plays amazing xclusive tracks at this very moment.
taken from the JOURNEY INWARDS cd, the eponymous track is one of my BUKEM's faves:
a perfect blend of soulful downtempo jazz full of rhodes, flute and crisp beats, a creative musical journey into LTJ's inspirations. great tracks on his LOGICAL PROGRESSION and EARTH series, too that you'll try to find at your local record store or BUY HERE
IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD: among all the online wonderblogful daily discoveries, i can't thank enough cb THEOFMIRROREYE
for pluggin' me to the NUMERO LABEL the site is beautiful and so seem to be their releases. be sure to read their philosophy and overview for a 3rd millenium music label. their re-release of isabelle ANTENA's album first caught my attention, because that band was a thrill for me back in my college days. next, the stories behind the CAPSOUL and BANDIT soul labels
made my day and BAM! i ordered the three cd's on the spot.
same thing happened yesterday on SAMADHI SOUND david sylvian's blemish cd is one piece of music i wanted to grab for a long time. then, i experienced the beautiful online listening of harold budd and akira rabelais' new albums and here again, immediate order took place as early self-indulged xmas gifts.
here's for the power of the blog! elsewhere: PLAY.PAUSE
offers great tracks, very good info, nice and fun writing in both french and english.
SCISSORKICK and ROYAL MUSIC (with a new design) are keepin' the faith close to worship and the recent comeback of MOISTWORKS digs even deeper into hip hop's jazzier and funkier backgrounds. finally, GRAPEJUICEPLUS
lately ranks high in my everchanging bookmarks and bloglists.