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.

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