I love Black Music with all its sub genres (and occasionally black music played by white people. sometimes it works). Whether it’s Robert Johnson’s 1936 blues recordings, Duke Ellington 1940’s big band sound, Charlie Parker and Miles Davis in the 50’s, Coltrane and Motown in the 60’s, Disco and Funk in the 70’s, Rap and Soul and early House from the 80’s, Acid Jazz from the 90’s, English Soul from the Naughties, I love it all. My iTunes collection is steadily growing and the best girlfriend ever is starting to complain about the lack of space for our CDs and Vinyl in the living room. But most of the stuff that’s been added is more than ten years old, with contemporary soul featuring less and less. My main problem is the stuff that’s being played on mainstream radio: whether it’s Rihanna, M.I.A., Jessy J, Blackeyed Peas and of course Cowell’s neverending succession of karaoke artists who garble and mangle either classic tunes or ‘songs’ composed and produced by a collective of contemporary producers, always heavily auto-tuned. I wanted to smash more than one radio after being exposed to this merciless, cynical crap, but I am sure my coworkers would complain.
If that makes me sound like an old and bitter man, so be it. To some extend, I am (at leaast when it comes to music).
So, recently I have started buying new music that was suggested from friends and stuff I heard on Solar Radio and Jazz Fm, and thankfully I wasn’t disappointed. There is still some stuff out there that is handmade, well produced, free of auto tune, free of 120bpm ambient beats and just plain amazing. So, let me introduce you to some new faves.
Reel People: amazing London soul/acid jazz outfit. Great live band as well
If you like your music sounding like an eighties club track, then Cool Million is your thing. A decidedly uncool Danish/German duo, they nevertheless manage to get those creky old hips swinging.
Joey Negro and the Sunburst do what I would describe as ‘Soulful House’. Very listenable and great for the jogging track. He remixed ‘Half a minute’ by Matt Bianco, so he must be good.
Richard Earnshaw’s latest album is absolutely amazing, and the fact that he is featuring the lovely Jocelyn Brown makes it even better.
And then there’s The Rebirth. Slightl strange (well, they are Americans), but what a great album. Me thinks they call it ‘NuJazz’. So there.