The Hot 8 Brass Band – On The Spot

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The Hot 8 Brass Band is set to release their fifth album, On The Spot on March 31 on Tru Thoughts Records and the lead single Working Together released on Dec. 16 2016, has been gaining support from Jamie Cullum (BBC R2), Garth Trinidad (KCRW) and Craig Charles (BBC R2/6Music).

The new record has its roots firmly in live performance, and in true Hot 8 style it pairs hard-hitting, heart-on-sleeve sentiment with party-fuelling beats, hooks and grooves. On The Spot refers to the saying, on the spot, the glorious, rare moment in a New Orleans parade when the band stops to take a break but keeps playing for the crowd. Vibing and keeping the energy up, when they’re completely in the moment they sync up and the magic happens – a new tune is created, on the spot. Buzzing with the live, spontaneous synchronicity which has fuelled their development from the streets of New Orleans to the forefront of the global scene over the last two decades, the new LP sees Hot 8 committing this spirit to record – and in the live arena the tunes are set to blow up.

Spiritual Jazz 7: Islam

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The seventh volume of Jazzman’s acclaimed Spiritual Jazz series examines the influence and impact of Islam on four decades of jazz innovation.

Through Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali, the civil rights era in America saw African American liberation politics famously associated with Islamic belief. This was not the first time that radical developments in African American cultural life had been widely associated with Islam – that distinction belongs not to political or sporting giants, but to the progressive jazz musicians of the bebop generation. Kenny Clarke, Art Blakey, Sahib Shihab, Gigi Gryce, Idrees Sulieman, Ahmad Jamal, Yusef Lateef; all these legendary jazz pioneers – and countless more – were early converts to the spiritually charged Ahmadiyya school of Islam.

Their faith profoundly influenced the music that they made, and the presence of prominent and innovative Muslim musicians at the heart of jazz culture in America has been recognised ever since. The tracks on this collection follow the story of Islam and jazz from the 1950s to the 1980s. Spiritual Jazz 7 presents a selection of visionary music – inspired by faith, powered by jazz.

Spiritual Jazz 7: Islam will be available on 2xLP gatefold vinyl, CD and digital on march 17 through Jazzman Records

Let’s Get Swinging: Modern Jazz in Belgium 1950-1970

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Pre-1950s, Belgian jazz lovers had been starved of jazz music when it was banned from public life, going underground during the German occupation of WWII. However, jazz would soon go through a radical change when US jazz musicians such as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk developed a new style called bebop or modern jazz. The big bands disappeared in favour of the small groups, the rhythms became more complex and improvisation was the new keyword. In Belgium, the epicentre of jazz shifted from Brussels to the industrial city of Liège in the east of the country. Inspired by the new sounds of Bird and Diz, a group of youngsters including Bobby Jaspar, René Thomas, Jacques Pelzer, ‘Fats’ Sadi Lallemand, Jack Sels and Francy Boland, joined each other in jam sessions and formed modern jazz combos.

But the complexities of modern jazz made larger audiences turn their backs on this new form of jazz and with very few working opportunities for the modern jazzmen in Belgium, most moved abroad to persue a career.

Even though the most talented Belgian jazz musicians lived abroad during the golden era of modern jazz, Belgium was not a complete jazz wasteland. Clubs like La Rose Noire and the Blue Note were the go-to places for touring musicians seeking an after-work jam session.

Due to the absence of its main players during the heydays of modern jazz, Belgium will not be remembered for a unique jazz sound or an extensive discography. However, the little country produced a number of highly talented musicians who played lead roles on the international jazz scene. ‘Let’s Get Swinging: Modern Jazz in Belgium 1950-1970’ retraces their steps and presents some of their finest works.

Let’s Get Swinging: Modern Jazz in Belgium 1950-1970 will be available on 7th April on Deluxe Edition 2CD and Gatefold 2LP on 180gr vinyl through Jazztime Europe and SDBAN Records. Includes extensive liner notes and plenty of photos from public and private archives.

Miles Bonny – Hello Jesus / High Enough

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Plane Jane is back with another proper 2-sider. This time by way of Miles Bonny, we heard Hello Jesus a few years back on an EP Miles had put out and Lepse has been playing it to dancefloors ever since. The tune gets such a heavy response we wanted to get it on a 7, so here it is.
Side A is Bonny’s version of a song that isn’t called Hello Jesus, with production by Canadian duo Circle Research. The bass and drums alone catch you from the first beat, add the gritty synth lines and Miles’ smooth but rough vocals and we have a hit. Sure to set the dance on fire for all the DJs that play this kind of thing.
Side B find Bonny’s version of a song that is not called High Enough, again with the strong production lead by punchy drums and a very recognizable bassline. Another Plane Jane classic sure to be getting heavy play across the world.

Miles Bonny -Hello Jesus / High Enough now available on 7″ vinyl

I remixed the track a few years ago, you can still check it out on my Soundcloud and / or Bandcamp