Otis Sandsjö | Y​-​OTIS

Helsinki’s We Jazz Records presents “Y-OTIS”, the debut album from Berlin-based Swedish saxophonist/composer Otis Sandsjö, joining forces with keyboardist Elias Stemeseder, bassist Petter Eldh and drummer Tilo Weber. The album is a forward-reaching, multilayered collection of eight originals penned by Sandsjö and produced by Sandsjö and Eldh.

Otis Sandsjö hails from Gothenburg, Sweden. He is known previously for example for his inspired work on singer Lucia Cadotsch’s globe-trotting trio formation “Speak Low”, also featuring “Y-OTIS” co-producer and bassist Petter Eldh. Elias Stemeseder was dubbed one of the top 15 young European musicians to watch by All About Jazz in 2017. Tilo Weber ranks among the most creative young drummers in the scene. Stemeseder is currently based in New York, while the remaining three musicians here live in Berlin. Live on stage, the band performing the material on the new release is called Y-OTIS.

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Aqueduct Ensemble | Improvisations On An Apricot

Aqueduct Ensemble is a collaboration between Ohio (USA) based artist Keith Freund and his neighbour Stu, who is a piano tuner and professional pianist. Their debut album together, “Improvisations On An Apricot” is the second release from label Last Resort.

“It’s been a couple years, but I’ve put together a new record, this time with my neighbor Stu and a few other friends. Stu’s been tuning the piano Linda and I were using for our Lejsovka & Freund and Trouble Books recordings, and I’ve always enjoyed the test scales and vignettes he would run through checking his work. I floated the idea to collaborate on a sortof 70s/80s ECM kinda vibe, and soon started bringing my laptop and a couple microphones over to his house to collect his improvisations and have him add to pieces I had started. Other friends from the neighborhood dropped by to add parts here and there as well.” – 

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Kamaal Williams | The Return

The Return is a natural evolution from the Yussef Kamaal project, mining the influence of visionary jazz but blended with all kinds of texture, sounds and signals from the over-saturated London streets. The Return will be the debut album released on Wu’s new label Black Focus Records, releases May 25, 2018.

Kamaal Williams – Keys, Pete Martin – Bass, MckNasty – Drums, Richard Samuels – Engineer

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DJM Trio | Cave Art Two

DJM trio breathes fierce artistry into grooved out renditions of Solange, Patrice Rushen, Slum Village, Madvillain, Ohbliv and more. It’s upon this precipice that Dominic James Marshall makes his mark, at the helm and on the keys of Cave Art Two – a slate of scintillating digital sounds, spontaneously arranged, etched in wax. The project is a thoughtful and inventive response to a long tradition of musical sampling.

The DJM Trio is led by Dominic James Marshall, an Amsterdam native who is a current member of renowned British nu-jazz and electronic outfit The Cinematic Orchestra. A rising jazz piano star, Marshall was nominated for the Edison International Jazz Award, and the trio earned a coveted set at BBC’s Manchester Jazz Festival, as unanimously selected by a jury including Gilles Peterson, Jamie Cullum and Jez Nelson.

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WVR BVBY | WVR BVBY

WVR BVBY (pronounced WAR BABY) is the next link in the chain to the Melbourne soulful sound that has been developing strongly over the past decade. They create cinematic sounds through roaring horns, synth arpeggiation and a rhythm section that sways from meditative grooves to dramatic, complex rhythmic interplay with tight precision. Recorded at Fitzroy’s Plug Seven Studios, The 8 track LP was inspired by mixture of crate digger culture and 70s production techniques, recorded in one take sessions using direct to tape technology.

The album is the sophomore release of independent label Plug Seven Records, run by Plug Seven Records store and studio owner, Ari Roze. Available on Bandcamp.

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Ill Considered 3

The third album from Ill Considered has been a revelatory part of the journey for its members. While the first album was completely improvised in a two hour session involving all four musicians and no pre-written tunes, the second album was a live gig recorded at The Crypt Jazz Club, London, involving mainly compositions.

A session was booked at the same studio in which Ill Considered’s first album was created, and the four musicians met (this time with Satin Singh on percussion) with a view to recording some pre-written melodies as well as some fresh, improvised material. The band soon realised that although the pre-written tunes were to some degree working nicely, there was no comparison with the vibe, energy, spontaneity and overall freedom of the fully improvised material. There is a musical freedom that this particular combination of musicians needs to express – throwing caution to the wind they create soundscapes, atmospheres, dreamy groove based journeys immediately in the moment, held together by deeply felt musical interaction and the interspersion of hooky bass lines and melodies. Using simple but effective motifs, the band again manage to build from delicate, intimate moments of emotion to screaming climaxes and drum and bass inspired head-bangers.

Available on all formats via Bandcamp.

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Deep Modern Jazz from Japan 1969​-​1984

In the years following the World War Two, Japan developed one of the most insatiable, dynamic and diverse markets for jazz. For a crucial period of little over a decade – from the late 1960s to the early 1980s – Japanese jazz culture progressed at an astonishing rate, producing an extraordinary array of artists, recordings and record labels that created some of the most forward thinking and impressive jazz to be committed to tape. This amazing journey is explored on ‘J Jazz’.

This compilation from BBE uncovers some of the most sought after and rare material from this period and pulls together key artists who shaped the postwar modern jazz scene in Japan. ‘J Jazz’ includes obscure and sought after rarities like the bass-driven power jazz of Koichi Matsukaze’s ‘Earth Mother’, the holy grail rarity of Aizawa Tohru Quartet’s ‘Dead Letter’ and the loping majesty of Takeo Moriyama’s ‘North Wind’.

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The Lightmen | Fancy Pants

Drummer, bandleader and activist Bubbha Thomas had toured America with R&B revues, served as a session musician for Peacock and Back Beat Records, and played straight ahead jazz with legends before the political and social upheaval of the late 1960s led him to a path first charted by Coltrane. “Fancy Pants” is his second LP with his Lightmen band and, like the deep-set, maverick jazz issued by the likes of Tribe and Strata East, is amongst the best of the 1970s jazz underground, a collective voice of resistance to the musical and cultural status quo.

This is the first time that “Fancy Pants” has seen reissue, and it is presented in both the issued stereo and previously unissued mono mixes as a double LP. This reissue was remastered from Bubbha’s original master tapes. Bubbha and his band’s story is told in great detail by Houston music and cultural historian Lance Scott Walker and Now-Again’s Eothen Alapatt, in a booklet that contains dozens of unpublished photographs.

Available now on Rappcats.

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