MILES DONAHUE – THE BUG
A prominent jazz critic called versatile horn savant Miles Donahue “a jazz treasure and a best-kept secret, equally adept on trumpet and saxophones and a composer of grace and originality.” Once you hear Donahue’s work, you won’t disagree with that assessment. He is a world-class player, and an adept arranger, author and educator. His new album, curiously titled The Bug, is an eclectic, glorious celebration of different jazz vernacular, from meticulously arrange funky fusion complete with searing electric guitar, to more traditional, but still exciting jazz settings, from Weather Report to Miles to Mingus and Monk. Through each track, Donahue leads the way with different instrumentation, lending the album a nice variety, and a full spectrum of harmonic sophistication, melody and intimate expression. He is a masterful musician and the genuine article. While intermittency may have prevented him from finding his way into your ears up until now, jazz fans far and wide can and should now rejoice the re-emergence of a classic talent.
S-TONE INC FEATURING TOCO - SUPERBACABA
A great pairing of Schema Records talents here – as the grooves of S-Tone are topped with vocals from Toco – who brings a nice bit of his own Brazilian vibe to the music! "Superbacana" is featured here in both standard and dub versions – both with Toco vocals, and both with this snapping funky style that mixes Fender Rhodes with beats and live percussion! "Zona Norte" has almost an early 80s Brazilian boogie vibe – with some wonderful riffing guitar – and "Zuzu" is a bit more upbeat, but pretty great too – plenty funky, and with a guest appearance from 4 Mare! ~ Dusty Groove
JAMES L’ESTRAUNGE ORCHESTRA – CLOSER / GROOVIN’ YOU
"Closer" is a fantastic groove – wickedly jazzy, and filled with lots of Fender Rhodes and strings – soaring to the skies on a slightly broken rhythm that almost recalls the best London work of a decade before! Yet there's also a stronger soul vibe here too – thanks to the vocals from Ricky Reid, who really seems to be emerging as a major talent in the more righteous side of the spectrum! "Groovin You" is equally jazzy – with a fantastic bassline that bumps and dips over snapping snare drums – topped with some strong solos on tenor, flute, and trumpet! A beautiful track – like some lost jazz dance number from the 70s, but with a more modern sense of rhythm. (Limited to 200 copies!) ~ Dusty Groove