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 New Release Round-up, Jazz New Release Round-Up - 9th August 2019

After a few quiet weeks it's been nice to listen to some strong new releases, with something that should appeal to everyone. First of all we've got catchy Latin jazz with Bill O’Connell, and then sleazy retro R&B from Hearing Things, after which we head towards Scandinavia for moody Norwegian electo-acoustic improv from Mats Eilertsen, a meeting of Swedish folk music and jazz from Meta Roos, and finally an enjoyably uncomplicated set from the Martin Brandqvist Quartet.

Bill O'Connell and The Afro Caribbean Ensemble

Bill O’Connell has been part of New York’s Latin jazz scene ever since joining Mongo Santamaria's band in the mid-seventies, and this is the first opportunity to hear his brand new Afro Caribbean Ensemble. With some tight playing from the likes of Andrea Brachfield, Craig Handy and Ralph Bowen, and with O’Connell’s jubilant piano at the heart of the action, this should excite any salsa fans out there!

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Hearing Things

Remember the craze in the nineties, off the back of Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, for calling anything vaguely kitsch and fifties retro as 'mondo’? Well that term could certainly apply here. If you have a soft-spot for Booker T & The MG’s Green Onions then you should try this modern take on down-and-dirty R&B; led by bandleader/saxophonist/composer Matt Bauder, and accompanied by JP Schlegelmilch (organ) and Vinnie Sperrazza (drums), this is good greasy fun that sounds great loud.

Available Format: CD

Mats Eilertsen

If you are drawn to the more experimental sounds coming out of Scandinavia bassist Mats Eilertsen's latest project could well be for you. Featuring some of the best known names in Norwegian jazz, including Arve Henriksen, Eivind Aarset, Geir Sundstøl, Thomas Strønen and Per Oddvar Johansen, this is an immersive experience. The focus is very much on Mats Eilertsen’s bass, with different guests joining him to add texture, and there’s an impressive range of moods and colours throughout the album, and on tracks like Endless a brooding sensibility that would appeal to Radiohead fans.

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC

Meta Roos & Trio X of Sweden

Meta Roos, one of Sweden’s best-loved jazz singers, turn to the folk music of her home country for this interesting album. In 2018 she received the Jan Johansson award, and made this CD as a thank you note, honouring the songs she grew up with. Trio X accompany Meta with some tasteful backing.

Available Format: CD

Martin Brandqvist Quartet

Drummer and composer Martin Brandqvist leads his quartet through a selection of his music, which presents quite an optimistic sound world. Inge Petersson Lindbäck’s saxophone has a crystal-clear quality, Johan Ohlsson’s piano has a spring in its step, and the rhythm section of bassist Mattias Hjorth and Brandqvist on drums are sensistive to the shifting moods. Very easy to like, and within its limited palette there is a keen imagination at work in Brandqvist’s music.

Available Format: CD