Not just jazz

A succinct coverage of four boundary pushers, most likely filed under jazz at record stores and online music shops. Four albums that distinctly and assertively generate jazz elements but also combine beats, pieces and flavors from so many corners of the vast musical spectrum in the most exciting and refreshing ways, that it would simply be wrong to label them under one genre tag. A suitable tag would be ‘indefinable’. And besides, does it really matter how we call it?

Not just jazz


Mammal Hands :: Floa (Gondwana)

The trio from Norwich returns with a second album, out on Matthew Halsall‘s always refreshing, talent-revealing, Manchester-based Gondwana imprint. Jazz, electronica, folk, Sufi, shamanic African trance music and more, all blend together elegantly yet powerfully, in the distinctive and most expressive style the trio has developed and presented for the first time on its debut, Animalia. Floa demonstrates this style on new levels of intensity, creativity and dexterity. Watch the lovely video for “Hourglass” on YouTube.


Sarathy Korwar :: Day To Day (Ninja Tune / The Steve Reid Foundation)

Wild, eclectic jazz elements hypnotically merge with traditional folk music of the Sidi community in India (combining East African, Sufi and Indian influences). All is spiced with just the right dose of electronics. A spiritual futuristic listening experience from a talented, skilled percussionist, drummer and producer, backed up by a small and also highly skilled group of players. A wonderful debut album from a new rising creative force.


Nomade Orquestra :: Nomade Orquestra (Far Out)

Based in São Paulo, Brazil, Nomade Orquestra is an electrifying sonic phenomenon, a battery of skilled instrumentalists devoted to playing cinematic, eclectic, groovy psychedelic big band music. Funk, jazz, rock, afrobeat, dub, Middle Eastern and Latin music are woven together cunningly and dynamically. This debut is just a blast of energy and groove; I can only imagine the high levels of electricity in the band’s live shows. A fantastic album to dance to and dive into. Released on London’s colorful Far Out Recordings.


BadBadNotGood :: IV (Innovative Leisure)

Saxophone wizardry, luminous synths, cunning basslines and explosive drumming characterize the highlights on this album. “Speaking Gently” and “Confessions Pt II” (a collaboration with renowned saxophonist Colin Stetson) for instance, burst with groove and inventiveness. This ingenious young quartet from Canada draws influence both from the past and the current and concoct futuristic, addictive mélanges of jazz, soul, rock, funk, hip-hop and electronica.

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