• Music

    Gunesh – Гунеш

    Gunesh were from Turkmenistan and had one of the greatest drummers and percussionists to ever beat the skins in Rishad Shafi, who passed on a few years ago.  This holds itself admirably compared to western fusion bands.  Worth your time!

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    Opa – Back Home

    Far Out Recordings graces us with yet another vital release out of South America.  This one by Opa is a little treasure out of Uruguay, not exactly known as a hot-spot for jazz fusion (at least not when compared to Brazil or, maybe, Argentina).  This record, shelved for reasons unknown, has finally seen the light of day.  There will be no digital release of the album (only vinyl and CD), but you can hear a slice courtesy of Youtube.

  • Music

    Azymuth – Carnival (Original Full-Length Unedited Mix)

    Brazil’s finest fusion band return with a reworking of their legendary hit! From the promo pack: Celebrating 30 years of Far Out Recordings, Azymuth’s biggest club track from their groundbreaking 1979 album Light As A Feather is reissued on 12” vinyl, in its full length unedited form. When it was originally released, Azymuth’s disco fusion worldwide hit “Jazz Carnival” stayed in the UK top twenty for eight straight weeks. It was used as the theme music for national broadcasts in Italy and even made it onto Top Of The Pops in the UK. Since then the track has become a…

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    Jazz Q – Živí se Diví: Live in Bratislava 1975

    A new label out of Poland called GAD Records has been documenting seminal jazz and jazz-rock albums out of Poland, but now they’re venturing into the former Czechoslovakia with this release.  Jazz Q were a progressive rock band who managed to incorporate blues rock and even a bit of free jazz into their oeuvre.  This album documents them at their peak of their live powers in a 1975 concert held in Bratislavia, now Slovakia’s capital.

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    Amoeba Split – Second Split

    Of all the scenes I’ve always felt was neglected in prog, it was the Canterbury scene.  That sub-genre which gave us Soft Machine, Caravan, National Health, Robert Wyatt and Kevin Ayers is of course big with specialist fans, but as the years have passed, it seems fewer and fewer listeners are hearing that wonderful sound.  Thankfully, there is Amoeba Split, a Canterbury-inspired band who hail from my ancient paternal homeland of Galicia in Northern Spain. The band mix jazz fusion and progressive rock expertly, and the sound is so authentic that I had to remember the release date of this…

  • Music

    Batavia Collective – Propulsion

    I haven’t had a chance to review anything from Indonesia in some time, so it gives me pleasure to introduce you to a band called the Batavia Collective.  Their sound is a great balance of jazz, fusion and electronica.  One track only, but it’s a solid one.

  • Music

    Grupo Um – Starting Point

    This release is an absolute mindblower of an album, documenting the debut of Grupo Um, one of Brazil’s most adventurous fusion bands.  From their Bandcamp site: “Starting Point was to mark the inception of one of Brazil’s most daring instrumental groups. Their debut now sits in the lofty echelon of otherworldly 70s Brazilian music, alongside the likes of Marcos Resende & Index’s self-titled debut, Cesar Mariano & Cia’s Sao Paulo Brasil, Azymuth’s debut and indeed Hermeto Pascoal’s Viajando Com O Som. But just like all of those titles, which were either shelved or largely ignored at the time, Grupo Um…

  • Music

    Mariana Ingold – Cara A Cara

    Uruguayan vocalist and musician Mariana Ingold has a storied reputation for her albums of children’s songs, environmental work and collaborations with the indigenous communities of her native country, but in 1986, she started recording some rather fine pop music as well.  She mixed candombe music with synthesizers to make a fusion which caught on in the country’s capital, Montevideo.  She is still quite active as a performer, but it’s quite a treat to see some of these recordings see the light of day after several decades of being out-of-print.

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    Denny Zeitlin with George Marsh & Mel Graves – The Name Of This Terrain

    American pianist and psychiatrist Denny Zeitlin has a body of work that is second to none, including winning several jazz awards and scoring films like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but this album was hidden away at Zeitlin’s insistence, which is a shame, as it blends avant-jazz, funk, rock and some works that would feel comfortably familiar to fans of Frank Zappa.  It’s a weird, but rewarding, disc, and it’s such a treat to see that Zeitlin finally relented to its release.

  • Music

    Hermeto Pascoal & Grupo – Só Não Toca Quem Não quer (1987) – Remastered

    Brazil’s finest living export (to my ears, anyway) has been quite active over the past few years, but it’s nice to see some forgotten releases getting some exposure. The personnel on this album plays some wonderfully, uniquely Brazilian fusion. Hermeto Pascoal: Bandola, Piano, Teclados (Keyboard), Flugelhorn, Harmonium, Flauta Baixo (Bass Flute), Craviola, Acordeom (Accordion), Bombardino, Clavinet, Piano CP-80 Jovino Santos Neto: Piano, Flauta (Flute), Piccolo, Harmonium, Piano Rhodes Itiberê Zwarg: Baixo (Bass), Tuba Carlos Malta: Flauta (Flute), Piccolo, Sax Soprano, Sax Tenor, Sax Alto, Sax Baritone Marcio Bahia: Bateria (Drums), Percussão (Percussion) Pernambuco: Percussão (Percussion)