JAZZANOVA explore an emerging scene of club Jazz music with their latest compilation Neujazz featuring the stars of this new movement. All of the tracks on this CD are made by artists who have managed to bring jazz music into the club scene, rocking capacity audiences and winning fans all over the world. For those of you who ask yourselves whatever happened to that much hyped genre that emerged as the big cool thing in the late 90s “nujazz”, just like “post rock”, the term never really had any relevance – innovation is a natural development in the evolution of any music and the DJs and musicians who earned the title nujazz never lost their love for this sound. Indeed, they have kept on producing, evolving and playing their own style of music in the only way they see fit so that today the jazz scene is stronger in clubs than it ever was. What is interesting with JAZZANOVA’s latest Neujazz compilation is that many of the artists included are releasing labels with DJ background and their music have been played in clubs since a long time from vinyls.
This paved the way for those musicians to play live in these clubs all around the world. However all of the tunes in this compilation still work really well in a DJ-set and are sure to get people moving. The Neujazz compilation gets of to a fine start with Munich born CHRISTIAN PROMMER – one of the finest producers and DJs in the German club music scene and far beyond. As a member of FAUNA FLASH (with ROLAND APPEL), TRÜBY TRIO (with RAINER TRÜBY and ROLAND APPEL) as well as VOOM:VOOM (together with PETER KRUDER and ROLAND APPEL) he is responsible for a multitude of album productions, 12inches and remixes which have often challenged the traditional borders between genres and even established and defined new genres. With releases on Compost Records and !K7 as well as countless DJ gigs throughout the world, CHRISTIAN PROMMER has undoubtedly built up a reputation which makes his name a constant mark of quality both in music and production technology. The releases of his new project CHRISTIAN PROMMER’s DRUMLESSON already made great furore in 2007. Covering dance classics like DERRICK CARTER’s Strings Of Life and Beau Mot Plage by ISOLÉE with a jazz quartet was only the beginning. The story continues, on this compilation it is the amazing interpretaition of DJ GREGORY’s Elle.
Following this opener from a regular member of the Sonar crew we are now introduced to a new duo who are a recent addition to the Kollektiv. TWO BANKS OF FOUR are DILLIP HARRIS and ROBERT GALLAGHER. A production duo from London who have been remixed by HERBERT and DERRICK CARTER. Queen Of Crows is a carefree number with rolling rhythms and glorious vocals. 2BO4 have had two previous albums, Three Street Worlds and City Watching, and their, as yet untitled, 3rd album is due for release on Sonar Kollektiv in April 2008. When listening to the Helsinki based sextet DALINDEO one’s mind might easily drift in the eternally cool world of, say ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM and JOHN BARRY. There are the bossa nova elements; mellow guitar, airy strings and most importantly the strong melodies that you want to whistle to. There’s also a certain cinematic quality and you might almost picture the scene in a sixties film. DALINDEO’s aim is to bring back the freshness, lightness, beautiful compositions and rhythmic textures of the era and combine it with a modern approach. And this is where the producer TUOMAS KALLIO steps in. KALLIO, well known and highly respected man behind THE FIVE CORNERS QUINTET (who unfortunately had to be left out of this CD) and NUSPIRIT HELSINKI, has been involved with the band ever since their first release and has been a big influence in shaping the sextet’s sound. DALINDEO’s debut album Open Scenes came out earlier this year on Ricky Tick records and their tune Solifer Lento is truly groovy stuff. SLEEP WALKER are a Japanese avant-garde jazz comprising. They have had releases on Compost and BBE as well as two full length albums on Especial Records. Their tune Wind featuring YUKIMI NAGANO on vocals has some serious ivory tinkling by HAJIME YOSHIZAWA (who also features later on the CD with a solo production). This is a real dance number just right for playing out in clubs. The original of MICHAEL WHITE’s Blessing Song was picked by GILLES PETERSON for Pure Fire! A Gilles Peterson Collection on Impulse! and the SHIRLEY EUBANKS ENSEMBLE’s version first came out as a 12″ on Freestyle Records. SHIRLEY EUBANKS version is so funky you’ll not be able to sit still listening to it. BUILD AN ARK actually also did a proper spiritual jazz cover of Blessing Song on their Kindred Spirit album, Peace With Every Step. BUILD AN ARK is a Los Angeles based creative music ensemble that was formed as an immediate peace action. During the hysteria after the events of 9/11/2001 the band came together to promote calm and peace in the world. The band is lead by producer CARLOS NINO and vocalist DWIGHT TRIBLE and includes members such as (Tribe Records founder) PHIL RANELIN, NATE MORGAN, ADAM RUDOLPH, (co-founder of THE PHAROAHS) DERF REKLAW, and many more. They have had releases on Kindred Spirits, Plug Research, Soul Jazz, Compost, Talkin’ Loud and Ninja Tunes. SOULSTANCE aka brothers ENZO and LO GRECO have achieved considerable success with their band thanks to the customary, original and exciting blend of Nu Jazz, bossa, and lounge, which they have written and produced in many albums and compilations. Starting from their latest success obtained from the artistic production of the song This is what you are sung by MARIO BIONDI, a chart-topping artist in Italy and Europe, the LO GRECO brothers, are considered the inventors of nu jazz and they really do Lead The Way forward with their contribution to JAZZANOVAs Neujazz compilation. HIPNOSIS, like many of the bands on this CD, represent a band who very much came up through playing in clubs where people were happy to hear something new and different. Carrousel by HIPNOSIS is the lead track from their 2005 album of the same name on Munich based label Perfect Toy Records. MERIT OSTERMANN delivers a sumptuous vocal performance on this track – her powerful voice will really whisk you away on a journey through this glorious sound. Track number 9 on this fresh compilation is appropriately enough entitled Last Nine Days. It is by Japanese jazz band QUASIMODE who’s latest album The Land Of Freedom is also coming out on Sonar Kollektiv in 2008 (SK177CD/jazz club). Last Nine Days is a romantic ballad ideal for dancing in the moonlight. From QUASIMODE we come to their countryman HAJIME whose track Waltz For Jason originally appeared on the Music From The Edge Of The Universe 12″ on Especial Records, the vinyl only label run by the KYOTO JAZZ MASSIVE. This 2 BANKS OF 4 remix brings a nice twist of sampled electronica to the tune. The inclusion of three Japanese bands on this compilation shows what a strong jazz scene there is in Japan at the moment. All these bands (and more upcoming acts from the Tokyo jazz scene such as NATIVE and the SOIL&PIMP sessions) can be heard at THE ROOM club in Tokyo which is run by DJ SHUYA OKINO from the KYOTO JAZZ MASSIVE. This is where bands like SLEEP WALKER and QUASIMODE, for example, can be seen swinging their thing on a regular basis. Although they’re considered new artists, FERTILE GROUND have 7 years, countless performances, and dozens of recordings to their credit. They’re already on their 4th full-length album. Simple, Timeless by FERTILE GROUND is taken from their 2006 contribution to the CHICO HAMILTON tribute on Blackout. This song is truly simply timeless music, ideal for chillin’ – you can just lose yourself in those horn crescendos and the warmth of NAVASHA DAYA’s voice. Sea Shanty by the MAX GRUNHARD QUINTET is a sublime laid back number originally released in 2007 as a 12″ on Impossible Ark Records in Brighton, England. MAX GRUNHARD is an Australian saxophonist and composer based in London. He has also just had a new album, Vortex, on Impossible Ark and if you dig Sea Shanty be sure and check out the long player too – it was recorded at the Vortex jazz club in London, hence the title. JAZZANOVA originally composed & recorded That Night in 2002 together with VIKTER DUPLAIX during the sessions for their first album In-Between. For the recording of the Belle et Fou score (SK111CD), they decided to do a new version of the song. Finally, the 6/8 version found its way to the show and with CLARA HILL’s lovely vocal interpretation on top was included on the Belle et Fou album, which was released in winter 2006/07. When BEMBE SEGUE (who also sings for 4HERO who also sings for 4HERO and worked with AMP FIDDLER and BUGZ IN THE ATTIC) came to JAZZANOVA’s studio to record a new track for their new album, they played the faster 4/4 instrumental version to her. She really liked the idea to do a more fiery and energetic version of the song. And so the third That Night interpretation was born. This fantastic compilation comes to a close with Scribbled Paper by LITTLE DRAGON whose track Twice appeared on the Secret Love 4 compilation in 2007 (SK160CD/folkwaves). Scribbled Paper is the perfect closing number to Neujazz. It’s a brooding contemplative piece, a laid back track which tactfully uses mellow brushes, double bass and other-worldly synth sounds that will make you shiver. Neujazz reflects the state of the art in contemporary jazz. Each track is carefully selected and compiled by the JAZZANOVA A+R team at Sonar Kollektiv. Just as they can rock any club when it comes to their turn to DJ, JAZZANOVA are masters in the art of putting together a functional compilation. Its all about flow and timing and they have hit the nail on the head with their latest compilation. With this CD on Sonar Kollektiv, which celebrated 10 years anniversary in 2007, JAZZANOVA prove that “nujazz” didn’t stop being played just because a new buzzword came along. On the contrary, in 2008 the (new)jazz scene is thriving around the world, in the clubs and on the airwaves, and the Neujazz compilation is a taster of some of the best stuff out there. Of course, there is not enough space on one CD to include everything JAZZANOVA would have liked to, “it would have been nice to include tracks by NICOLA CONTE and KOOP as well”, JUERGEN VON KNOBLAUCH (JAZZANOVA) explains. But the tunes contained on the compilation are reflective of some of the most happening sounds available at the moment and are certainly a sign that the jazz community is thriving and has bridged the gap into the club world again.
“some of the best tracks of recent times”
“a pleasing mix of traditional jazz arrangements against the definite thump of broken dance beats”
Out Of Hand –
“for devotees of cutting-edge contemporary jazz”
Record Collector –