Dizzy Gillespie – Portrait Of Jenny – BBE Music

Listening to Dizzy Gillespie’s music feels like a privilege granted by history. Released back in 1970 by Perception Records it was the artist’s second album that year and for me the better of the two more attuned to fusions of classic Jazz and Latin, than its funkier counterpart. If the opening, Olinga was the albums only track that would be enough as smoky trumpet and haunting piano meander through a night-time of temptation. Simply wonderful. Next, the shuffle igniting Diddy Wa Diddy (Mozambique) sees the player fit neatly into contemporary blends, adopting current influences perfectly. Again it’s the energy contained within the grooves that strike you here, that plus the fabulous percussion and guitar. On, Me ‘n Them Dizzy’s instrument simply soars skyward leaving you breathless, while final number Timet adds a rocky pulse to its sassy swing. I guess you could say it’s all timeless.

Release: February 17
Buy https://bbemusic.bandcamp.com/album/portrait-of-jenny


Masaru Imada Trio + 1 – Planets – BBE Music

Imada’s Bosendorfer piano talks to you. Fluid and flowing, eloquent like a high-class orator. This reissue from 1977 feels as if yesterday has been reborn into tomorrow. Contemporary always. Try, Planets at the beginning. Moods along with tempos lift and fall as the album then progresses packed full of life enhancing sequences, exploring texture and rhythm. Try the closing moments occupying, Sea’s Pasture drifting through shimmering cascades of keys and wonderful double-bass by Kunimitsu Inaba alongside punctuating percussion and drums from Yuji Imamura, Tetsujiro Obara. A perfect afternoon. This new edition also contains up to date sleeve notes by Tony Higgins, plus an interview with Masaru Imada.

Buy https://bbemusic.bandcamp.com/album/planets


Per Husby Septett – Peacemaker – BBE Music

Sometimes nothing else will do. Jazz when played with purposeful ferocity blows away cobwebs recharging moods with a unique air. This release dates back to 1976 yet channels living, breathing history into its rhythms and grooves, perhaps none more so than on the opening number, the fiery horn driven, Au Privave/ Bloomdido. What also proves exceptional here are the lost, quite moments like those informing the breezy melancholy of Novke – the perfect accompaniment to reclining, smoky evenings. The proceeding numbers then seek to explore and capture the contrasts and emotional roller-coaster of those two disciplines with great success. Try the cinematic charges of the heart-warming title track below. Feeling genuinely eloquent Peacemaker remains at ease with itself as you will no doubt here for yourself.

Release: October 21
Buy https://orcd.co/peacemaker https://bbemusic.com/product/per-husby-septett-peacemaker


We Are The Children Of The Sun compiled by Paul Hillery – BBE Music

This is a beautiful listen highlighting perfectly the intrinsic value within music to inspire and to console. Chosen by DJ Paul Hillery this collection drifts aimlessly through hints of Folk to psychedelic impulse while always remaining true to human touch. In a sense it doesn’t get better than the opening number Make Believe by Jim LaMarche, Theresa Moylan and Music Industry Arts but maybe that’s just my thoughts of sunshine inspired ideals. The proceeding songs then offer up a varied selection of breathy horizontal moments to charge the slumber of your own imagination with. Tempos occasionally rise such as on the jazz-funk inflected Phase Dance from Ron Drago and likewise Fear of Flying via Philip John Lewis. Aside from that much introspective melancholy is explored as evidenced by Alex Crispin on his Tim Buckley referencing Effert, so if that ticks boxes for you then you’re in luck with this hot compilation of easy drifting sounds. It feels like the majority sentiments of most titles exist somewhere along the timeline between the late sixties to perhaps the seventies but who knows exactly where and when…

Release: April 15
buy https://orcd.co/childrenofthesun


If Music Presents You Need This: Klinkhamer Records – BBE Music

The thing about Jazz is that it etches something uniquely human into your psyche. It’s about the flood of memory, charged by the ignition of tomorrow, capturing the essence of life that only this music really does so successfully. This collection of numbers from the Netherlands, Klinkhamer Records as selected by owner Michel Veenstra is simply wonderful. Dated around the 1970’s to some point in the 1980’s it is a beautifully curated and carefree appreciation of how the sounds echo so fluently across time. Try Gianni Basso’s eloquent Epitaph for a start. Or Don Jules’ Pules Band fiery Kweenie for seconds. Diversifying the musical style is Oasis Band’s uplifting gem Don’t Let Love, complimented by Eddie Holman’s Holy Ghost both readily fuelling Jazz-Funk and touch of heavenly Disco. Leaving you at the point of intense dialogue via René van Helsdingen’s quick-fire piano in the form of Offshore Sounds.

Release: February 25
buy https://orcd.co/klinkhamer


The Fantastics! – Take A Shot – BBE Music

Listening to Take A Shot feels like a lifetime of experience all rolled into one moment. As if the collection of musicians involved know each other’s language intimately transferring notes and conversations freely. While this follows traditional musical lines it is none the less very enjoyable, life enhancing music perfect for the summer sunshine that captures the essence of live sound. From slower, funkier songs such as the album’s title track to the up-tempo flavours of the delightfully jazzy Oblique all bases are covered, influences explored. Overall it’s also the sense of expertise that dazzles in the process and you get the impression that a wrong note could simply be out of the question.

Release: June 25
Buy https://www.bbemusic.com/downloads/take-a-shot/


Kohsuke Mine – First – BBE Music

I was having one of those awkward days when moments didn’t add up to making much sense. The thought of listening to the twist of Modern Jazz did not seem like the answer or even a remotely helpful proposition given the circumstance. But of course, I did so anyway. Funny then that everything suddenly made sense connecting a mind-field of thoughts to the figurative frenzy of free flowing energy greeting me from Kohsuke Mine’s 1970 release. This latest version in the J Jazz Masterclass Series, curated by Tony Higgins and Mike Peden for BBE Music, testifies to the inherent timeless qualities contained within this abundance of music and I would urge you listen to its rolling, unfolding answers as each skilful player asks the next to respond in kind. Also contained is a 4500 word sleeve note and interview with Kohsuke Mine so all the detail required is here. Again there’s little point in pinpointing certain numbers as this eloquent album merits an entire listen to soak it all up in one listen. Revisiting again.

Release: April 30
buy https://www.bbemusic.com/downloads/first/


Sean Khan – Starchild – BBE Music

Change is in the air. You can sense that as the summer rays begin to intensify and the rumble of double-bass gets jazzy in amongst this shining array of cool, breezy instrumentation. Heidi Vogel’s time honoured vocal adds the seal of taste to the affair as the rhythms pulse and dance through a mist of time which feels very much relevant right now. The words timeless and classic come into view with the sounds providing an easy occasion to get lost in. Kaidi Tatham’s remix then injects a fevered energy into the grooves viewing the song from another, more vigorous, angle.

Release: April 2
Buy / Stream: https://orcd.co/starchild


Shintaro Quintet – Evolution – BBE Music

Sometimes music talks so loud you don’t need the distraction of thinking about it. It just is. Composed and realised by bassist Shintaro Nakamura this collection of heady, heavenly sounds was originally released in 1984, although it feels odd to place it in any given timeframe breathing with as much energy in any decade. Its fiery combination of fast and slow, contemplative and fiercely independent sees the swirl of uneasy tension replicate the highs and lows of life in a series of smouldering, smoky notes. Recorded in New York you also get the pulse of that city tapping out its own rhythm via its player’s breathing in the surrounding landscape. Now reissued as a double 45rpm 180g LP (as well as digitally) plus with translated sleeve notes alongside an informative essay and interview with band members by Tony Higgins all basses are covered furthering your expectation of this seventh release in the J Jazz Master Class Series.

Release: January 22
buy / stream https://orcd.co/shintaro


The Fantastics – Pyramid – BBE Music

The difference between hearing this and the endless regurgitation of technical-house blandly constructed for the dancefloor is quite simply that your mind explodes. Perhaps, Pyramid lulls you into a false sense of security surrounding you as it does with the roll of warm emotional turmoil, exuding a rush of autumnal melody amide those delicate piano strikes and cool blasts of horn feeling like life itself just got better. This sense of music does hark back to history but also provides a self-assured reissuance of the present. The deliciously punchy Oblique follows leaving the hot, bluesy swing of Liquor and Poker to end this revitalising release of sound.

Buy / listen https://orcd.co/pyramid