Review: Founded in 2017, Ronin Arkestra is a fusionist jazz/electronica collective from Tokyo founded by broken beat keys-man Mark de Clive-Lowe. Given that the band includes some of the finest players in Japan's contemporary jazz scene - most notably members of Kyoto Jazz Massive, WONK and Sleepwalker - you'd expect this first outing on Albert's Favourites to be rather good. It is, of course, with the band sashaying between dubbed-out soundscape jazz ("Stranger Searching"), sun-bright jazz-funk influenced positivity ("Redeye Reprisal"), loose-limbed, semi-improvised intensity ("The Silk Road Prelude") and, most notably, an awe-inspiring 21st century re-imagining of John Coltrane classic "A Love Supreme".
Nuit Douce (feat Jacob Desvarieux & Patrice Caratini) (3:56)
Bossa De La Plage (feat Alain Jean-Marie & Vincent Segal) (3:25)
Ballade A Ilet Perou (feat Alain Jean-Marie & Vincent Segal) (3:51)
Papa Yaya (4:21)
Kalypso Ka (feat Anthony Joseph) (3:39)
Oui Ce Vous (4:16)
Anty Kaz La (feat Alain Jean-Marie & Vincent Segal) (4:55)
Dalva (interlude) (1:33)
Missier Woje La (5:10)
Baye La Vwa (feat Dao) (4:37)
Kalypso Ka (feat Anthony Jonseph - version Carnanale - bonus track) (3:39)
Review: French percussionist Roger Raspail has been active on the Parisian scene for decades, releasing his debut album - the CD-only Fanny's Dream - way back in 1997. This belated second set is a deliciously vibrant and internationally minded affair, with the 13 tracks variously touching on Afro-cuban grooves, jazz-funk, zouk, calypso, tango, samba and hard-to-pigeonhole musical fusions. A range of guest vocalists swing by to lend a hand, while Rapsail's brilliant drum work - which encompasses all manner of different percussion instruments - providing the glue that holds everything together. While there are a few deeper moments, for the most part Dalva is a joyous celebration of global rhythms.
Review: Way back in 1976, now legendary U.S jazz drummer Steve Reid and his band, The Legendary Master Brotherhood, headed into Studio WE in NYC to record what would become "Nova" - a near-legendary debut album that has since become a cult classic. Featuring a mix of punchy free jazz and free funk, the set is still regarded by many jazz-heads as Reid's defining work. Here it gets a fresh reissue on limited orange vinyl, with Soul Jazz Records doing their usual bang-up job on the mastering and packaging. There's much to admire throughout, from the fizzing dueling trumpet and sax solos of breezy opener "Nova", to the spiraling spiritual jazz intensity of "Free Spirits - Unknown" and the free-jazz epic "Sixth House".
Review: A bonafide masterpiece; Minnie's first album post-Rotary Connection should need little introduction. A cult hit in 1970, a global smash when re-released in 74, Come To My Garden hasn't enjoyed a reissue for over 10 years. Her first pure soul and jazz album, this was the album where the world truly understood Ripperton's incredible range and tenderness. Powered by the breath-taking orchestration and song writing of Charles Stepney and her husband Richard Rudolph, everything about this album stands the test of time from the dreamy pastoral haze of "Close Your Eyes" or the delicate harmonies and nightingale rush of "Expecting" via the untouchable "Les Fleur". Immaculate music history.