Review: The 27th reissue in Jazzman's ongoing "Holy Grail Series" comes courtesy of Infinite Spirit Music, an undeniably obscure, one-off project helmed by pianist, producer and arranger Soji Ade. "Live Without Fear" was recorded in 1979 and tops the "wants list" of many spiritual jazz collectors, thanks largely to the album's superb fusion of African rhythms, soul-flecked jazz workouts, free improvisation and tribal percussion. This first ever CD edition sounds fantastic. It's hard not to fall in love with the heady bongos, rich double bass and snaking saxophone of "Children's Song", the gentle warmth of "Rasta" and the Afro-fired, tribalistic free-jazz experiments of "Ritual" and "Father Spirit, Mother Love".
Solomon Ilori - "Igbesi Aiye (Song Of Praise To God)"
Review: The latest instalment in Jazzman's "Spiritual Jazz" compilation series is something of an epic. It was initially released as two separate double vinyl compilations, but is here brought together on one two CD set. It's epic for a reason, though, as it explores the little known and under-celebrated spiritual gems lurking within Blue Note's vast catalogue. Given the staggeringly high quality throughout, picking a mere handful of highlights is tough. That said, we'd suggest checking the wide-eyed dreaminess of Duke Pearson's ambient-jazz cut "Cristo Redentor", the entrancing African drums of Solomon Ilori's "Igbesi Aiye (Song Of Praise To God)", the gentle breeze of Bobby Hutcherson's "Verse" and the "Rose Rouge" style grooves and heady chants of Eddie Gale's "The Rain".
Review: Between 1988 and 2000, the shadowy crew behind the Strip label put out six volumes of "Las Vegas Grind", a compilation series celebrating sleazy - and usually undeniably obscure - rhythm and blues, rock and roll and novelty lounge records from the 1950s and '60s. Here the series returns thanks to Jazzman, who somehow managed to to track down the digger responsible - and his eccentric record collection. From skewed surf-rock and low-slung rhythm and blues to comedy big band swing, rousing proto-funk and "Rocky Horror Picture Show" style madcap stompers, the album offers a whirlwind romp through some seriously good - and not to mention especially silly - gems rescued from dollar bins, dumpsters and yard sales the World over. Do yourself a favour and check it out.