24 November, 2011

No Time Like The Future- Incognito

I still remember being inside of my father's car, travelling without moving direction to the beach, listening to Incognito. The stereo was playing No Time Like The Future, our favorite Incognito album (their seventh work, stronger than its predecessor Beneath The Surface, that is much more smooth). This was like ten years ago, but I never get tired of these recording.

The compositions have as headmaster the acid jazz legend Jean-Paul "Bluey" Maunick (founder of the group, composer and guitarist). Bluey and his team have achieved this time a melting of funky beats, soul vocals, Latin sambas and Moroccan rhythms. Of course all of these spiced with Incognito's traditional electrical acid jazz touch. This combination leads us to a multi-cultural and rhythmic journey to "the future". So, Bluey is not just creating great music, but he is also using al the colors of the palette.

One of the best songs is "Get Into My Groove", where Maysa is the vocalists’ leader. It is about politicians' hypocrisy, excess of affection and lack of understanding of the common man ("Don't shake me by the hand, Pretend to understand, To get into my mind, You got to get into my groove"). It is a vey funky tune that has a highly effective orchestration and a vocal that draws a melody born to be loved, so that the notes remain traced on our mind.

"Marrakech", the track that I most like, is the fourth in the tracklist. I understand it as a kind of dream through the streets of that exotic city that is Marrakech. When you listen to this piece you can feel the ethnic sounds evolving you, combining funk melodies with oriental influences. Nextly, we have a mix of bossa nova and Tibetan chants, "Fearless", the typical Incognito's instrumental groove.

The star and more famous song of the album is "Nights over Egypt", a cover of the Jones Girls one (that was written by Dexter Wansel!). A successful use of house bases and the string section makes this tune a funky cocktail that should explode in flames in every dance floor.

Definitely, No Time Like The Future is a masterpiece: stimulant, energetic and inspirational. It is engaging and relaxing at the same time. Highly recommended!

20 November, 2011

Playlist- Jazz Moods 3

I have already published my new playlist. Jazz Moods 3 comes charged with jazz, blues, bossa nova, acid jazz and enough groove to keep in the good mood all this week.

Featuring artists: Charlie Parker, Stan Getz, Joao Gilberto, Eumir Deodato, Tom Scott, John Coltrane, United Future Organization, Clark Terry, Bob James, Donald Byrd, Alphonse Mouzon, Michael Camilo, Al Jarreau, Bobby Shad, Chuck Mangione, Miles Davis, George Benson, Oscar Peterson, US3, Brooklyn Funk Essentials, Teddy Pendergrass and Jamiroquai!

19 November, 2011


The 24 January of 2010 a new band was born. That day DotFunk performed their first gig at the London Jazz Cafe.

The band is formed by the most funky musicians and vocalists of the UK (as described by the Jazz Cafe critic); coming from the Acid Jazz groups: Jamiroquai, Incognito and Brand New Heavies. 

In my opinion, they are more than good enough to go far away from just doing concerts. Sounding so good, I think you would agree with me: they should take the plunge and release an album right now.


Rob Harris- guitar
Paul Turner- bass
Derrick McKenzie- drums
Dan Pearce- vocals & perc
Michelle John- vocals
Matt Steele- keys

17 November, 2011

Friends- Chick Corea

Friends was released on 1978. This was a very intense year for Corea because he recorded most of his best works as a leader (Secret Agent, The Mad Hatter and Delphi I: Solo Piano Improvisations). Also he released that year the live collaboration with Herbie Hancock (An evening with Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea: In Concert). 

It is in some way a continuity of My Spanish Heart (released 2 years before), because in Friends electric and acoustic sounds coexist. Proof of this is that Corea plays sometimes a Steinway Acoustic Grand Piano and other times a Fender Rhodes; but he puts away his usual synthesizers. 

This fact and the melodic writing of the pieces that compose the album make it unique and basic for the bookshelf of any Corea fan. Musicians playing it have enough freedom to improvise; this denotes Chick's brilliant qualities as a leader. 

The result are hard swing recordings where Eddie Gomez really nails it on the bass providing rich and full sounds (with tremendous solos like the one in "Samba Song"), Farrell performing great flute jams and Gadd supplying constant creativity flows. The song named as the album, "Friends", is the one that best condenses all these features; one of those tunes that can cheer you up at any moment.

An interesting note is that the album cover (so criticised by many jazz aficionados) was designed by Chick himself. I do not know what American people have against the smurfs; I just think that they are funny.

Have a happy listening!

Chick Corea: piano
Eddie Gomez: contrabajo. 
Steve Gadd: percusión. 
Joe Farrell: flauta. 

Live & Rare- Chet Baker

The first thing I thought when I discovered this recopilatory was that it may had the ugliest cover I have ever seen. Why a trumpeter and singer album art has a sax inside a kind of Martini glass? Is this a joke? For this reason I have not uploaded the cover, so that it does not scare you away.

Chet Baker Live & Rare is a very achieved compilation of fifteen Chet's recordings in many concerts and with the collaboration of various artists (released this year). Between those we it has to be highlighted one of my favorite drummers, Alphonse Mouzon, that plays along with Chet two pieces: "Blue 'N Boogie" and "Lady Bird".


15 November, 2011

A Message To Our Politicians

"It ain't what it seems when it's a single sided system". That is what my favorite artist, Jay Kay (Jamiroquai's leader) sings in the conclusion of this piece. 

The tune I want you to listen today it is called Scam. It is part of the album The Return Of The Space Cowboy that maybe is the second album that I most like of the band.

Released in 1994, Jamiroquai's lyrics where still committed to safe environment and to promote their political ideas. Here, in "Scam" they express their dissatisfaction with their contemporary politicians as much as ever. This song is about politicians who do not keep their promises, who abuse of their power, who are corrupt. And as the British group states, this makes you "have to be a schemer if you wanna love the life you have to live".

People, please check the lyrics if you do not understand English quite well because it is worthwhile.

This is a message for all politicians, specially the Spanish ones. In five days we are having general elections, and I suppose that many Spaniards are feeling like Jay.

Listen, take a while and think about it.

13 November, 2011

Playlist- Jazz Moods 2

This week new playlist is now available at Spotify for you.
In a similar way to the last week one, the groove starts with some Fusion classics as Miles Davis, Return To Forever, Dave Grusin or Pat Metheny. The thing gets acid with Incognito and Jamiroquai, to finally fall in funkier tunes from Gil-Scott Heron, Barry White and Level 42.



12 November, 2011

The Crossing- Eumir Deodato (2011)

The Crossing, Deodato's last work has been recorded with the collaboration of great artists: Al Jarreau, Billy Cobham, John Tropea, the Italian Novecento, Londonbeat, Airto Moreira and Paco Sery.
The album tracks are combination of funk and smooth Latin bossa. In my opinion, even that Deodato has surrounded itself by Jazz Fusion geniuses like Cobham, Airto or Tropea; the result has been a compilation of maybe too Smooth tunes, but also very lively and some of great quality.
"Double face" is the star track, the one released first as a single. The melody is opened with Jarreau’s usual vocal jams. The chorus (“Double feature/Double creature/That will teach ya… Double do ya/ Double fool ya/Hallelujah”) has been strongly criticized for its simplicity; although it has to be said that it's pretty catchy. Eumir, for its part, dazzles us with his two piano solos, both very rhythmic. It reminds me to that kind of 80’s disco tunes; a song obviously composed to be danced.
Much better is the collaboration with Jarreau and Novecento: “I want you more”. Here, Dora Nicolosi sings with a seductive and warm voice. A perfect melody for driving at night under the street lights...
Another good piece to pay attention in this album is “Summertime” (versioned from the one composed by George Gershwin for the opera Porgy and Bess), where Tropea finally really shows off his guitar skills in a pure Santana style.

Note: Pay attention to the blog tomorrow because I’ll upload this week playlist! Sorry for this six-day gap without posting anything, it has been a busy week. 
Funk da world!

06 November, 2011

Playlist- Jazz Moods 1

Thanks to the requests from some followers I have uploaded a new playlist. I hope to do so every week. 

In Jazz Moods 1 I have included classic tunes as "Moanin' " of Art Blakey, or "Half and Half" of The Jazz Crusaders (before they went Fusion). As the playlist develops you will find songs by Marcus Miller, Stanley Clarke, Chick Corea and other Jazz Fusion geniuses. The conclusion is reached with Al Jarreau, Incognito and Jamiroquai, to finally come back again to the early Jazz Crusaders.

Jazz Moods 1 (open in Spotify)

Hope you like it people!

04 November, 2011

Happy 70th Birthday Celebration Chick!

As you may know, this month of November takes place the 70th anniversary celebration of Chick "the chameleon" Corea in the Blue Note Club (NY). He will perform from the 1st to the 27th with its different bands (Return To Forever, the Elektric Band, a tribute to his Miles Davis days with Jack DeJohnette, in duo with Bobby McFerrin, and more).

Chick is well known for his work during the 70's developing the genre of jazz fusion with its band Return To Forever. In the 1960's, he participated in the birth of this movement as a member of Miles Davis's band (along with other pianists like Herbie Hancock).

Since the 80s he has continued his collaborations with other musicians such as Gary Burton, Herbie Hancock and Keith Jarret. In fact, his playing is in some ways similar to Hancock, but Chick has his own and distinctive style.

For this special occasion I want you to listen to probably my Chick's favorite piece: "Sometime Ago/ La Fiesta".

Return To Forever actual members are Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Lenny White, Frank Gambale and violinist Jean-Luc Ponty. But when they created "Sometime Ago/ La Fiesta" (in 1972) the band was made up by Corea, Clarke, Flora Purim, Joe Farrell and Airto Moreira.

This is one of the best Jazz Fusion compositions; where Flora's sweet and smooth voice fits perfectly with Corea's piano in a kind of telepathic connection. On its part, Farrell is particularly inspired on flute and soprano sax in this hypnotic 23-minute travel. Corea, Clarke and Farrel test their skills responding to one another for long passages. About Airto, besides he is a very talented percussionist, he stays in a more secondary level in this song.

Have a good enjoyment. I am sure my friend Bernard the enjoyer will do so.

Part 1

Part 2

03 November, 2011

Poquito Spanish, Poquito Funk- George Benson

Let's listen to this fantastic piece from the album Standing Together by George Benson.

"Poquito Spanish, Poquito Funk" is a kind of latin and funk jazzy tune. This is the class of smooth jazz I like to listen to.

A curious note it is that the base of the song it's equal to Deodato's "San Juan Sunset" of his famous album Love Island (released 20 years earlier).

Just press play and relax.

02 November, 2011

The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions- Miles Davis

"I made six studio dates with this group in four years," he says. "And there were some live recordings that I guess Columbia will release when they think they can make the most money; probably after I'm dead." - Miles Davis.

The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions collects all tracks Davis recorded between August 19, 1969 and February 6, 1970. They are many pieces that have anything to do with the original double album Bitches Brew of 1970 because they were not part of the same sessions of the album recording. Bob Belden, the re-issue producer, said that according to him these songs had similar line-ups to Bitches Brew ones and the same emphasis on keyboards. But it is obvious that it is just another release of the original album plus more songs with the unique aim of selling it once again.

Even after the release of this four-disc box set, Columbia records re-released other two editions of Bitches Brew (both with live sessions and one with a DVD live at Copenhagen). Why all this importance is given to the album?

The reason is that it is one of the jazz history greatest albums. This is because it marked a before and an after in jazz music; a turning point in modern jazz. The compilation not only is the progenitor of the jazz-rock genre, but it was the launch pad for the jazz fusion (which would come nine months later with In a Silent Way). 

Perhaps the biggest innovation is in the rhythm. Miles makes the design of the rhythm section as if it were a rock group; he gives them a central role in the joint activities, offering them time enough for their solos. 

At the same time that he developed his trumpet echo, Davis started working with electric keyboards and electric guitar and added new percussion ingredients. All of these changes where also influence by the artists which he started to listen to and become fan of, that were Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, and Sly Stone.

Lastly but not least, another spirit added to the cocktail of innovation that is Bitches Brew was the idea of stitching together pieces into a new whole. A radical practice that had never been made before in a genre that was characterized by the art of improvising. This is the case of the tracks "Pharaoh’s Dance" and "Bitches Brew" that were not single lengthy jams or compositions, but fragments of them that Teo Macero (producer) and Miles assembled and edited together.


Miles Davis - Trumpet, Vocals
Don Alias - Percussion, Conga, Drums
Khalil Balakrishna - Sitar
Harvey Brooks - Bass, Electric bass
Ron Carter - Bass
Billy Cobham - Drums, Triangle
Chick Corea - Electric piano
Jack DeJohnette - Drums
Steve Grossman - Soprano saxophone
Herbie Hancock - Electric piano
Dave Holland - Bass, Electric bass
Bennie Maupin - Bass clarinet
John McLaughlin - Guitar
Airto Moreira - Berimbau, Cuíca, Percussion
Bihari Sharma - Tabla, Tamboura
Wayne Shorter - Soprano saxophone
Juma Santos (Jim Riley) - Conga, Shaker
Lenny White - Drums
Larry Young - Organ, Celeste, Electric piano
Joe Zawinul - Electric piano