On his first jazz date as a leader since 1992, Czechoslovakian bassist and composer Miroslav Vitous comes out of the gate with a host of heavyweights on one of the more lyrically swinging dates in modern jazz. Vitous' engaged, pulsing, and deeply woody tone is featured in the company of John McLaughlin, Jan Garbarek, Chick Corea, and Jack DeJohnette. While the crystalline sound of Manfred Eicher's ECM is everywhere here, as is the open-ended speculative jazz that the label is renowned – and ridiculed for – Vitous offers some startlingly beautiful twists and turns with his ensemble. This is one of those recordings that feels familiar in tone, but is timeless in concept and execution. Universal Syncopations is one of the most gorgeous sounding and toughly played dates of the calendar year.
The early 80's is now a quarter of a century ago! Whilst there have been many 80's compilations we feel now is a good time to release an `edgier', cooler tracklisting highlighting some of the artists and tracks that may not be as familiar, but still defined the times.
The Waterboys, one of the most creative, loved and literate bands of the last four decades, return this summer with their 14th studio album Good Luck, Seeker. Comprising dramatic spoken-word over wild, relentless genre-busting music (is it psychedelic soul? Is it trance? punk?), My Wanderings In The Weary Land might just be the greatest rock’n’roll record ever made – and one that is darkly appropriate to our weird, wired times.
One must give the Moody Blues credit for tenacity and a single-pointed focus. For 37 years they've put forth a startlingly consistent series of themes: optimism, a kind of blind-faith spirituality that the universe is in good hands and that people are by and large decent and kind, and love songs that can be a bit twee, but nonetheless connect when one is in the emotional space to hear them…