September 19, 2012
The Souljazz Orchestra | Solidarity
Now in their tenth year together, Ottawa's Souljazz Orchestra's fifth full-length cements them as one of the finest Afro-Latin-Caribbean ensembles anywhere in the world.Their Rising Sun album was one of my favorites of 2010 – believe it or not, this one is even better. Souljazz’s earliest recordings emphasized their take on Afrobeat; since then, the band’s musical horizons have continuously expanded. On this album, not only do you get Afrobeat (tracks 1 and 6) – there’s roots reggae (5, 8), a Latin salsa-funk hybrid in the manner of Grupo Fantasma (4), a swinging Carlinhos Brown-influenced Brazilian track (3), a fabulous Budos Band soundalike (7) and even some French Caribbean biguine (9). Capping it all off are two covers of Senegal’s remarkable Orchestra Baobab: their salsa Senegalaise classic “Nijaay” (10) and “Keten Ati Leen” (2), a unique Baobab take on Afro-funk that’s one of the most remarkable songs in that legendary band’s catalog. The vintage instruments and low-fi, pleasantly overdriven recording are an homage to the 1970’s, but make no mistake – this band is anchored in the present and is making some of 2012’s very finest music.
TOP TRACKS: 2 4 5 6 7
ALSO RECOMMENDED: 1 3 8 9 10