of Acid Jazz Ė Cool Chillouts
jazz? I love acid jazz or at least I think I do because thereís
no undisputed definition of it. We
all know what we mean Ė Incognito, Brand New Heavies, James Taylor
Quartet, live drums, horns, rambunctious bass lines, a latin touch,
60ís organ sounds and funk.
Fearsomely trendy and yet respectful of tradition.
Hans-Bernd Huelsmann, owner of this site, has gone to great
lengths to chase that elusive definition in his essay A Journey Into
Smooth Acid Jazz.
acid jazz? OK, I love
smooth jazz (youíll already have worked that one outÖ) and I just
waved my acid jazz flag so I was excited to get this gorgeous 2-CD set
in my mail.
me talk about the package for a second because if youíre buying it,
youíre in for a treat on several levels.
The image here does not represent what you get, by the wayÖ This is a proper double CD box in a glossy and textured
slipcase. Itís got
subtle artwork and gold lettering.
Acid jazz comes of age. The
booklet is just as classy with its walnut wood print and sparse
layout. Even the discs
are gold lacquered on both the label and playing sides.
whatís the music going to sound like?
There are 32 tracks to hear so Iíll concentrate on a sample.
Pour a nice drinkÖ
Beaujolais Bandís mellow latin take on the classic Ainít No
Sunshine has a lovely feel with gentle piano, vibes, percussion
and a lovely rolling bassline. In
contrast, Spinning Wheel as performed by the New Jersey Kings
has sassy James Brown-style brass and once that Hammond B3 organ
starts to burn, this becomes truly frantic and I canít help
Heavy Vibes is, if anything, even more satisfying than the
heavenly Vince Montana original from the mid-80ís.
It has great Incognito-style crisp drums, punchy bass and
sparse vocal. With its
muted trumpet itís just the bomb!!
Itís my definition of acid jazz and I could listen to it all
night. On Come
Together, the Apostles serve up a more urban beat with a trademark
snapping snare sound. The
rap is tight and that rhythm guitar work is neat, neat, neat.
is also featured on Orient Boysí Sim Ting and this is an
irresistible dancer with a tough beat, 70ís strings and brass
samples to die for. Iíve
heard the horn riffs before but I canít remember where.
Mother Earth lay down a jazzy groove - and an uplifting one -
on Look to the Light. That
organ is interspersed with the spoken text of Max Ehrmannís
all a bit Woodstock Ė hey, Iím hip to that!
Stationís Congalegre is a flashback to the 60ís with its
snazzy horns, lazy vibraphone and handclaps.
The chord changes and immaculate live feel on this track are
like breath to me Ė sublime. A
guitar sound very reminiscent of Larry Carlton openís Mother
Earthís Have a Time. This
has a mellow samba beat before it explodes into a crazy Santana-style
guitar jam where the organ, bass and the drums just go for it.
and Spaceís Time and Space Theme is jazz disco with catchy
hooks and a high-hat that defies you to stand still.
Check out the neat sax, flute and guitar solos too.
Itís old-fashioned but timeless Ė itís upbeat and
infectious and, hey, put the drink down and come and dance!
A big slice of lazy, bass-led funk like Brand New Heavies on
Mac Pacís Sweet Feelings. There is a genuine vocal and this is a real soul record.
Itís warm and California sunny.
Nineís Peace and Love is a nice cool vibe. Itís blessed out with another soul vocal and the mellowest
of backbeats. The mood
gets heavier on Jessica Laurenís Couldnít Take the Missing You.
Ooh, this is beautiful and intense.
A slow, heavy bass and space-y keyboards set the scene for this
smouldering gem. Soulful
and very sexy.
by Emperorís New Clothes is hypnotic and has a haunting Eastern
feel. The sax is very
sparse but itís enough when laid over the lazy drums and warm
acoustic bass riff. Youíd
expect a classy number from the James Taylor Quartet Ė and you
wonít be disappointed. Keep On Moving is a percussion-driven jazz tune with
sweet chant vocals and a bubbling bass.
The understated horn stabs are the finishing touch to this
standout track. For me,
like Heavy Vibes, this typifies the best of light, tight,
funky, smile-making acid jazz.
something for everyone here: touches of latin, funk, disco, real jazz,
rap and there are some tracks where the hip-hop and reggae grooves get
deep (though these arenít among the tracks listed).
Some of the music is cool and some is ďout thereĒ.
Some of the tracks had me wondering ďshould this be on
here?Ē but thatís part of the richness and diversity of acid jazz.
Recording Arts Records (Dejavu
Retro Gold Collection) Ė cat no. R2CD 40-102 Ė Various producers