21 November 2012

Review: Label Love Volume 5 "The Jazz Edition"

Various Artists
The Jazz Edition
[Various Labels]

When is jazz not jazz? When is "not jazz" jazz again? And does it really matter when the music's this intriguing? These are the questions I find myself asking after listening to Label Love Volume 5: The Jazz Edition, put together by a collective of independent record labels (check out the links at the bottom of this review) who have been quietly releasing a fabulously free series of compilations for a minute now. Yep, five free compilations of new, exclusive and/or previously unreleased forward-thinking music from some of the hottest acts on the planet. Volume 5 narrows its' focus to the much-maligned genre of jazz, which some say died when its' key players from the '40s and '50s passed; this selection alone illustrates that's a viewpoint politely described as "misguided". Featuring the likes of Nostalgia 77, Kit Downes Trio, Matthew Halsall, The Greg Foat Group, Examples Of Twelve and many more, this comp highlights some of the most beautiful, enthralling and exciting jazz music around, as well as pushing a few boundaries: album opener The Chosen, by Menagerie (otherwise known as Bamboos bandleader Lance Ferguson) leans heavily on the soul-funk side of jazz, while Troyka go waaaaayyy out on the abstract Rarebit, and Red Balloon sees Gizmo throwing down a lazy rap over a sparse beat laced with tasty piano grooves. At a time when copious amounts of free music is available over the internet, this is one free download you need to get hip to, you dig?

3 and 1/2 stars from 5


Please take the time to visit the labels involved in putting this project together on the links above, and to download the full album here. Gratis. Nice one.

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