SCRATCHTHEBLOCK PRESENTS: LINES
Jazz music is a chameleon thing , it’s something which transcends the tipical boundaries of genres, it can take various forms so we can talk about: acid-jazz,avant-garde,bepop,bossanova,cooljazz,freejazz,hardbop,jazz-hop,modal jazz,nu-jazz and the list goes on and on.
Well, it’s enough to drive you crazy!
Scratchtheblock.com considers jazz music as an artform able to touch people’s emotions and with da new selection entitled Lines, we want to put you on the path to experimentation and pure pleasure.
Composer,arranger,producer and gifted trumpeter Takuya Kuroda is one of the most interesting contemporary jazz artists. The Brooklyn based musician, earned his stripes with his acclaimed project Rising Son released two years ago under the illustrious banner of Blu Note Records. This year Mr.Kuroda leaps back with a new body of work called Zigzagger,dropped via Concord Music , giving us an intense glimpse into his metamorphic and eclectic sound! Zigzagger is a tapestry of rhythms, a process of experimentation in which the listener can contemplate the harmonious development of a kind of jazz that encompasses afro-beat, laid back funk and neo-soul. We selected the soulquarian-esque cut called Do They Know performed in a masterly manner by musician/songwriter/composer/singer Corey King who had the pleasure to work with big names such as Tre Williams,Esperanza Spalding,Christian Scott,Harvey Mason to name a few.
If you appreciate the amazing Be Free and Please,Rewind by Los Angeles based jazz/soul group Moonchild, we hope you’ll enjoy the outstanding opus called Twines by rising group Relaen. Relaen is an interesting german quartet composed by drummer Leon Raum, bassist Leon Mache, saxophonist Marco Zügner and lead vocalist Olivia Wendlandt. Olivia’s vocals is soft & sweet and float over the flawlessly soothing music finely created by her band. She worked with skilful german beatmaker FloFilz on his last effort called Cenario impressing us with her delectable and retro’ vocal skills. Take your headphones, close the windows,dim the lights,relax your mind and press play in order to experience the sound of Twines.
Texas native musician/composer/producer R.C Williams is a respected name of the music industry and if you look at his prestigious CV , you will find big names such as Geno Young, Raheem DeVaughn,Kirk Franklin,Erykah Badu,N’Dambi,Roy Hargrove,Mos Def,The Roots,Jill Scott and many others. In 2013 he recruited some talented Texas musicians (grammy award winning producer Jah Born Jamal,the genius behind On & On by Erykah Badu, bassist Braylon Lacy,drummer Cleon Edwards,percussionist TaRon Lockett and singer Claudia M. Melton ) to record the well-received album Pay Your Tab which boasted appearances from Raheem DeVaughn, Erykah Badu and uncle Snoop. After a three years hiatus, RC & The Gritz returns with a new project called The Feel , a stunning mix of jazz,hip-hop and r&b music. Taste the soulful Give Me Your Heart.
Put together the shiny voice of Rachel Eckroth and the superb artistry of Jesse Fischer and you can bet the final result will be excellent! The Phoenix-bred and New York-based Rachel Eckroth is a superlative jazz pianist who decided to concentrate on her vocal prowess recording two years ago the album entiled Let Go from which we selected the sublime piece called Future. The song is masterfully handled by Brooklyn-based clever pianist/composer/arranger/producer Jesse Fischer , a super-creative mind who collaborated alongside Anthony Hamilton,Pat Van Dyke,John Robinson among others. The song is a flavorful jazz-dish with dense but subtle undertones of funk.
Mike Zabrin impressed us in 2014 with his fan-tas-tic debut project called Funktastic , a tangible proof of his vivid talent not only as gifted bassist but also as producer equipped with a solid and remarkable mastery. The body of work shines bright through sough-after productions and incredible performances by great names such as Tallahassee native singer/songwriter Kendra Foster (member of D’Angelo group The Vanguard) which dropped in June her self-titled album. Mixing funk,neo-soul elements and jazz , Mr.Zabrin delights our palates with the beyond amazing piece called The Other Side featuring the powerful voice of Kendra Foster.
Jazzy Jeff,Janet Jackson,Boney James,Norman Brown,Vikter Duplaix,Vivian Green,Jimmy Sommers,Jeff Bradshaw,Kindred The Family Soul,George Benson,The Foreign Exchange,Jill Scott,Faith Evans,Mark de Clive-Lowe, Ledisi are only few names that help us to describe the artistic dimension of Philly drummer Lil John Roberts. Yessir, his immeasurable talent and his versatility give you an idea how his musical approach is cross-genre,encompassing r&b,neo-soul, hip-hop and jazz. In 2014 Lil John Roberts hit the scene with the masterpiece entitled The Heartbeat enlisting a plethora of artists like Nicholas Payton,Robert Glasper,spoken word artist Ursula Rucker,Eric Roberson and many others. Well,if you missed The Heartbeat we highly recommend to grab it now and in the meantime listen closely the smooth It’s Your Time featuring jazz performer Chantae Cann (check out her Journey To Golden)and neo-soul crooner Musiq Soulchild (he recently released the last effort called Life On Earth)
2014 was the year of Jarrod Lawson! The Portland-based jazz musician/singer released his debut self-titled album earning positive reviews and flexing amazing musical chops. He offered to the audience incredible jazzy, bluesy, rhythm’n’blues notes all stirred up in one compelling and majestic opus! Like a real craftsman Jarrod created a musically complex project enriched with enticing harmonies & musicality. In 2015 Lawson co-produced the well-appointed album by Tahirah Memory called Pride , proving to be a well-rounded artist. We serve you up the sublime piece called Redemption.
Snarky Puppy, Butcher Brown , Robert Glasper Experiment, BABADNOTGOOD are only few names of interesting band able to intepret the innovation in jazz music efficiently. They’re spreading fresh and impressive music and albums like Black Radio 1/2 , Family Dinner Vol.1,IV,All Purpose Music represent the clear proof of the immeasurable talent and experimental approach. We’d like to recommend y’all to get familiar with U.K ensemble known by the moniker Ezra Collective. The 5-pieces band consists of saxophonist James Mollison,bassist TJ Koleoso,trumpeter Dylan Jones,drummer Femi Koleoso and pianist Joe Armon Jones (also 1/4 of alternative hip-hop collective Sumochief ). Together they recorded a compelling album entitled Chapter 7 , released in April , mixing jazz with hip-hop and nuances of afro-beat. Allow us to introduce to you Ezra Collective sound with the excellent jazz song called I Have A God featuring British jazz singer/songwriter Zara McFarlane which will send tingles up and down your spine!