I can’t remember how I got to know about Metropolitan Jazz Affair, but their debut album (album link: Mja have been on my shopping list for few months. The album is a really nice and clever fusion of electronic jazz and soul that leans more towards jazz than soul. The album has clearly gotten it’s inspirations from 60’s-70’s Soul Jazz. The sound is contemporary, the production is excellent and the material is strong. Feel that the album has quite a lot common with Chasin' the Jazz Gone By, although the sound of MJA is definitely more contemporary. A Great album that you really should give a try if like electronic jazz and especially if you happen to like Five Corners Quintet and are not afraid to try something similar with slightly more modern and electric sound.
The Cinematic Orchestra has been on my last.fm recommendations list for ages. I’ve only been able to hear some random tracks from them on last.fm radio or some of those stupid 30 second samples that are available in online stores, so it has been hard to form an opinion on them. I finally decided to buy Motion, which (according to fellow last.fm users) seemed to be the most popular album from the group. And what a great album it is! Dark, smoky, cinematic jazz with great bass lines and horns. A really great album, which suffers from only one minor flaw; as good track as Channel 1 Suite is, it does not fit very well on the album. I will definitely look for other albums by The Cinematic Orchestra, but this debut is so good that I’m already prepared to be disappointed by them. I hope this will not be the case...
Other great purchases during the last couple of weeks include:
The Great Western. I must say that my expectations were not high when I originally heard that James Dean Bradfield was doing a solo album. (Nothing against JDB and I do like the Manics, but solo albums of lead singers typically seem to be… well, crappy.) I was somewhat surprised when the album seemed to get very good reviews everywhere and decided to buy it. Vocals sound like JDB, the songs are big, strong, smooth, melodic and ready to be performed live on big stadium in front of thousands of fans. Verdict: It is a really good album! Really good! Really!
Nothing Changes Under the Sun. Blue States has popped up in my recommendations radio a couple of times and each time they have gotten my attention and made me to take a look at the last.fm player and check who the artist is. So finally I decided to look them up and bought the album that happened to be the most popular among last.fm users. That’s how I ended up buying the album. Smooth, calm, ambient and uplifting. Some of the tracks are frighteningly mediocre and not that memorable, but then some of the tracks are simply amazing and could be considered to be masterpieces of the genre (e.g. Your Girl, Diamente, Walkabout. Other albums by the band will definitely be on my shopping list. Verdict: Quite a good chillout album that might take a little time to grow on you.
BTW, my initial impression on Jazzanova’s latest Blue Note Trip was that I was slightly disappointed. After couple of more times listening through the album, I must revise my opinion on it. Sure, Blue Note Trip – Scrambled/Mashed is much more versatile than the first Blue Note Trip by Jazzanova, which means that it probably takes a little more time to get into (at least that was the case for me). But in the end, despite of what I wrote in the previous journal entry, it’s a really good album and definitely worth the purchase.