Thursday, 19 November 2015

'Licence to be Cruel' [Remix EP] by Julia Biel

Capping off what's been a big year for Julia Biel - following the release of her exquisite album 'Love Letters and Other Missiles' - now sees the release of the remix EP 'Licence to be Cruel'.

Taking the already versatile music from the album into wondrous new directions are producers Son Lux, Triptyc, Wu-lu, Yes King and Other Worlds; see below for the EP's full tracklist:
1. Licence To Be Cruel [Son Lux Remix]
2. You Do My Head In [Triptyc Remix]
3. We Watch The Stars [Wu-lu Remix]
4. We Watch The Stars [Yes King Remix] (f/t Soothsayers Horns)
5. Paradise [Other Worlds Remix]
The EP sees official release Friday 20th November, plus limited edition CDs are also on offer so be sure to grab those quickly as well.  The video for the Triptyc remix of 'You Do My Head In' is below for your listening pleasure and check out our super-exclusive interview with Julia from earlier this year.

'Licence to be Cruel' can be purchased from:

Thursday, 12 November 2015

What I'm listening to... (November 2015)

'Where Do We Go From Here' by The Mighty Mocambos featuring Lee Fields
Despite having already released their album 'Showdown' earlier this year, The Mighty Mocambos have just released a new 45 with an exclusive non-album track featuring one of the absolute finest soul artists today, Lee Fields.  The collaboration works potentially as an extension of the group's alter ego project, the Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band, having remixed Lee Fields' 'Just Can't Win' single earlier this year so here's hoping for more from the two factions in time to come...

'Hello' by Joe
The grand return by Adele was marked by 'Hello' - the first single from her upcoming album.  In what's turned out to be an incredibly well-timed and strategic move, Joe opted to record his own version of the song and has made buckets of good vibrations from having done so.  His version is frankly, pretty amazing so check it out for yourself...

'Hotline Bling' by Erykah Badu
We've unintentionally ended up with two covers on this month's edition of WiLt but here's Erykah Badu's version of Drake's 'Hotline Bling'.  If you can make your way through the slew of GIFs, memes and alternate edits related to this video (Napolean Dynamite being my personal favourite) then you might just enjoy this very cool version potentially about to find a home on Badu's upcoming mixtape 'U Can't Use My Phone'...

Thursday, 5 November 2015

"Welcome to.. Me"

This is the second of our interview round-ups with artists we’ve showcased on this site previously.  As with the ‘Our Heroes Heroes’ article, we’ve taken some of the best answers from some of our fav artists when we asked them the following question:

If you were introducing your music to a prospective new fan, which song from your catalogue would you recommend they listen to that best sums up the group?

Jesse Fischer

"I would have to say ‘Digital Savanna’.  Every album has one song that everyone requests, and that’s the song off ‘Retro Future’.  It also happens to be the simplest and the most catchy song off the album, and came to me fully formed, so I would say it’s the least filtered and most successful recording to date. There’s also a great live video that I’m really proud of on YouTube."


"I would probably suggest a song on which we tried to give a new perspective, but still being 100% typically [re:jazz].  So if I had only one try and wouldn't know the person to play it to I would chose our version of ‘Inner City Life’ featuring Jhelisa Anderson, from our second album ‘Point of View’."

Nicole Willis

"Maybe the first song might be ‘Feeling Free’.  It's a dance song so it’s great to start off dancing."

The Baker Brothers 

"I would recommend they listen to ‘Snap Back’ from ‘Time to Testify’ (our latest album) as this song has all the main ingredients of The Baker Brothers: killer horns, riffs and rhythms."

Emma Donovan

"Probably ‘Over Under Away’, it sums up the album for me and I love the arrangement and the way the band makes their grand entrances.  I love that moment in the song, it means a lot to me, doing that bit live I properly have to hold myself together."

The Mighty Sceptres

"Ah now, that's a tricky question as there's a good bit of variety on the album!  Angeline would probably say ‘Sting Like a Bee’ or ‘You're Nothing But a Pack of Cards’, whereas Nick might choose the single, ‘Siren Call’, as it covers most bases – the Jamaican influence combined with the rhythm ’n’ blues element and some swinging soul."

Myron & E

"If I played a song from ‘Broadway’ for someone that has never [heard] anything by us, it would probably be ‘If I Gave You My Love’."

Sy Smith

"Oooh, that's a tough question... perhaps I would play ‘Bruise’ from ‘The Syberspace Social’, because that song really speaks to the heart of who I am... and if someone is to become a fan, I'd want them to know what they're getting into."

The Soul Immigrants

"Blimey, another good question!  I think 'Golden Summer Rays'.  It’s our anthem – full of positive energy.  I wanted to write something really catchy but also say something lyrically.  It's dark times we live in so let the music lift your spirits, gather every man, woman and child and open your heart sunwards, let some light in.  It’s hard to write socially conscious tunes that you can whistle too so I would definitely play this to them with a glowing sense of pride inside!"

Kat Webb

"Hmmm… That's a tough one.  I would have to say either ‘Waver’, ‘Good to Me’ or ‘Can't Stop Thinkin Bout You’.  They include the full band feel that I always strive for, they are really popular among my current listeners, and they show off the deep soul and jazz roots of my background.  I hope everyone enjoys them and picks a favourite!"

Monday, 26 October 2015

"Tony Minvielle Presents Into Something', Vol 1" [Album review]

From one of the UK’s very own foremost purveyors and connoisseurs of fine jazz and soul music, comes ‘Into Something, Volume One’, presented by Tony Minvielle.

Tony’s credentials as a DJ, broadcaster and writer stretch way back to having contributed to Straight No Chaser magazine from 1989 and having had DJ residencies at Café Del Mar in Ibiza, Jazz Café and Southport.  His is exactly the kind of résumé that should be adorning the covers of compilations like this and has wisely been snapped up by The Sound Of Everything UK Records for this release which delivers a veritable treasure trove of contemporary jazz gems.

The always bankable Gretchen Parlato guests with Lauren Desberg on a standout track, ‘You Got To My Head’; Khari Cabral Simmons follows up his 2012 Dome Records album ‘Clementine Sun’ with a track from his EP with Cecilia Stalin (‘The Story Of Love’), ‘Norwegian Wood’; and, from the album ‘Veludo’, Guida De Palma & Jazzinho have their remarkable collaboration with Leon Ware included here, ‘A Seed In You’ [I urge you to buy the ‘Veludo’ album in particular friends].

As if the tracks could soar any higher than the aforementioned numbers, it’s great to get on the ground floor with artists like Collective Peace and Liz Elensky, who don’t yet have much else to purchase other than the two tracks available here: Collective Peace’s Robert Glasper Experiment-esque ‘Let The Music Play’ is frankly superb while Liz Elensky’s 60s/70s-inspired ‘Distractions’ has you craving for a full album’s worth of music.  Fingers crossed that full-length releases follow on shortly for each.

Below is the tracklist for the compilation – not a bad note amongst the lot – and we eagerly await Volume Two.
1. 'Distance Can Be Sweet' - Personal Life
2. 'Distractions' - Liz Elensky
3. 'Sea Snake' - Carl Hudson
4. 'Let the Music Play' - Collective Peace
5. 'Miss Purty' - Cory Henry
6. 'You Go to My Head' (feat. Gretchen Parlato) - Lauren Desberg
7. 'Two Sides' - Pat Van Dyke
8. 'Norwegian Wood' - Cecilia Stalin & Khari Cabral Simmons
9. 'Music Power' - Tommaso Cappellato & Astral Travel
10. 'A Seed in You' (feat. Leon Ware) - Guida De Palma & Jazzinho
11. 'Todos Os Santo' (feat. Nana Vasconcelos) - Mauricio Maestro
12. 'Electric Ladyland' (feat. Chris Turner) - Jesse Fischer
Guida De Palma & Jazzinho f/t Leon Ware, 'A Seed In You' 
Lauren Desberg f/t Gretchen Parlato, 'You Go to My Head' 

Monday, 19 October 2015

"The Professional Mastersounds": The New Mastersounds [Interview]

Nine studio albums, two live albums, one remix album, three compilation albums and twenty-six 7-inch singles: it’s a lot for a band to boast for just over 15 years and, in truth, is a résumé as impressive as anyone, anywhere, has been able to amass in that time.  But for the funk & soul quartet known as The New Mastersounds – it’s a fairly standard measure for a veracious band with a tireless work ethic.  At press time, the touring schedule for The New Mastersounds sees them closing out 2015 with nearly 20 gigs left to complete all around the US, including North Carolina, Texas, Tennessee and Alabama, all in a bid to promote their brand new album, ‘Made For Pleasure’.

And what an album it is!

‘Made For Pleasure’ sees Eddie Roberts (guitar), Simon Allen (drums), Joe Tatton (keyboards) and Pete Shand (bass; fresh off his work with The Haggis Horns for their album ‘What Comes To Mind’) emerge from a sweltering New Orleans studio to present their latest offering released though Legere Recordings with a little help from guests, percussionist and vibraphonist, Mike Dillon, and The West Coast Horns.

Charly Lowry proves a real asset to this release appearing on three tracks as a guest vocalist and bringing a distinctive and classic, sweet-sounding vocal to the tracks ‘Joy’, ‘Enough Is Enough’ and ‘Just Gotta Run’ – the latter of which a clear contender for the standout song in an album with a lot of highlights to choose from.
‘Made For Pleasure’ also sees The New Mastersounds comfortably dabble into jazz-esque territory on this release – perhaps inspired by the New Orleans backdrop the album was recorded under – providing some of the album’s most memorable moments.  There’s excellent guitar work on ‘Sitting On My Knees’ and the blissfully sublime ‘Tranquilo’ which is a perfect balance of lush horns and dreamy keyboards.

It’s The Blue-in-Green Blog’s great pleasure to have secured time with The New Mastersounds’ (NMS) drummer, Simon Allen, to discuss everything surrounding ‘Made For Pleasure’…

IMRAN MIRZA: With the vast amount of material the group has managed to release over the years: do you still feel the pressure of releasing new music?
SIMON ALLEN: The pressure is self-imposed.  We always want new material to add to the live set to keep things interesting, and we usually manage to find time to get into the studio for a week every 18 months or so.  The first couple of days in there can be a bit tense because we know we need to end up with an album’s worth of material by the end of the week, and on this occasion we started with nothing.  We had all the gear set up, a great sound in the control room and we all just looked at each other and said “Now what?”

Can you tell us about what went into the making of ‘Made For Pleasure’?
We were in New Orleans for a New Year’s Eve show and had found an amazing studio with all the right vintage gear – drums, keyboards amps - that we need for our sound.  Eddie was living there at the time so we crashed in his apartment.  We ate a lot of Vietnamese pho that week as there was a splendid restaurant in the neighbourhood.  The tune ‘Pho Baby’ is a reference to Joe’s distended belly at the end of the week.  That’s what went into the making of the album: pho, plenty of wine, and a couple of fat cigars.

How does the new release hold up to previous efforts?
Surprisingly well, given how the week started - there’s definitely evidence of the band’s evolution, we love the dynamic sound and the range of styles, and the production.

How did you go about picking the collaborators for this album?
Horns: Eddie had been working with them for a couple of years with his side-project, The West Coast Sounds.  They had then performed with NMS at some of the larger American gigs.
We really wanted to capture their energy on a record.  Mike (Olmos) and Joe (Cohen) had been together as a unit nearly as long as we have, so they have developed an intuitive way of working – they can improvise lines and harmonize them "on the fly”.  One of them taps out a rhythm on the other’s shoulder and then they both start playing flawlessly at the same time.  It’s very impressive on a live gig, and we knew that their fluent creativity could easily be harnessed in the studio.
Charly Lowry: Eddie met her two years ago when performing with an all-star band in Asheville, North Carolina (her home state and had wanted to co-write with her since then.  Like the horns, she has also performed on stage with us in the USA, but up until MFP we have had to choose cover versions for her to sing (Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield, Alice Clark etc..).  That’s always fun, but now we have three original songs we can play with her too!
Mike Dillon: We’ve been rubbing shoulders with this guy on the US live scene for nearly a decade and have enjoyed many sit-ins from him (the most recent one being in New Orleans last JazzFest when he joined us for an entire set).  He’s so much fun to work and play with and has an impressive command of a whole range of different percussion instruments.  He was on Jamcruise (Caribbean cruise-ship floating music festival that we will play again in January) during our recording week but he jumped straight off the boat in Miami, onto a plane, then drove straight into the studio on the last day to overdub parts on three of the tunes.

The new album covers Iggy Azalea's 'Fancy' and the last album covered 'Treasure' by Bruno Mars: what makes you decide on a song to recreate?
‘Treasure’ (on the 2014 album ‘Therapy’) was the result of a poll of our Facebook fans.  We were in the studio (near Denver) and wanted to do a pop cover but none of us had listened to any pop music for a long time so we asked the fans.  The response was immediate, several different people suggested ‘Treasure’ and when we pulled it up on YouTube Eddie realised straight away that the melody would work really well on guitar, George Benson-style.  We had our version arranged and recorded within an hour.
This time, Eddie asked his daughter, Minnie, to suggest a pop tune and she sent him a link to Kasabian performing a live acoustic version of ‘Fancy’ by Iggy Azalea.  None of us had heard either version before but we could tell straightaway that a reggae approach would work.  Initially our version was going to be instrumental like ‘Treasure’, and we had horns with us to lift the melody, but a few months later when Eddie was in the process of mixing the album, he walked into a bar in Denver and saw this rasta MC called Spellbinder toasting over a DJ.  He introduced himself and invited the guy to come and put some vocals onto our track.  Spellbinder changed the line from “I’m so fancy” to “I’m so irie”, and he sounds great!

You're famed for having performed all over the world: how do audiences differ and where's been a particular highlight?
Fifteen thousand people in front of the White Stage at Fuji Rock Festival was pretty memorable because a significant number of them were singing along to our songs from an album that had been out for less than a year.  It was raining and they all had pretty coloured hats on.  American audiences party the hardest.  The Spanish are the best dancers – how’s that?

If you could hook up with any vocalist for a full album, who would it be?
Aretha Franklin.  Next Question.

Which one song from The New Mastersounds discography would you play to a prospective new fan?
Hmm. Too difficult. I would play all the opening tunes of all the albums: ‘Nervous’, ‘This Ain’t Work’, ‘Zambezi’, ‘102%’, ‘Hole in The Bag’, ‘San Frantico’, ‘Take What You Need’, ‘You Mess Me Up’, ‘Old Man Noises’, ‘Made For Pleasure’.

What’s been a career highlight for The New Mastersounds?
Playing a late-night show with Ziggy from The Meters in New Orleans (two drum kits) – amongst other tunes we performed ‘1 Thing’ by Amerie, the pop hit from 2005 that is based on a killer Meters sample [‘Oh, Calcutta!’].  That was super fun, and I had to pinch myself to check it was really happening.

For more information on The New Mastersounds, please visit:

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Presenting... "Songs in the Key of: Blues!"

I've been toying with the theme of this mix for some time: trying to capture a really bluesy-soul ambiance that basks in the joy of love as well as the heartache of it. It's really been inspired by Lee Fields' song, 'Magnolia', which is exceptional and included here as well.

Full track-list below so please feel free to check it out:
'Over Under Away' - Emma Donovan & The PutBacks
'The Drive' - Curtis Harding
(Interlude I: "Stranger Than Fiction")
'Forever Dreaming' - Myles Sanko
(Interlude II: Nick Pride & The Pimptones)
'When I See You' - Olu Dara & The Natchezippi Band f/t Donald Harrison Jr
'Be Alright' - Eric Krasno f/t Nigel Hall
'Funkier Than A Mosquito's Tweeter' - Nikka Costa
(Interlude III: 'Beauty' (IMS Mashed Mix 4): Daniel Lanois & J Dilla)
(Interlude IV: 'We're In', Jake Long)
'Worry Walks Beside Me' - Michael Kiwanuka
(Interlude V: "Moon")
'Magnolia' - Lee Fields & The Expressions
'Stranded For Life' - Mudbone
(Interlude VI: "Troy")
'It's All Because Of You' - Nicole Willis & The Soul Investigators
(Interlude VII: 'Hermeto', Jake Long)
'Your Love Is No Love' - Booker T f/t Vintage Trouble
'Victim Of Love' - Charles Bradley & The Menahan Street Band

Monday, 12 October 2015

What I'm listening to... (October 2015)

‘Suite For The Blue Planet’ by Jesse Fischer featuring Takuya Kuroda
Producer, engineer, composer and producer, Jesse Fischer – now almost having completely abandoned the Soul Cycle moniker – returns with the crowd-funded album release ‘Day Dreamer’, released through Ropeadope Records.  It’s a genuinely excellent jazz & soul album, one I can already see doing very well in our end of year rankings not long away, with features from classy vocalist Sarah Elizabeth Charles (including a complete reimagining of Minnie Riperton’s ‘Loving You’ amongst her three lead vocal contributions), and trumpeter Takuya Kuroda, whose efforts we’ve praised numerous times on this site.  It’s the latter’s contribution we’ll showcase in this slot though as the song comes with a studio-themed video of the band performing it…

‘Doralice’ by Noemi Nuti
Continuing our love affair with Ubuntu Music, here’s an excellent song from the labels’ flagship artist, Noemi Nuti, and her debut release, ‘Nice To Meet You’.  In our exclusive feature with QCBA, we touched slightly on the jazz and Brazilian vocalist’s music – the quality of which speaks for itself…

‘BPATTER’ by DJ Premier & The BADDER
This one caught everybody off-guard when it was released with the accompanying video early-September.  Confirming work of an official new project from legendary and beloved hip-hop producer, and one-half of Gang Starr, DJ Premier – not a whole lot else is known at this time.  You’ll note the jazzy/afrobeat nature of the song, and the familiar trumpetting sounds of Takuya Kuroda, marking his second appearance on this month’s list.