Monday, November 26, 2012

The Intersection: The Souljazz Orchestra

The Intersection: An ongoing feature on JazzWrap that looks at artists that have blended jazz, world and electronica in new and highly creative ways.

The Souljazz Orchestra
Solidarity (Strut Records; 2012)

Funky for sure. Soulful, certainly. Growing with grace and hard-edge maturity...definitely. Canadian outfit, The Souljazz Orchestra have infused Latin, Caribbean, funky and greasy Lou Donaldson style grooves into their music for almost a decade now.
Solidarity, is a grittier outing and continues the socio-political vibe that all their albums inhabit. The massive floor-burning, "Conquering Lion," fills the air with infectious African percussion and commanding horns. There's really no way not to start dancing once you hear this piece. An anthem and a statement that the ensemble is back and better than ever.
"Jericho" and "Cartao Postal" both provide a ferocious reggae and humorous samba message about social inadequacies and upon further listens make you really want to go out and make some effective change in your environment. "Cartao Postal" delivers a more raw cultural groove while "Jericho encompasses all the political dub you would expect from this multi-cultural ensemble.
Solidarity is another brilliant step forward for The Souljazz Orchestra. There are very few groups on the scene today on this side of the Atlantic that can do this and do it right. Global grooves with a message that is never hidden and never overwhelming to the music as a whole. Excellent and worth seeking out.


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