Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Intersection: The New Mastersounds

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 New Mastersounds
Out On The Faultline (One Note Records; 2012)
Joe Tatton (keys)
Pete Shand (bass)
Eddie Roberts (guitar)
Simon Allen (drums)

In short, this is the best New Mastersounds record to date. An awesome tour de force. On their eighth studio album, Out On The Faultline, we get the usual soul-funk fusion. But as with recent sessions the quartet have blended more jazz and vocal elements into their sound. The results are slowing bearing rich fruits.

The hyper voltage of the two opening numbers, "You Mess Me Up" and "Way Out West" are classic TNM. Allen and Roberts are blistering on both tracks. Setting the pace for an all-out groovy jam party.

"Ding-A-Ling" is a party call-to-arms. Just a straight up dance number. Chaotic and potent, with some excellent horn work from Joel Cohen. All alongside the twisting jumpin' jivin' party lyrics from the group. "Turncoat" for me, had a little spy-jazz vibe to it. The haunting keyboard work and bluesy guitar lines from Robert makes for some added heavy soul.

"Summercamp" is a dreamy, funky midtempo piece that feels slightly different than previous TNM numbers. It has an ethereal nature to it (circa early Paul Weller solo or even Mother Earth). Shand and Tatton add the creative framework throughout. But the soulful guitar of Roberts comes in towards the middle and carries the tune through a number sublime changes.

While much of The New Mastersounds work has been based in the American soul and British Acid Jazz vibe; the quartet in recent years has really grown and developed an excellent voice and direction. Out On The Faultline is a superb document of over a decade of work. And is easily one of my albums of year. Well worth any amount of money it cost to get it. Highly Recommended!

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