New Release: Jazzanova – ‘The Funkhaus Studio Sessions’

 

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So, we know it’s been a while of you sitting on your hands trying to contain yourself since hearing the Alex Barck edit for Jazzanova’s “I Human.” Today, you can let the circulation back into your hands and rejoice with the epic group’s release of The Funkhaus Studio Sessions.

The project is Jazzanova’s first live album, which brings together its two producers, Stefan Leisering & Axel Reinemer along with the original Jazzanova touring band. Above, watch the magic in the video for “Believer” featuring Paul Randolph.

Purchase The Funkhaus Studio Sessions on iTunes | Amazon

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Video: Makoto – “Tower Of Love” ft. Paul Randolph

 

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Japanese composer and producer Makoto has a new single called “Tower of Love” and it’s pretty frickin rad. The funky jazzy track is topped with a very catchy retro soul melody by Paul Randolph. Sort of reminiscent of Cee-Lo at times.

Some real get up on your feet and clap your hands music.

Purchase “Tower of Love” on iTunes

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Trus’Me To Release In the Red Featuring Dam-Funk, Amp Fiddler & More

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Fat City Recordings is set to release the much-anticipated album In The Red, by the Mancunian wunderkind Trus’Me featuring collaborations with Dam-Funk, Amp Fiddler, and Paul Randolph. His debut album Working Nights is regularly held up as “one of the finest deep house and disco albums to come out of the U.K in years”, but this was just the beginning of the Trus’me sound. Since then he has become increasingly adept and inventive at taking on the sound system roots of reggae, soul, and disco, blending them with house and techno, to create a hypnotically radical sound.

Dam-Funk, Stones Throw recording artist and LA’s rising star of the nu-boogie scene collaborates on a low slung interpretation of the WasNotWas disco epic “Wheel Me Out”. Also on board is the jazzy Detroit innovator Amp Fiddler who features on two tracks including a bass & rhodes heavy cover of Bill Withers’ bittersweet classic “Can We Pretend”. Paul Randolph, Jazzanova‘s current front-man, provides vocals for a houseʼd up version of West Phillips‘ boogie favorite “Sucker for a Pretty Face” and Mahogani Musicʼs longtime collaborator Pirahnahead lends his vocal skills to the title track “In the Red”.

n41Also look for a limited edition one-sided red vinyl 7″ pressing of “Bail Me Out,” coming soon from Fat City Recordings.

Trus’Me Ft Dam-Funk – “Bail Me Out”
 

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Giant Step’s Resident 34: Q-Tip, Jazzanova, K’NAAN and Miriam Makeba

margin-left:10pxBy Mawuse Ziegbe

So, I have this crush. He’s this mannish, dude-ly, male person. He builds things. He smokes things. He skies down things. It’s awesome. He’s also wicked different from me. When he tells me about his time on a ranch in Wyoming, all I can think is, “what the fuck is Wyoming?” When he invites me over for Scrabble I desperately hope it’s a euphemism for something involving latex and candle wax. Sadly, the earnest, good-guy gleam in his eye tells me it’s not. But in the interest of new horizons and all that, I accompanied him to a Reggie Watts show at Joe’s Pub. Reggie Watts looks like a cross between Counting Crows’ Adam Duritz and a down-on-his-luck Sideshow Bob. He beat-boxes and does all this nonsensical yet still politically biting scatting business that sounds like a cross between Doug E. Fresh and a manic Sideshow Bob. I mean, parts of it were cool – he made beats onstage by sampling his own voice – but lots of it was just…foolish.

When I’m not faking an interest in live music to get in a guy’s pants, I’m drooling over Q-Tip’s new album, The Renaissance. I was initially very apprehensive about this project (the internet singles like “Work It Out” were making my brain barf). But for serious, The Renaissance is gorgeous. Q-Tip has reined in his penchant for the stuttering, monotonous beats and stiff, shallow rhymes that sank 1999′s Amplified. The Renaissance is replete with dusty soul samples punched up by ‘Tip’s melodic flow and conscious yet not overly preachy messages. I literally gawked at my iPod when I heard Raphael Saadiq’s androgynous, syrupy vocals on “We Fight/We Love.” I’m all over the bendy Boogaloo beat of “Manwomanboogie” with a surprisingly sassy Amanda Diva. “Believe” is glossed with the sublime glow of D’Angelo’s trademark falsetto.

Jazzanova’s latest album, Of All The Things is also unexpectedly addictive. The German collective has handily produced one of the best albums of the year. There’s frisky nu-jazz and buttery soul that pulses with vibrant basslines and some of the most diverse voices in music. My favorite rapper Phonté tries his hand at singing “Look What You’re Doin’ To Me” and absolutely floored me with a papery falsetto that is identical to Dwele’s soft crooning. Detroit artist Paul Randolph flexes his dapper vocals throughout the album, including the sunny, inspirational number “Let Me Show Ya.” And Ben Westbeech, who’s moving feets with Kraak and Smaak’s recent hit, “Squeeze Me,” wields some UK soul on the groovy, “I Can See.” Of All The Things is like a mixtape packed with your absolute favorite songs by Mark Ronson, Solange, Coldplay, Al Jarreau, and Donnie. This is a good album to kick off any Jazzanova obsession.

African hip hop star K’Naan is kicking off his latest project with the lead single, “ABCs.” K’naan doesn’t really have a reason to make dance tracks, what with being a Somali refugee and the lack of body-rockin’ fodder that experience provides. So it’s good to see he found a way to make a party jam by spitting about the ills of street life over a souped-up version of Chubb Rock’s “Treat ‘Em Right.” Activists need to get down too.

And I’m lucky the first time I ever got down in concert was with the legendary African singer and activist, Miriam Makeba. I was about three and my parents took me to see her at Boston’s Symphony Hall. I was just barely able to see over the seats but I remember jamming to the horns for what seemed like hours. Miriam looked far away but she was washed in bright lights, commanding the sprawling band and just moving! That concert is one of my best family memories to this day; my parents were still together and Miriam’s fierceness was one of the few things they agreed on. There may not be many more Reggie Watts concerts in my future but when your first live performance is from an artist who can inspire nations, quell feuding spouses and sing until the last very last breath, you understand the rarity of greatness.