The Souljazz Orchestra - Under Burning Skies (Strut Records)

For this new long player Canadian band The Souljazz Orchestra clearly drew on the nineteen eighties for inspiration. It starts with the overly kitschy sleeve design by Souljazzer Pierre Chrétien (keyboards, percussion and vocals), but by using vintage synthesizers and old drum machines, the band also musically succeeded in creating a retro experience. 'Under Burning Skies' opens with the excellent 'Dog Eat Dog', finger-licking good afrobeat meets funky disco. The fascinating 'Lufunki' does then again think of a meeting between Mulatu Astatke's Ethio-jazz and the electronic B-Boy beats of Afrika Bambaataa. For some Caribbean flaor there's 'Sorrow Fly Away', a dash of calypso, and zouk with the delicious 'Tambour A Deux Peaux' and 'Oublier Pour Un Jour'. Because of the dominating horn sound, the instrumental title track reminded yours truly somewhat of the work of American band Hypnotic Brass Ensemble. 'Holla Holla' is just solid steamy afrobeat with psychedelic eighties synths, and 'Is Yeelyel' is a great cover of a track by obscure Somali funk and disco formation Dur-Dur Band. Excellent closing track 'Aduna Jarul Naawo', featuring Elage Mbaye on vocals, immerses the listener in a delicious Orchestra Baobab vibe. Indisputably one of the best world music releases for 2017!


Added: Sep 28, 2017