Sunday, November 27, 2011

Souljazz Orchestra Sees The Rising Sun

Originating in Canada and strongly influenced by world music the Souljazz Orchestra is a multicultural exchange of music from around the globe. Latin, funk, jazz, Afrobeat, it's all here and allowed to roam freely by this diverse unit who refuse to be coralled by any one sound or idea. Their latest album, Rising Sun is a shining example of the power and creativity of music and what can be done when a sextet are all on the same page.

As one might expect of a band named Souljazz Orchestra this group are all formally trained in jazz but have soul running through their veins. With three saxophonists, a keys player, and a percussionist each member brings a unique style and sound to the songs that make up Rising Sunand it's this diversity that allows the songs to develop into the funky inflected beasts that they are. The group is so talented that once the Souljazz Orchestra develops a head of steam the train of exploratory jazz simply cannot be stopped. These guys have made music, be it world or otherwise, into something far richer than any genre could ever indicate. This is a unit that takes the old clich├ęs of what jazz, soul. and world music is, dresses them up in sharp suits and lets them hang out at the Blue Note for a couple of nights.

The result is an album that is filled with beautiful jazz tunes that are filled with shining horns, freestyle vocals, swanky vibes and songs that are upbeat, tribal, and funky. This is a swinging, slinky, seductive slice of music that hurls what's cliche out of the window and blazes it's own path forward. Cutting through just about everything, Rising Sunis music that never becomes dull because it's not confined by any preconceived notion. Instead, the Souljazz Orchestra reminds you that it's not the label or genre that's important but the songs and the musicianship. Thankfully, they've got both in bunches. Rising Sun is a series of beautiful imaginative sketches that are original and sincere; this is the sound of what world music should be and could be if only it was allowed to be.

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