Jazz albums round-up
Friday 11 July 2003
You can imagine the modus operandi behind Ronny Jordan's At Last (Sony Jazz) all too well. First, the man with the crane comes and winches Ronny out of his bed at 3am and delivers him to the studio on a trolley. The technicians slip a guitar into his hands, while the producer whispers quietly into his ear, fearful lest he wake him up: "Funky, but not too funky, Ronny. Smooth, but not too smooth." At last they're ready, the backing track begins to roll, and Ronny comes in right on cue, not easy from a prone position. In the control booth afterwards, they all compliment the guitarist on another job well done, but Ronny is already back home in bed, dreaming of quavers.
It's 11 years since Ronny Jordan reached No 32 in the UK chart with his debut single, "So What", and in the interim nothing whatsoever has changed. The trademark sound is still one-part Wes Montgomery to two-parts George Benson, with Jordan's multi-octave thumb-strokes decorating easy on the ear, hip hop lite, backdrops. The new album sounds perfectly pleasant too, and if you heard it in a hairdresser's or a bar (and you probably will), you'd tap your foot quite happily. Good luck to him, you might say, if there wasn't something so insidiously soul-destroying about following a formula for more than a decade without even the teensiest sign of wanting to buck the trend: a wish to record with Derek Bailey, say, like Pat Metheny. You can hear the original model on The Very Best of George Benson: The Greatest Hits of All (Warner Bros), a great new 20-track compilation. It's another formula, but a better one.
It's 10 years since US 3's brilliant if overplayed hip-hop adaptations of classic hard bop hit the charts, and whether in celebration of the anniversary or not, the company has commissioned Shades of Blue: Madlib Invades Blue Note by the artist known as Madlib (actually Otis Jackson Jnr, nephew of the jazz trumpeter Jon Faddis and son of the soul singer Otis Jackson). From tracks by the likes of Donald Byrd, Bobbi Humphrey, Horace Silver, Herbie Hancock, Reuben Wilson and Ronnie Foster, Madlib creates radical, vibrant and funky new soundscapes. Remarkably successful for a remix project.
Jeff Fletcher found fame in 1990s
'At times I thought he was me'film
Review: One Direction, Fourmusic
Review: The World of Ice and Firebooks
Film More romcom than S&M
Review: The Imitation Gamefilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by police in Ohio park
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Naked free runner captured in breathtaking photographs above London's streets
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Manchester United named Premier League's loudest fans despite late push by Chelsea according to 'Smart Meter' app
Hitler painting sells for 130,000 euros at auction despite controversy over Nazi dictator's artworks
Strictly Come Dancing results: Steve Backshall sent home after dance off with Sunetra Sarker
Naked free runner captured in breathtaking photographs above London's streets
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking leaked clip of Lana Del Rey rape video
Band Aid 30: 'Do They Know It's Christmas' storms to number one
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Green Party Caroline Lucas interview: 'We could be on the edge of something very big'