This Ain’t Studio 54
This Berlin based musician collective needs no introduction to fans of nu-jazz. That’s primarily because they were the pioneering force behind the musical movement. With a rich history full of collaborations and breakout releases, Jazzanova recruits Paul Randolph to sing on Funkhaus Studio Sessions. While the new album is only their third studio release in 17 years, (notably in between a ton of singles and collaboration releases) it packs in 14 lengthy tracks of meticulously sculpted jazz.
Right out of the gate the listener is seduced by the slow and sexy funk orchestra of “Let Me Show Ya,” the first track on Funkhaus Studio Sessions. We immediately get a taste of the jazzy horns, multi-tempo live drumming, harmonious guitar and piano rhythms, as well as the powerhouse vocal range of Paul Randolph. “Look What You’re Doin’ To Me” is a very well-pieced together track with a catchy vocal chorus. This song exemplifies how Jazzanova can be, both, great dance music and chillout music at the same time.
You know when a popular music producer comes out with a new album and it is only 10 or so tracks long, and you feel short changed? That is the antithesis of Funkhaus Studio Sessions. The wealth of music contained within is not only rich, but also subtly diverse. Songs fluctuate from dancey salsa and samba style songs, to funky-jazz, jazzy-dance, as well as downtempo-jazz with an almost R&B quality to it, instrumental jazz orchestral blends, and chillout nu-jazz blending genres beautifully as the album progresses. Every song is a ride because you never know where Jazzanova will take you next, but you trust their sense of direction and know that you will arrive at a mind-blowing destination. Long time fans will absolutely be pleased with FSS and fans of nu-jazz, classic jazz, instrumental house music, and lovers of sexy music- in general- should pick up this album.