8 Jul 2016

The Souljazz Orchestra: "Resistance"

Warm tunes from the cold north
Afrobeat, as the style is so affectionately called, has really been gaining speed these last few years. Not only that, but the overall quality of the groups is also at an exceptionally high level. Having released a steady stream of retro keyboards and daring brass since 2005, The Souljazz Orchestra from Canada aren't exactly newcomers to the international afrobeat dancefloor. Their style revels in a luscious spread of genres rooted in jazz, Resistance being their latest majestic offering of engaging rhythms.

The sextet express themselves with wide gestures through a concoction which is equal amounts of Spanish mariachi, African soul-beat and Latino rhythms, but not without the occasional touch of laid back American funk tunes from the 70s. Their skanking strings are as inclusive and engaging as the brightly-burning horns are seductive, and the concise bass and drum rhythm section underscores and draws a red thread through each strong composition.

"...the group perpetuates a hearty core of gently melting jazz..."

Throughout the Resistance album, The Souljazz Orchestra more than ever tend to their messages of social and political commentary. Highly analog in sound, the group perpetuates a hearty core of gently melting jazz on which they build their compositions. These vary greatly in mood, with Shock and Awe being a bomb of high tempo energy and enthusiasm, and tracks like Bull's Eye or Courage tending more toward a dramatic display of temperament, or It's Gonna Rain and Kossa Kossa being the funkiest of the lot.

Tempers run wild only to be calmed, and then escalate again into blinding flurries of brassen blows. The Canadian band is highly enjoyable for most settings, be it late night partying or afternoon reading. Their style isn't as single-tracked or transparent and many contemporaries, leaving Resistance as an exercise in seductive musical motion.


Released in 2015 by Strut Records


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