Compilation (U) reviews

Up and Down Club Sessions

This 2 volume CD set features live recordings of a lot of the artists on Prawn Song and is a great sampler if you're interested in checking out some of the musicians on this label and you're not sure which ones to exactly buy. It specifically targets groups that spawned San Francisco's acid/new jazz movement (playing at the aforementioned club). It features stuff by Hueman Flavor (who mix vocal harmonies, rap, hip-hop, and jazz), The Up & Down All-Stars (punk jazz), Josh Jones Latin Jazz Ensemble (as the name suggests), The Dry Look (funky jazz with cool bass), Charlie Hunter Trio (great drumming by Jay Lane, cool guitar work by Charlie Hunter, and excellent saxophone by David Ellis), Alphabet Soup (jazz rap), Kenny Brooks Trio (noisy jazz), Will Bernard Trio (funky experimental jazz with some cool guitar work), and the Eddie Marshall Hip Hop Jazz Band (again as the name suggests). If you're into any form of innovative jazz (talk about a double deal), be sure to check some of these groups!

União Lisboa Records Sampler

This is a sampler of various bands on the União Lisboa label, which is a Portugal-based label. Up till now, I had no idea how good the Portugal metal scene was. It is unlikely that some of these bands will ever be extremely popular in the U.S., mainly due to marketing difficulties, and that's a loss for metalheads in the U.S. One of the best bands in the label's roster is Ramp. Ramp are very very good Metallica clones (and I'm referring to the Metallica that made Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets) that make better metal music than Metallica itself does today. Capitão Fantasma, with their high energy punk surf rock compete with Ramp for the best band title. Primitive Reason's electic rock and Flood's electronic ambience make this an interesting sampler, particularly in contrast to Ramp's aggressiveness and Capitão Fantasma's energy. Pòlo Norte's minimalistic music (acoustic guitar and voice) ties it all together for the label. This sampler contains two songs each from all the five artists each of which show excellent promise.

Music ram-blings || Ram Samudrala ||