The British label Tru Thoughts have become a reliable source of good music with a cutting edge. Most of their artist come from producing hip hop style beats to explore a fusion of beats, soul, funk and jazz. Take Will Holland aka Quantic/ Quantic Soul Orchestra for example, Alice Russell or Benedic Lamdin, who’s the man behind the Nostalgia 77 Octet. Ben started on Tru Thoughts with some raw funk cuts but soon we saw him exploring a more downtempo and jazz infused style. And the final result and masterpiece so far is Seven’s & Eight’s, a live recording recorded at the London Jazz Cafe. Actually this may be the least expected kind of music from Ben regarding his first releases on the label. And that’s why Tru Thoughts is really a great label. They just nurture their artists and let them explore new musical settings to release something you won’t expect.
The Nostalgia 77 Octet comprises Graham Fox (drums), Riaan Vosloo (double bass), Ben Lamdin (guitar), Ross Stanley (piano), Tom Allan (trumpet), Trevor Mires (trombone), Jonny Spall (alto sax), and Mark Hanslip (tenor).
Four of the songs are original compositions from Nostalgia’s The Garden album that gets transformed into a live setting. Here we have a bunch of musicians who create a fine instrumental free jazz tinged album and who aren’t afraid to go into musical details to come up with long and inspiring versions like over nine minutes of The Hunger, a slow blues/New Orleans jazz groove.
The afrojazz inspired Watusa (originally recorded by Sun Ra) with its epic 14+ minutes evokes memories of late 60s jazz like McCoy Tyner’s Asante or Cosmos. The other cover song here is Graham Collier’s Down Another Road.
As a bonus track there’s another epic winner: The Hope Suite (Parts 1, 2 & 3) with over 18 minutes of great music and Lizzy Parks joining the Nostalgia Octet on vocals. Imagine the Young Disciples’ All I Have In Me or Freedom in a jazzier and freer musical setting and you know this is a must-have track for soul/jazz fans.
Another winner for the Tru Thoughts imprint and one of the hightlights to be released in early 2006.
Tracklisting of Seven’s And Eight’s: 1. Changes/ 2. The Hunger/ 3. Down Another Road/ 4. Green Blades of Grass/ 5. Freedom/ 6. Watusa/ 7. The Hope Suite (Parts 1, 2 & 3)(bonus track) | released January, 27th 2006 Tru Thoughts
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