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Reviewed this week
For their latest full-length exploration of the world of spiritual jazz - the label's seventh, in total - Jazzman has decided to focus on artists and performers whose Islamic faith influenced their work. Given that many jazz greats were early converts to the spiritually charged Ahmadiya school of Islam - Kenny Clarke, Art Blakey, Ahmad Jamal and Yusuf Lateef included - there's plenty of fine material for Jazzman to explore. Highlights naturally come thick and fast, with standouts including the Persian jazz-fusion of Emmanuel Abdul-Rahim's "Kalamari Suite", the haunting flutes and intoxicating bongo rhythms of Sabu and Sihab Shahib's "Nus", and The Lightmen's celebratory epic, "All Praises To Allah (Part 1 & 2)".
Alongside Schema label-mate Nicola Conte, Gerardo Frisina has been at the forefront of the Italian nu-jazz scene for the best part of two decades. In that time, he's released a string of fine albums, though this full-length excursion - his sixth in total - is Frisina's first since 2014. Like previous sets, it's rooted in jazz and the heavily percussive rhythms of South America, but also looks to dub and deep house for inspiration. While some of the album's more traditional moments are very good - see the breezy "Blue Latin" and "Naquela Base" - it's those blessed with heavy sub-bass and lashings of echo and delay (check "InCantao" and "Baracoa") that hit home hardest.
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