If you enjoyed the SoulJazz Orchestra’s Inner Fire last year – the lively vocal and horn-flavoured Canadian outfit led by keyboardist Pierre Chrétien that effortlessly cook up a sound that mixes in lots of dancey Afro-jazz while retaining a clubby summery side to it – you’ll want their new album Resistance (***1/2).
Just released on the Strut label if anything it’s even better, the extra input this time much more vocals and a flavour of the French Caribbean including styles like zouk that Courtney Pine has tackled in recent years to add to the Orchestra’s existing west African influences. Again there’s a huge boisterous drive and invention to the band’s sheer energy and message music beyond the rituals of the dancefloor that take what they’re doing to another more jazz-heavy level.
‘Shock and Awe,’ the second track, is above. Gigs coming up include Jazz Cafe, London on 4 October