Daily jazz blog, Marlbank

Acantha Lang, Beautiful Dreams, Magnolia Blue ****

The unquenchable face-in-the-candlelight slow ballad of 'Eventually' is what hooked us most firstly here four songs in from crossover soul singer songwriter Acantha Lang. Boisterous in places 'He Said/She Said' is a room or two away from jazz. But …

Published: 8 Jul 2023. Updated: 12 months.

The unquenchable face-in-the-candlelight slow ballad of 'Eventually' is what hooked us most firstly here four songs in from crossover soul singer songwriter Acantha Lang. Boisterous in places 'He Said/She Said' is a room or two away from jazz. But with its bustling rhythm and a flying pace relentlessness getting down and dirty in places is infectious and relatable whatever you are into. Lang has been compared aply to Mavis Staples and has been touring with Roachford and won big as new artist of the year at London music venue owner Ranald MacDonald's Boisdale awards. I liked creole queen song 'Lois Lang' later. And the pace of 'River Keep Runnin' with its rampaging horns and the sweet honey in the rock quality of the London based New Orleanian's voice is so distinctive on 'It's Gonna Be Alright'. The hum-along poppiness of 'Whatever Happened To Our Love' has a hop to it that is terrifically caught, and sends us to thoughts of the feel of Betty Wright singing 'Clean Up Woman' a bit although the Lang approach is less raw. Such an individual sound and the audio engineering sonics are just what you want in a Stax-like creation. The horns on 'Come Back Home' at the beginning are a special moment taking you there but don't sound too try hard. What more can you ask for on a compelling debut?

Acantha Lang, photo: press

Tags: Reviews

The Saturday morning best time of the week listen: Greg Joseph, Drop the Rock, Sunnyside ****

''Amour, mama, not cheap display'': Just about perfect Saturday morning listening for the jazzer boomer and wannabe boomer in your life, the OGD formula - Hammond organ, electric guitar, drums - is one of those ideal combinations of jazz suited …

Published: 8 Jul 2023. Updated: 12 months.

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''Amour, mama, not cheap display'': Just about perfect Saturday morning listening for the jazzer boomer and wannabe boomer in your life, the OGD formula - Hammond organ, electric guitar, drums - is one of those ideal combinations of jazz suited instruments that remains a hardy perennial. With one of the world's great jazz keyboardists Larry Goldings on organ - hear Goldings also on tremendous form new with Jon Regen on Satisfied Mind - the highly respected Steve Cardenas on guitar who proves especially persuasive on the soft 'Nina's Lullaby' doing the introductions for the lesser known but nevertheless evidentially redoutable leader drummer Greg Joseph, the band dubbed the Right Back gains traction from the very beginning with a Goldings boogaloo called 'Mozam-BBQ.'

Joseph, recall for a minute, was also with the mighty Kevin Hays on 2015's New Day and North issued the following year, a recording that included the gem 'Violeta'. Recorded in a Brooklyn studio last summer Drop the Rock includes a nimble version of Joni Mitchell's 'In France They Kiss on Main Street' where the ''amour, mama, not cheap display'' picked out above derives that even may be borrowed as a succinct overall description for this fine album - in their own way these three are also rollin' - that finds Cardenas threading his way around the maze of the melody line effortlessly. And there is a lot of feeling and a peach of a Goldings solo on Ray Charles' 'Ain't That Love.'