Michael Olatuja, Lagos Pepper Soup

If you ever needed proof what an outrageously accomplished talent bass guitarist Michael Olatuja is then Lagos Pepper Soup is that key piece of recent evidence. It is also a collection in one place of some of the best forward seeking jazz musicians …

Published: 13 Jun 2020. Updated: 4 months.

If you ever needed proof what an outrageously accomplished talent bass guitarist Michael Olatuja is then Lagos Pepper Soup is that key piece of recent evidence.

It is also a collection in one place of some of the best forward seeking jazz musicians on the planet who join Olatuja in this adventure and include Aaron Parks, Terreon Gully, Femi Temowo, Joe Lovano, Robert Mitchell, Laura Mvula, Dianne Reeves and many others.

Olatuja in his writing and arranging favours a wide screen almost cinematic sweep in his style and the tunes are wrapped in beautifully developed settings that harness improvisational ideas along the way and dip into a range of styles. When Grammy time comes around surely Olatuja deserves consideration particularly for the quality of arranging and composition. This sort of record does not come along every year. Out now on Whirlwind.

Tags: Best so far in 2020Reviews

Hear and Now: The Best of John Beasley on Resonance

This is a wonderful overview of pianist composer arranger John Beasley's work on the Resonance label drawn from the albums Letter to Herbie and Positootly! Beasley is joined by among others Christian McBride, the late Roy Hargrove, Bennie Maupin, …

Published: 12 Jun 2020. Updated: 4 months.

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This is a wonderful overview of pianist composer arranger John Beasley's work on the Resonance label drawn from the albums Letter to Herbie and Positootly! Beasley is joined by among others Christian McBride, the late Roy Hargrove, Bennie Maupin, Jeff ‘Tain” Watts and Brian Lynch. There's a great imagination at work here and Beasley manages to capture a sense of the jazz past while maintaining a steady gaze on producing a sound that relates to the jazz of today. The arranging is beautifully executed and familiar favourites such as 'Dindi' sound new. If you are unfamiliar with Beasley this is the perfect compilation to jump up to speed. Photo: Via Bandcamp

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