The Saturday morning listen: Butcher Brown, Solar Music, Concord Jazz

Groove is the name of the game rather than the strict confines of genre courtesy of the mighty rhythm section Butcher Brown from Richmond, Virginia in the States - you'll know their work perhaps with Kurt Elling as well as their own burgeoning …

Published: 4 Nov 2023. Updated: 6 months.

Groove is the name of the game rather than the strict confines of genre courtesy of the mighty rhythm section Butcher Brown from Richmond, Virginia in the States - you'll know their work perhaps with Kurt Elling as well as their own burgeoning catalogue. Solar Music is an eclectic crossover tour of jazz, hip-hop and soul to dip in and out of according to taste. Guests include Pink Siifu, Braxton Cook, Jay Prince, Nappy Nina, Keyon Harrold, Michael Millions and Charlie Hunter. The track we gravitated to most is 'Espionage.'

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Mike De Souza, Chrysalis, Fresh Sound New Talent ****

We've been fans of guitarist Mike De Souza for a while and Chrysalis takes our appreciation of what he does to a new level because his tunes are so good here, building on a rural, beatific soundscape where he's most at home and by adding the tender …

Published: 3 Nov 2023. Updated: 6 months.

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We've been fans of guitarist Mike De Souza for a while and Chrysalis takes our appreciation of what he does to a new level because his tunes are so good here, building on a rural, beatific soundscape where he's most at home and by adding the tender saxophone of Alec Harper finding new expression as the rhythm section anchored by Huw V Williams on bass circles around. Just six tunes recorded in the Fish Factory studio in London in 2021 you get a post-Lockdown sense of awakenment on 'Clementine Clouds,' the gentle piece that opens the album. Pianist Rupert Cox on the album factors in plenty of harmonic contrast to what De Souza is about while drummer Jay Davis who goes back to De Souza's Big Bad Wolf days provides plenty of colour and steers the pace admirably. De Souza introductory chords on 'Looking Up' you could hear on an Oasis record which is a surprise turn of events but later he takes a grittier approach on 'Paper Plane Pilot' and you get a great sweep of lead lines that have an anthemic, optimistic urgency to them. 'Headbanger Blissout' at the end gives Davis more of a chance to shine. It's great to see Spanish label Fresh Sound New Sound bring UK artists to the label like De Souza and certainly the results here reward their faith in this fine guitarist whose sound should appeal most to anyone into the late great John Abercrombie or Pat Metheny. Mike De Souza, photo: via Bandcamp