The second studio album from Ruby Rushton, the forward-thinking jazz group led by 22a label owner Tenderlonious. Their 2015 release ‘Two For Joy’ blew up as one of the year’s hottest releases, with ‘Trudi's Songbook’ set to follow suit. Essential for fans of Kamasi Washington, Yusef Kamaal and GoGo Penguin.
The album starts with “Moonlight Woman”, a song that harks back to the Headhunters era, but with a contemporary twist – close your eyes and your transported to ‘70s Harlem, walking shoulder to shoulder with Richard Roundtree! “Elephant & Castle” follows, a clear reference to south Londons Latin quarter, the tune has a distinct hustle & bustle quality. With a strong flute solo and upbeat rhythm section this tune is sure to have you clapping your hands and stomping your feet. The first side draws to a close with a tasteful Dilla inspired skit, “Out 2 SV”, which demonstrates the bands wealth of influences and leaves the listener eager to continue their sonic journey, with Ruby Rushton at the helm.
Other tracks include “Where Are You Now?”, which starts with a cool, neck popping Hip Hop beat, and utilising a four piece horn section, the rhythm section struts its stuff whilst flute and trumpet carve out a playful melodic line. Just as you settle into its hypnotic bounce the tune falls through a Monk inspired chromatic bridge and without warning reappears as a solid Latin groove, leading to strong solos from both sax and keys.
The album comes to a close as “The Camel's Back” fades in with an eerie sax solo and free form drums, before settling into a catchy bass motif and quickly fading away, leaving listeners on the edge of their seats. A great ending to a intoxicating joy ride through a multitude of genre defying styles. Simply put, this album is a must have for any listener yearning for exciting and fresh contemporary music.
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