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  Jazzanova In Between
Rating: 5 out of 5! Rating: 5 out of 5! Rating: 5 out of 5! Rating: 5 out of 5! Rating: 5 out of 5!

by Sterling McGarvey

The ideal job of any music journalist in writing a music review should be to deliver an honest opinion of an album. Whether through the use of superlatives to exalt an artist's qualities or to damn the artist's deficiencies into the ninth pit of Hell, a writer should call it how he or she sees it. Jazzanova press photo

Having said that... THIS CD IS THE SHIT.

One normally would expect quality from the Jazzanova-Compost name, but the Berlin sextet's long-awaited original album, In Between, exceeds expectations. Rather than completely wading in the heavily Afro-Brazilian jazz influences (which color the sounds of many of Germany's finest broken beat wizards to the point of near cliché), Jazzanova delivers an artists' album that culls not only from Afro beat and Latin jazz sources, but heavily from hip-hop and soul.

The first cut, "L.O.V.E. and You & I," kicks off the album strongly. In spite of the sample that opens the track, nothing is missing. It can best be described as a pastiche of random sounds over a hip-hop kick that breaks down and evolves as the running time increases. The track has more declensions than Latin class. And few will forget the voice that sings "And you and I." Guaranteed. "Hanazono" boasts the beauty of Japanese influences over a swelling score. "Keep Falling" features the ultra-sick poetry of Philly's legendary Ursula Rucker with a cinematic feeling backbeat. The 60's bossanova sounds of "Another New Day" make it an instant standout as well. The ubiquitous Vikter Duplaix makes a return appearance with Jazzanova on "Soon" and on the closing track, "Wasted Time." Their previous collaboration, "Last Night," was, to make an understatement, well received.

This album exemplifies craftsmanship. There are so many outstanding cuts. Jazzanova has created a beautiful sonic hybrid. Germany is currently the source of a revival in acid jazz. Nu jazz has become more prevalent in recent years, in part due to the Jazzanova-Compost label. In Between is the flag-waving, genre-defining album that will spawn imitation on a global scale. It's one of the best CDs of the year. If there is any doubt, just scroll back to the top and begin reading again until it sinks in.

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In Between from In Between
by Jazzanova

Track Listing:

  1. L.O.V.E. And You & I (Vibes: David Friedmann, Bass: Paul Kleber)
  2. No Use (Featuring Clara Hill)
  3. The One-Tet (Featuring Capital A)
  4. Fade Out
  5. Hanazono (Piano: Hajime Yoshizawa)
  6. Mwela, Mwela (Here I Am) (Featuring Valerie Etienne & Rob Gallagher)
  7. Keep Falling (Featuring Ursula Rucker & Hawkeye Phanatic)
  8. Cyclic
  9. Another New Day
  10. Place In Between
  11. Soon (Featuring Vikter Duplaix)
  12. Dance The Dance (Featuring Doug Hammond)
  13. Sub-Atlantic
  14. Glow And Glare
  15. E-Ovation
  16. Takes You Back (Unexpected Dub) (Featuring Desney Bailey)
  17. Wasted Time (Featuring Vikter Duplaix)

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