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Of All the Things

Jazzanova

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Album Review

Could it be? Is it really possible that one of the most innovative collectives in modern music could stoop to making a throwback soul record? (Perhaps they should have recruited Joss Stone as a guest vocalist.) Sarcasm aside, it's obvious that a soul record from a group like Jazzanova is quite a different proposition from the usual retro rot. So confident in their middle age that they feel no need to innovate (at least, purely for its own sake), the Berliner sextet ends up delivering one of the best soul albums of the era (or any other). True, the influences may be easy to spot — Philly soul here, Motown there, plenty of '70s progressive jazz with taut strings or breezy woodwinds — but with arrangements as accomplished as these are, and productions that crackle as gloriously as these do, the group can rest comfortably with their theft, genius as it is. Each track has a vocal feature, which might disappoint a few dance fans, but as with the first Jazzanova production LP (In Between), listeners won't spend long wishing they could hear instrumentals of these songs. The caressing vocalist Paul Randolph is responsible for a large share of the highlights, while Jazzanova must be proudest for snaring the smooth soul maverick Leon Ware to appear on a cover of his own "Rockin' You Eternally," with backing vocals from fellow Detroiter Dwele. (Still, Phonte from Little Brother is responsible for the record's greatest feat — delivering a fine soul vocal on the opener "Look What You're Doin' to Me," then rapping just as well for "So Far from Home.") It's to be expected that Jazzanova would turn in excellent productions with every track, but what's most impressive about Of All the Things is the work that Jazzanova haven't made their forté in the past — songwriting, arrangements, and the pairing of each vocalist with a song that works perfectly for them. (Credit for much of the songwriting and arranging for horn or strings goes to Stefan Leisering.) Whereas in the past, Jazzanova's preeminence was obvious on the surface, Of All the Things displays their subtle powers for music-making.

Customer Reviews

STUNNING

i am so pleased to have this album now.. i've been anticipating it for sure! i think its amazing that music is being liberated these days... people aren't afraid to go for it and make the music that they really want to make. the digital age has at least had that positive effect on music. i really appreciate the album these guys have put together. so soulful - this could easily be mistaken for something that was written in the 1960's. and that's what i mean about music (and the artists who make it) being liberated. musicians of the world: please take this album as a clear example of the freedom that exists nowadays to make quality music - without the need to appeal to anyone but yourself... and what you deem is good. if you make the music you really want to make, chances are its going to be a lot better than if you make the music you think so and so is going to want to hear. just be yourself.

Another great release from Jazzanova!

I've been waiting for this for several months and it doesn't dissappoint. These guys fuse several genres together to make beautiful jazz/electronic/soul music that has alot of the old 60's/70's influence but keep it modern and updated. The album also features some of the greatest soul singers around.

Classic

one of the best LP's of the YEAR. The Track with Phonte (Little Brother & Foreign Exchange), is amazing

Biography

Formed: 1995 in Germany

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Berlin's Jazzanova collective formed in 1995, after DJing with one another at a club called Delicious Doughnuts. Alexander Barck, Claas Brieler, Roskow Kretschmann, Stefan Leisering, Axel Reinemer, and Jürgen von Knoblauch shared a common goal of blending their collected inspirations together to create a new, sophisticated...
Full Bio
Of All the Things, Jazzanova
View In iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Electronic, Music, Jazz, Dance, House, Bop
  • Released: Oct 21, 2008

Customer Ratings

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