With the exception of 2 tracks, one a honky tonk and one a soulful ballad, this is instrumental jazz. The instrumentation gives most a Latin feel(timbales will do that), although only a couple can truly be called Latin jazz, track 2 for example. Track 8 is a great blues piece. A gift from Dr. Beaf, I saw no one else had this, which is a pity. I hope to rectify that with this recommendation, as it's really quite good.
Freestyle Records is immensely proud to be the new home for one of the UK's most creative and in demand musicians, Jessica Lauren. Since the early 1990s, the soulful, spacey jazz grooves of keyboard player Jessica Lauren have been a familiar part of London's alternative music scene, having in the past released her own original music on Soul Jazz Records, M.E.L.T 2000 and People Records. Jessica's keyboard skills have augmented the live performances and studio recordings of world renowned artists such as Jean Carne, Tom Browne, Dexter Wansel and James Mason, Japan's United Future Organisation, UK soul diva Juliet Roberts, as well as Jessica currently being a core member of Nick Woodmansey's space jazz outfit Emanative. Jessica Lauren Four is her latest project, nearly entirely acoustic, and is an intoxicating cocktail of her many diverse influences including blues and soul, jazz and Afro-Cuban rhythms, combined with ambient dance music, always interesting, absorbing and surprising. Opening up with White Mountain which is a spell binding and hypnotic blend of 21st century jazz sensibilities, combined with ambient dance music minimalism and is a first rate lesson in the 'less is more approach' to music making. The sense of restraint and space captured on this recording is a quite beautiful and rare thing, especially in the jazz world.
Renowned vocal sensation Jocelyn Brown makes two contributions on the album, the first being the rolling, rhythm & blues romper stomper Happiness Train, which allows Jocelyn to stretch out within a fresh and wide open musical landscape and the result speaks for itself. Her second appearance on this collection, I Believe is gospel influenced soul with Jessica's tender piano and organ work underpinning Jocelyn's quite outstanding and touching vocal performance. Across on the entire album, Jessica and her band mates, bassist Andrew Kremer and percussionists David 'Booie' Gallagher and Paul Gunter adeptly weave together various rhythmic palates into a varied but cohesive selection of sounds that draw together a world of influences and textures, from the latin pulse of Vaya Con Dios, the jaunty and swinging vibe of Gangaman, and the punchy yet considered attack of The Name Of Fela Will Always Stand For Freedom, this tight musical unit display a rare skill for playing with taste, precision and a selfless, collaborative attitude where the only end result that matters is the music.