Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Souljazz Orchestra: Rising Sun

Posted By on Thu, Apr 15, 2010 at 3:00 PM

By Lily Moayeri

Naming itself after its sound, it's easy to know what to expect from Canada's Souljazz Orchestra. The Ottowa-based collective unplugs for its fourth album, Rising Sun. Going entirely acoustic, it's in turns relaxed and hyper. With only six members, Souljazz's sound is surprisingly fleshed out. One can imagine a big band scenario on the expansive and stretched out "Lotus Flower," and "Serenity" delivers just that with its syncopated soft beats and airy woodwinds. In contrast, there's an entire African tribe present on "Mamaya." Its shuddering percussion and sometimes sassy, sometimes honking horn-play presents a snapshot of that continent's sound. "Rejoice, Parts 1 and 2" drag out the noodly jazz and self-involved Afrobeats a little too far. But inspired and joyful, "Consecration" reins in those elements, bringing the up- and downbeat of Rising Sun together.(Strut)  3 out of 5 stars.

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