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TRAMP RECORDS: Praise Poems – A journey into deep, soulful jazz and funk from the 1970s (2015)

Praise Poems Tramp RecordsTramp Records get their chill on with Praise Poems in what promises to be the first volume in a new counterpart to their existing Feeling Nice and Movements series’. However, whereas the Feeling Nice volumes are mainly about stank funky soul and rnb and the make-up of the Movements volumes varies as to the ratio of funk, rnb and soul jazz with a tendency towards the funk, here the ratio is reversed. This album is subtitled A journey into deep, soulful jazz and funk from the 1970s and the emphasis is firmly on the soul jazz groove, brother. You can practically see the beards and the beads.

As you might expect from the title, the lights are low, the eyes are closed and the body is moving almost imperceptibly to a gentler sort of groove. Be prepared to hear the odd bit of Rhodes piano and vibraphone. In fact, the title track (and many others on this) are exactly the sort of thing Clint Eastwood’s character might have been heard playing on his late night KRML show in Play Misty For Me. That’s not to say there isn’t anything livelier on here – Bold Breed’s funky soul organ heater Let Me Down Easy for example or the pounding latin rnb of Shango. Highlights include Tom Macke’s Mayfield-esque blaxploitation-type number Can You Understand Sacrifice? and the Ghetto Brothers-like soul-rock of Gemstones’ Cold Soul. Like I said though, generally we’re on a mellower tip. In fact, all things considered though, this could be the classy option soundtrack to a certain annual night with that special lady or man that is rapidly approaching…
(Out 16 February on Tramp Records)

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