Various Artists - Jump Start Music 3

Various Artists
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DJ Ginger Tony has released the third volume in the Jump Start Music series.  Previously volumes were released on the now defunct Soul Unsigned Records label, but 2012 has brought a new label home and a new album.  The first question I needed answering was whether the new label meant a new sound, and a move away from the previous compilations? I can confirm that there has been no dramatic change in sound, and the listener still gets a fine collection of songs.  The second question was whether this compilation built on the previous albums, and took the series to the next level? Well let’s discuss this. 

DJ Ginger Tony has released the third volume in the Jump Start Music series.  Previously volumes were released on the now defunct Soul Unsigned Records label, but 2012 has brought a new label home and a new album.  The first question I needed answering was whether the new label meant a new sound, and a move away from the previous compilations? I can confirm that there has been no dramatic change in sound, and the listener still gets a fine collection of songs.  The second question was whether this compilation built on the previous albums, and took the series to the next level? Well let’s discuss this. 

The album is roughly split into three different genres.  It begins with a more soulful sound, with flashes of Northern Soul, funk and soulful house.  “Surrender” by The RJE Project featuring Lovelle Hill is an example of soulful house which still sounds authentic and not completely manufactured for the dancefloor.  Grupo-X “Big Town,” featuring the vocals of Lisa Millett, is a funky slice of live instruments and horns; this track definitely would get me moving if I heard it performed live.  However it is The Baker Brothers’ “Snap Back” which is the stand out track for me in this section.  There are elements of it which remind me of Aretha Franklin's “Rock Steady,” with a dash of Steely Dan and British Soul.  The vocal production could have done with a little tweaking, but that does not detract from the funk that The Baker Brothers put down.  Besides deep bass and percussion, there is a lively horn section to keep you in the thick of the fun.  I found the five minutes of this track were not quite enough for me.

Track six takes you into the next musical genre, and it is one that I have enjoyed on previous Jump Start compilations: nu-jazz.  Previous Jump Start participants Smoove & Turrell return with a track entitled “Slow Down.”  The timbre of John Turrell’s vocals have always been pleasing to my ear, and on this track he does not disappoint.  There is enough resonance in his voice for him to be a crooner, but paired with the dj scratches and percussion of producer Smoove it is given a 21st century stamp.   Fabrizio Rispoli’s vocals on Aaron Tesser & The New Jazz Affair’s “Light and Stars” raises the bar of nu-jazz further.  The live instrumentation on this track blends very well with Rispoli’s vocal, serving up a latin tinged jazz track that is far too short.  However the shortness only gives way to Jen Kearneys’ “Warm Bath Eyes”, which reminds me slightly of Allison Crockett’s work with Live Tropical Fish.  Besides the vocals, there is again lots going on in the instrumentation to keep a listener engaged on this track; it almost makes you want to taking up latin dance, especially the chorus about the dirty thoughts she has looking in her lover's warm bath eyes. 

The third and final section opens with the stand out track of the whole album for me:  “Feelin’ It” by Circle of Funk has had me dancing in my car, in my apartment, and soon a dancefloor near me.  There’s a darkness in the bassline which, twinned with Liford Shillingford’s vocals, is a party anthem waiting to happen.  It reminds of the best elements of a genre named speed garage which was around in the mid to late 90s, but it is paired with current house music.  The result is an example of what good dance music is meant to be, and although nearly seven minutes long, it is never tiresome.  Other contributions in this section include Missoless featuring Maria Valetta, which is a light and breezy track filled with lots of horns, but didn’t overly light my fire.  N’Dea Davenport lends her vocals to Shuya Okino’s “Deep Into The Sunshine”; the vocal harmonies on this should be checked out. 

To answer my initial question, does this album build upon the previous Jump Start Music series, and take it to the next level?  I would have to answer no.  Unfortunately my expectations were very high for this album after the great job Ginger Tony did on the last volume.  That is not to say that this is a bad album; on the contrary, I was able to find great gems in each section.  The nu-jazz section really excited me, and the live instrumentation in some of the earlier tracks also got me eager for new music out there.  However missing on this compilation was the occasional quirky track that would grow on you the more your listened to it, or the disco-inspired dance cut that snuck up on you and had you dancing. I did not finish listening to this album with my winter blues shook off, ready for Spring and gasping for Summer like I had done with the previous volumes.  I got some pretty good glimpses of it, and an idea of what it could be like, but it did not jump start into the next season.  Ginger Tony, where are the songs to the calibre of Brenda Boykins, Club Des Belugas, DJ Kawasaki, and Monday Michiru from your previous albums?  I know you have them in your stash somewhere, it’s just a shame that this album was not chocked full of such songs.  Recommended.

By Ricardito

 

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