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Posts Tagged ‘Teddy Rok

End of the year and everybody presents a best of the past twelve months, oh, or even a best of the decade, 2010 motherfucker and if you wanna be really fresh, grub out some christmas records. All that shitty songs, the torture of christmas in a Soul, Reggae or whatever version, hooow sweeeeeeeet. To be honest, I can´t imagine to get bored more. Instead I continue with some good music and hope that this time of the year will end very soon. Christmas is a bitch.

Vibesman Isiah Stance, his bassist brother Dwayne and the phenomenal drummer Byron Breaks – the legends are back, kickin the Funk to the Jazz. The Stance Brothers are with one foot in the past and the other firmly placed on the kick drum, countless of hours spent jamming at their dusty garage. The trio’s unfaltering will to excel in playing funk-influenced garage jazz comes second only to their passion for shooting hoops at the nearby basketball court.

At least that is the story Teppo “Teddy Rok” Mäkynen tells about The Stance Brothers, the drummer and live band leader of the globe-trotting Five Corners Quintet, the visionary behind the late Teddy Rok Seven, and the producer of such Finnish jazz co-luminaries as Jukka Eskola and Timo Lassy. His idea was to make “the holy grail of beat junkies”, the kind of a record which you would love to sample but which would at the same time sound as a “real” instrumental funk/jazz album from the early 70s. The music positions itself somewhere between funk and instrumental hip hop. Jazz is very much present, but not in the leading role. But this is no retro-funk at all. The breaks are fresh and sound almost as cut-ups (maybe they are), and the grooves are infectious and timeless.

The Stance Brothers’ “Kind Soul”, has all the requisite breakbeat fundamentals: snares that sound like they’re being played in a basketball gym; closely microphoned kick-drums that thump with pleasing tightness; and an extremely minimal sprinkling of hi-hats.

Funk, soul, exotica, early-’70s jazz, and hip-hop all come together in a brew that is as finger-popping and natural as it is savvy.

Roll Call!

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eskola1

Scandinavia has been lately at the top of contemporary music, specially jazz. Many probably know Jukka Eskola from his work with Nuspirit Helsinki and Teddy Rok Seven. But his debut record from 2005 is more contemporary jazz than nu-jazz, therefore more heading for The Five Corners Quintet, where the trumpeter also participated. The first thing that catches the eye is the stylish Blue Note–flavoured artwork, which was brought back by Ricky Ticky, but is also followed by Free Agent Records, which released the album – both fantastic record labels.

It is clear that Eskola’s playing is influenced by Freddie Hubbard. This is also self-proclaimed by Eskola himself. If listening to “Buttercup”, one of the higlights of the record, it is very clear why Eskola is not denying that. The musicians on this album with beautiful bass and drums, saxos in that nice jazzy way are almost the same as the Five Corners Quintet liveset, but doesn´t mean you have to expect the same sound. Eskola’s debut is definitely promising. It includes a handful of excellent tracks and displays a bunch of young top-class musicians on the rise. Another hotshot from the vital Helsinki scene.

Duudamdej


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