Steely Dan – Aja (Epic #303)

The Epic 2017 Project #303: 171030

Steely Dan – Aja (1977)

Aja (pronounced Asia) was the sixth album by jazz rock band Steely Dan. Originally released in 1977 on ABC Records, it became the group’s best-selling album. The credits for Aja list nearly 40 musicians, as band leaders Donald Fagen and Walter Becker pushed Steely Dan further into experimenting with different combinations of session players.

Peaking at No. 3 on the U.S. charts and No. 5 in the United Kingdom, Aja was the band’s first platinum album, eventually selling over 5 million copies. The record spawned a number of hit singles, including “Peg”, “Deacon Blues”, and “Josie”.

In July 1978, the album won the Grammy Award for Best Engineered Non-Classical Recording. In 2003 it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and ranked number 145 on Rolling Stone’s “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time” list. Aja is often cited as one of the best test recordings for audiophiles, due to its high production standards.

Red Snapper – Making Bones (Epic #256)

The Epic 2017 Project #256: 170913

Red Snapper – Making Bones (1998)

Red Snapper was founded in London in 1993 by Ali Friend (double bass), Richard Thair (drums), and David Ayers (guitar). The three core members are also joined by various guest musicians and vocalists on different records. Since the 2007 reunion Tom Challenger (saxophone) has also been a member of the band. Music journalist Jason Ankeny of Allmusic characterises their sound…

the British acid jazz trio [are] notable for their pioneering synthesis of acoustic instruments and electronic textures

Making Bones was their second studio album released in 1998. For this one they were joined by jungle MC Det, Byron Wallen the jazz trumpeter and singer Alison David.

Here’s ‘The sleepless’


Quantic Soul Orchestra – Stampede (Epic 2017 #238)

The Epic 2017 Project #238: 170826

Quantic Soul Orchestra – Stampede (2003)

Always nice to feature some local flavour on JemTunes. So here’s a bit of Quantic from Brighton.

The Quantic Soul Orchestra is a live band project of musician and DJ, Will Holland. Holland has recorded under several names, but the most notable is Quantic. The Should Orchestra was his first collaborative project, and ‘Stampede, the first studio album, released on Tru Thoughts in 2003.

The band’s line-up changes from album to album, with sometime members including Holland’s sister, saxophonist Lucy Holland, his Limp Twins collaborator Russ Porter and former Hardkandy member Simon Little. Will Holland plays guitar and bass, and performs some of the percussion.

Their music focuses on reviving a dusty funk and jazz sound. They are signed to the Tru Thoughts label and have released four albums to date as well as a collaborative album with renowned funk and soul artist Spanky Wilson.

Holland is now based in Columbia.

Billy Cobham – Stratus (Leaping Ahead #55)

Leaping Ahead Project 2016 #55: 160224

[A song from a band beginning with C]

Jazz fusion drummer Billy Cobham added ‘Stratus’ to his 1973 ‘Spectrum’ album. A tune later sampled many times over, perhaps most notably in Massive Attack’s ‘Safe from Harm’ from their 1991 Blue Lines album.

Fat Freddy’s Drop (A-Z #40)

Fat Freddy’s Drop are a 7-piece outfit hailing from Wellington, New Zealand where they formed in 1999. They play a multi-genre style including diversities from Techno to Rhythm & Blues, Reggae to Jazz and Dub to Soul along with anything else that just happens to slip into the mix.

Here’s ‘Wandering Eye’ from 2006 to give you a taster…

Billy Cobham

Billy Cobham’s claim to fame rose from a slot in the the 1960’s as Miles Davis’ drummer. Born in 1944, Cobham is now known as the world class authority on jazz fusion.

Stratus has been sampled countless times since its original release on his debut album ‘Spectrum’ in 1973. For example in ‘Safe from harm’ from Massive Attack’s 1991 album ‘Blue Lines’…

25 songs in 25 days #25

One song per day along with an explanation of why you picked it. Day 25 – a song you could listen to all day without getting tired of it

Today (15 July) is the last day in my 25 day song challenge. It’s been fun and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading (and watching) as much as I’ve enjoyed the choosing. As for today though, there are many songs that fall into this category for me, but just one that stands out…

Santana – Soul Sacrifice (1969)

Filmed at Woodstock in Bethal, NY state, this is both a video clip and song I can never tire of. Michael Shrieve on drums was just 20 here which made him one of the youngest people to perform. The band is sublime, but he’s on another level altogether. Santana at their utter best, capturing the vibe of a generation. Enough words. Watch, listen and enjoy. Then, as I shall – do it all over again.