The Souljazz Orchestra - Solidarity
- Stewart Smith
- 19 September 2012
African, Caribbean and pan-American sounds from Canada
Following 2010’s all-acoustic Rising, Canada’s Souljazz Orchestra have rediscovered their electric muse, peppering their African, Caribbean and pan-American sounds with grainy keyboards and guitar. For all its vintage flavours, Solidarity avoids being a purely retro affair, thanks to its wit and energy. ‘Conquering Lion’ deftly lays Jamaican-inspired horns over a seriously tasty funk-break, while ‘Kingpin’, featuring Slim Moore, adds a dancehall edge to its classic reggae sound. The highlights are the covers of Senegal’s great Orchestra Baobab. Inspired by James Brown’s 1975 visit to Dakar, ‘Kelen Ati Leen’ is a sinuous Afro-funk lope, while ‘Nijaay’ is a gorgeous, melancholy ballad.