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Old 01.22.2010, 02:06 PM   #1
noisereductions
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Sound Directions
The Funky Side Of Life
2005, Stones Throw

Okay, so try to follow: Sound Directions is the the side project of a fake band. Ya dig? The prolific genius known as Madlib started Yesterdays New Quinet sometime early in the 2000's. YNQ was a fictional jazz band that was made up entirely of Madlib aliases and they got some pretty good hype thanks to the exceptional ANGLES WITHOUT EDGES as well as a collection of Stevie Wonder covers. After that YNQ got even more real, so the members of the quintet decided to put out solo records and start new bands, ultimately evolving into the YESTERDAYS UNIVERSE. (long story short, everything in the YNQ Universe is worth checking out).

In 2005, this full lengther by YNQ spin-off Sound Directions was released to very little hype. But in some ways, it's maybe my favorite jazz album of the last ten years.

Like some of the later Y-Universe releases, Sound Directions is actually a bit of a collaboration of sorts. Otis Jackson, Jr. (aka Madlib -- the only member of YNQ to use his real name. If that makes sense?) plays drums for Sound Directions and he put together a book of amazing originals and well-picked covers and put together a session of musicians to come in and help him lay the tracks down. Horns, baby. Horns! Apparently, the goal was to release a Sound Directions DVD of a live performance. The performance happened, but sadly the DVD has yet to surface. See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGub6p625IM for the film's trailer and sob over its lack of materialization (or write to Stones Throw and demand it be released).

Song-wise, all I can say is that this is a rather concise jazz record that stays close to 70's funk-jazz and soul-jazz and maybe even hints at a bit of fusion (Miles and Zappa fusion, not y'know...). The originals are stunning. And the covers (Axelrod, yo!) are seemless. There's tons of great horn parts, the drums are phenominal and "Wanda Vidal" has my vote at becoming a new jazz standard.

Get this now. And then start hunting for all the other real albums of fake jazz bands that Otis Jackson is a part of. Trust me.
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Old 01.22.2010, 07:56 PM   #2
Derek
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Your choices are always really cool... always interesting albums and almost certainly always personal to you.
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Old 01.22.2010, 09:40 PM   #3
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amen brother. madlib can do no wrong. ever.
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Old 01.24.2010, 01:30 AM   #4
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I love this album. Nice choice.
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