Nostalgia 77: The Garden

Review at PopMatters:

If any of this material feels like pastiche, it is nevertheless very well done. There is just enough hip-hop to keep things grounded: the breaks at the start of “Freedom” have a pedigree that goes back to Mantronix. The attention to period texture is particularly refreshing, given the tide of neo-jazz schlock that is increasingly upon us: Riaan Volsoo’s bass is recorded with a wonderfully acoustic rattle and throb; Kelsey Jones’s trumpet and Jon Shenoy’s sax have a up-close spittle to match the density of the arrangements. Above all, the tracks themselves have a purpose that is typically missing from the worthiness of hard-bop revivalism or the meandering of jazz-influenced hip-hop. This is a solid meal, even if you can still pick out the ingredients.


 

Robert Wheaton