So Riot Jazz finally released their debut album, Sousamaphone, and I have to say I was not disappointed. For those of you who don’t know who Riot Jazz are, you’re in for a treat.
Riot Jazz are a 9 piece live band from Manchester (fronted by MC Chunky), playing their own unique mix of jazz/hip hop/funk/soul type tunes. If you were going to compare them with other bands, you could draw similarities with the likes of Youngblood Brass Band, Hot 8 Brass Band, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble and those sorts of people.
I first saw Riot Jazz live back in freshers week of my first year of university, where they were playing in a grotty old basement club and I was instantly a fan. In the 5 or so years since then I’ve seen them play more times than I can remember, with the most recent being at this year’s Glastonbury. One thing that has never changed since the first time I saw them is their ridiculous ability to get any party going and get pretty much every single person in the room riled up into a jazz infused frenzy. I have to say they’re one of my favourite live bands to see play.
Anyway, back to the album business. My one beef with Riot Jazz had always been that they didn’t have a back catalogue of music I could listen to when I wasn’t at one of their gigs. I would watch videos of their performances on YouTube but it wasn’t quite the same. Fear not though, as they have just released their debut album “Sousamaphone” and it’s been playing constantly on my iPod ever since I bought it.
And yes, you heard right, I paid good money for it. I honestly can’t remember the last time I paid for an album, but I couldn’t resist this one. It’s refreshing to hear a band who are actually talented musically, rather than the mass produced “pop” nonsense that’s forced in your ears whenever you switch on the radio or turn on the TV.
I was going to try and pick one favourite track off Sousamaphone but I honestly wouldn’t know where to begin. From start to finish the album is exactly what you would hope for if you’ve ever seen the band play live. “Sousamaphone”, “Corn on the Cob” and “Girls from Petrcane” are a few early favourites, but there isn’t a single track on the record I don’t already love.
I’ve always been a big jazz fan, ever since I was a young lad learning to play the sax. But even if you’re not a jazz fan, don’t let that put you off. If you like talented musicians, playing upbeat music that makes you want to get up and dance, you’ll be a fan. And if you don’t like talented musicians, playing upbeat music that makes you want to get up and dance, then you should probably go home and listen to some One Direction or Justin Bieber or whatever the cool kids are listening to these days.
You can buy Sousamaphone from iTunes or Bandcamp on CD or MP3 and I strongly recommend it. It’s only £6 for the digital version so don’t be a cheapskate, support some local, talented guys. Also, make sure you see them play live, as it’s an experience, to say the least.
Anyway, I’ll leave you with something to get you going. Enjoy.