Album review

Various : Jazz Café: The Soul Mix
Inspired / UCJ

Various : Jazz Café: The Soul MixThis is destined to become the soundtrack for a thousand tipsy seductions in east London loft conversions, the backdrop for every suburban supper party. Maybe that's its natural milieu, but much of the music on this double CD collection is actually worthy of a much closer listen.
    For every tired old classic (Marvin Gaye's Let's Get It On, The Commodores' Easy) there's something new and fresh to tempt the taste buds of the gourmet. Tracks have been thrown together without much regard for a common theme, timeframe or style, though - jazz and soul are only distantly related, and something like Nitin Sawhney's sparkling Migration has very little to do with The Girl From Ipanema.

On disc one, the currently hot Amy Winehouse and Jamie Cullum rub shoulders with old warhorses Al Green and Stevie Wonder - but there are also mysterious appearances from the likes of Brigitte Bardot with the repulsively kitsch Je Danse Donc Je Suis and Diana Ross with the disco-inflected Love Hangover.
    Still, disc two tends towards the acid jazz and experimental end of things with high spots including Lizz Fields' lush When I See Love, India Arie's sensual Brown Skin and The Thievery Corporation's trippy Until The Morning, featuring Emiliana Torrini - last heard rendering the sublime Gollum's Song over the closing credits of The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers.

Not a CD for the jazz or soul enthusiast - more a random sampler for the mildly curious.

:: Clare O'Brien

Go to top of page
Latest articles

Alone in the dark: Buffy The Vampire Slayer bows out in style with the Season Seven DVD Collection.

Johnny Knoxville plays him in the movie Grand Theft Parsons, but counterculture speaks to the man himself: Phil Kaufman interviewed.