Just look at the name of this band. Any associations? Mine was: ah, Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation, Killimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble, must be working along the same lines. And in a way it is. This band delivers exactly what they promise: a blend of ska and jazz. And in doing so sounds nothing like the other two bands, so you can forget about them now. Despite the great similarities in the name.
On this EP Rotterdam Ska Jazz Foundation (RSJF) teams up with fellow Dutchies Bosco. Bosco provides a load of horns to the mix, thus enriching the sound and creating different possibilities. These are explored on five songs, one of which is a live recording. Of these five tracks two are covers, "Tunesia" you might know from Dizzy Gillespie (as "A Night In Tunesia") and "Goldie" is originally a Lee Morgan song (although you might know the Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers version). Both songs are recorded before by RSJF. The first on debut LP Shake Your Foundation and the latter can be found on third album Motiv Loco. To last song, the live-track "Beastie" can be found on previous EP Knock-Turn-All. So of these five tracks there are only 2 new tracks, opener "6pack7" and "Regenerate".
Of course I couldn't help myself and checked out the originals and the earlier RSJF versions of these songs. Of the covers I can say that I enjoy what RSJF have done with the originals. And compared with the earlier RSJF-recordings these versions are much more vibrant and rich; which is also the case with the brilliant sounding live-version of "Beastie". Usually I'm not a big fan of a band re-recording songs, but in this case this is justified in my opinion. I dig the full bodied sound these songs get on this album.
The two cover songs might have given you a hint, but if it didn't: this is a purely instrumental affair. The strength of this EP is: you don't miss those vocals for one second. The compositions are vivid and keep you connected the whole ride. The ska influences spice things up. Don't immediately think high octane ska, but the kind that, paradoxically, both sounds energizing and laid-back. Add to that loads of horns (Big Horns is a very correct title to this EP). The finishing touch are the effects that are used throughout the EP. Especially "Goldie" is loaded with them, making it almost into a radio play.
I imagine one big party seeing these folks live. As I don't see any upcoming shows I'll make do and mend with this EP for now and just play it again while skanking through my living room! If you haven't guessed by now: I love this EP and hereby urge you to check it out! Trust me, it will be eighteen well spend minutes.
8.5 / 10
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