Luaka Bop • 2021

Oh boy, I was already threatening to become cynical among the numbers of jazz epigones who were getting a taste of the well-deserved hype these days. For every ten fantastic records, there were a hundred mediocre ones – it was the material that filled streaming lists. Not all of it trivial, but mostly tiredly cobbled together. Fortunately, not everything is pressed on vinyl; as a fan of the (mostly) black gold, you had a much better ratio. So nothing to complain about? No, at the latest after this record anyway. »Natten«, that said in advance, is exactly the therapy I needed. Good in, bad out. How grandiose already this opener and title track brings the principle of Bremer/McCoy to the point. Relaxed, laid-back, yet never arbitrary, Copenhagen’s Jonathan Bremer (double bass) and Morten McCoy (keyboards and tape delay) are playing their way through cloudy valleys and »crazy« days at the seaside. The evoked feelings are great, sometimes even overwhelming. The ingenious twist: Basically, this is dub. The double bass insert is so chillingly placed that one almost overlooks/overhears this. But yes, it’s true: When Bremer/McCoy play through »Gratitude«, it’s Augustus Pablo and King Tubby – just different. And above all so naturally top-notch that you don’t turn around after the A-side, but listen again. And again… You get sucked into one of the best records of the year. Whoever comes out of it is lucky. Who stays inside even more!