Various Artists

Lefto Presents Jazz Cats Vol. 2

Sdban Ultra • 2022

When you think of contemporary jazz, there are lots of places that come to mind, but not so much Belgium. Yet the scene in this small country has been one of the reliable purveyors of the genre for years. This is also proven by the »Jazz Cats« compilation, which the Belgian DJ Lefto Early Bird has compiled for Sdban Records. While the first compilation featured well-known names like Black Flower and BRZZVLL, the second work is much less well-known. Which in this case simply means that there’s so much more to discover! Bandler Ching start off with a rather direct and smooth sound. The Brums, on the other hand, offer more of a film soundtrack in »Barbara«, with their jazz clearly drawing on the eighties. Finally, several synthesizers chase the melody, while the drums strive to hold on to the rhythm. Only at the end does everything dissolve into bliss with the addition of a saxophone. TUKAN’s contribution, on the other hand, works its way through electronic moments and has a real urge to move forward. Lefto Early Bird himself says that this scene is so diverse, has so many influences and so much creativity. He captures this feeling perfectly on this compilation. It’s not just an impression from the current Belgian scene, but a statement about jazz and its sounds in general in the present. A fantastic compilation with fantastic contributions. And anyone thinking about jazz should definitely have it on their radar.