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King Britt Presents The Cosmic Lounge: A Spiritual Quest For Higher Sound

King Britt presents The Cosmic Lounge

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

PHILADELPHIA native King Britt claims to have found a way to escape the boundaries of a single category music by expressing his creations through deep house, hip-hop, broken beat, jazz, funk and afro-tech.

He’s been honing his DJ and production skills for the greater part of a decade with the result that he’s earned a name for himself as a pioneer of all things soulful, rhythmically textured and melodically provocative.

His latest compilation, The Cosmic Lounge: A Spiritual Quest For Higher Sound, is comprised of a number of rare and collectable Jazz tracks featuring a host of Jazz legends – Sun Ra, Flora Purim, Phil Ranelin and Don Cherry.

But you really have to be into jazz to appreciate it for this is no normal jazz album. As King Britt explains: “Jazz exists on a personal and spiritual plane for me. There’s something cosmic about the genre’s deeply African American heritage. As an original musical form rooted in instrumental improvisation, jazz is a musical conversation between creative individuals.”

Hence, the likes of Kawaida jostle for position with Eddie Henderson’s Scorpio Libra and Don Cherry’s Moving Pictures For The Ear. But they are very experimental tracks.

Hancock’s album opener Kawaida is very hard work for anyone who likes their music to conform to some kind of structure. It’s a spoken word, mystical track based around musings and a lone flute. But at over seven minutes in length, it really does test the patience.

Later on, Dane Belany’s Conviction mixes tribal chanting with more traditional jazz values and a thumping percussion but, again, quickly becomes a difficult listen that’s more likely to annoy than inspire.

That’s not to say the compilation isn’t without merit, for King Britt has clearly dug deep to find the 11 tracks that comprise the compilation.

But it won’t win anyone over to Jazz as a music form and is really only for the connoisseur among you. I just couldn’t get into it no matter how hard I tried.

Track listing:

  1. Kawaida – Herbie Hancock
  2. Ekim – Michal Urbaniak Group
  3. Yebo – Mtume
  4. Scorpio Libra – Eddie Henderson
  5. Conviction – Dane Belany
  6. Moving Pictures For The Ear – Don Cherry
  7. Beyond Yourself – Brother Ah
  8. Encounter – Flora Purim
  9. Space Spy – Grachan Moncur III
  10. Time Is Now For Change – Phil Ranelin
  11. Naima – Jean Carn & Doug