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Jazzanova: In Between

A six-member, Berlin-based DJ-producer collective, Jazzanova produces a stylistically inclusive electronica-jazz amalgam-aka nu-jazz in Europe-combining artfully layered rhythms with performances by guest vocalists and instrumentalists from all over the world.

On In Between, Jazzanova’s affinity for jazz is evident on numerous tracks, including “L.O.V.E. and You & I,” where David Friedman’s vibes ring out over a choppy rhythmic mix. Flavored with Far Eastern elements, the mesmerizing “Hanazono” features vigorous soloing by Japanese keyboardist Hajime Yoshizawa, while jazz drummer and vocalist Doug Hammond delivers a message of global unity over shifting, intricately detailed percussion patterns on the hypnotic “Dance the Dance.” In Between closes with “Wasted Time,” where fusiony keyboards are set over a slow groove.

The album’s genre-spanning tracks also include “The One-Tet,” a hip-hop song featuring rapper Capital A rhyming over an uncluttered, ferociously funky rhythm, and the futuristic, techno-synth-driven “Soon.” On “Keep Falling,” the collective juxtaposes spoken-word artist Ursula Rucker’s call for self-knowledge, inner-strength and resistance to destructive outside forces with rapper Hawkeye Phanatic’s rather self-aggrandizing rhyme, and the pairing feels mismatched.

In Between is not for every jazz lover-it’s far better suited to the dance club than the jazz club-but if you appreciate progressive approaches to jazz, it is definitely worth experiencing.

Originally Published