Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Various Artists: Jazz.Toys

Rare-groove collectors are an odd sort. They’ll pay something like $500 to buy an obscure record by a long-forgotten band just to sample a single breakbeat or to drop a lost song into a DJ mix. Marcus Hacker of the German label Perfect Toy is just such a crate digger. He’s a man who would likely trade a week’s pay in order to find a string-and-flute laden record with booty-rattling bass and a trap-kit smackdown-and he very likely did that to find the 14 ’60s, ’70s and ’80s easy-listening Euro obscurities that make up Jazz.Toys.

The Finnish Heikki Sarmanto Big Band’s “The Pawn” features a lead flute, but it also bounces to the beat of two drummers, a fuzzy electric piano and an operatic vocalist. Grupo Veneno’s “Guarana-Guaranar” is butt-shakin’ Brazilian wackiness as released by a German label, and the Earthquakes’ “Soul Samba” is result of a French company’s attempt to capitalize on Europe’s endless craving for Latinized grooves. Heinz Kiessling was a German soundtrack composer, and his “Drift” is a funked-up chase-scene song.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.