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BBE Staff Selections 2018


Artist: Various Artists
Label: BBE
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 07 December 2018

BBE Music presents a packed new edition of their Staff Selections series, a yearly collection of musical highlights, chosen by the label team themselves. It’s been another fast and, at times, furious twelve months in the BBE office, not least because of one special project: painstakingly restoring a long lost collection of Charles Mingus concert tapes...

As well as the Charles Mingus album, 2018 also saw two classic Strata reissues from The Lyman Woodard Organization and The Contemporary Jazz Quintet, plus trailblazing compilation J-Jazz, which led on to a new J-Jazz Masterclass album reissue series, shedding new light on forgotten Japanese gems. The exploration of rare library music also continued with Catchy and Ducks & Drakes, two unique experimental LPs by 1970s French producer Yan Tregger.

In addition to a wide-ranging selection of reissues and compilations, 2018 saw original artist albums from Beatchild & The Slakadeliqs, The Herbaliser, Gabriele Poso, Vince Watson (under his new ‘Quart’ alias), Will Brock & Sumsuch and Jerome Sydenham rubbed shoulders with singles, EPs and remixes from Emilie Nana, Ron Trent & Lono Brazil, Ben Rau, Mike City, The James L’Estraunge Orchestra, Tricky D and Kiko Navarro.

First things first... Okay, I'm a little skeptical about whether or not this is a real "staff selection" from employees of BBE. It's convenient how this contains 22 tracks (2 hr, 33 min, 09 sec) of music showcasing one song from each of the label's notable output for 2018. Having said that... who actually cares how this was collated? When the music is as enjoyable and diverse as this it's the end result that matters. And this is a stonkingly good album.

For me, having reviewed some of the albums throughout the year, it was an enjoyable reminder of some of the great LPs I've had the pleasure of hearing. For those I hadn't heard before... well, I've already been onto iTunes to purchase several LPs I missed.

For those coming at this afresh... You are not going to be disappointed. There may be genres you would normally shy away from. Maybe you're not a jazz fan in the slightest. I defy anyone, after hearing Charles Mingus's 'Orange Was the Color of Her Dress, Then Blue Silk', to still publicly claim they hate jazz.

There's modern dance tracks, running side by side with chillout themes (who won't enjoy the vibe of Quart's 'Just a Lazy Day'?) This is an album for the summer... but in truth it's a release that can be enjoyed all year round. It also acts as a wonderful taster for some of the essential LPs that you may have missed from BBE in 2018.

Track listing:

01. The Lyman Woodard Organization - Saturday Night Special
02. Ron Trent vs Lono Brazil - Manchild (In The Promised Land) (Ron Trent Full Vocal Version)
03. Charles Mingus - Orange Was The Color of Her Dress Then Blue Silk
04. Beatchild & The Slakadeliqs feat. Justin Nozuka - The Only Difference
05. Ralph Thomas - Big Spliff
06. Yan Tregger - Sunny Wing
07. Takeo Moriyama - East Plants
08. The James L'Estraunge Orchestra - We Rise (6th Borough Project Remix)
09. The Herbaliser feat. Just Jack - Seize The Day
10. Mike City feat. Carl Thomas - 100 Miles (Sumsuch Remix)
11. Gabriele Poso - Everybody Loves The Sunshine
12. Tohru Aizawa Quartet - Dead Letter
13. Quart - Just a Lazy Day
14. Koichi Matsukaze Trio + Toshiyuki Daitoku - Images In Alone
15. Yan Tregger - The Last Girl
16. Emilie Nana, Simbad - The Reign Of Obsolete Technology (Simbad Dub)
17. The Contemporary Jazz Quintet - Noh Word
18. Will Brock & Sumsuch present Mega Jawns - Hushabye
19. Jerome Sydenham - Purple Beech
20. Sacha Vee - Hey Sugar (Bagar aka Tricky D Relick)
21. Roy Ayers - Holiday (Ben Rau Inkal Remix)
22. Kiko Navarro feat. Gabriele Poso & Paco Colombas - Painful Goodbye (Hasta Siempre Reprise)


Nick Smithson

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