Danny 'Moodymanc' Ward takes some serious jazzbos on a deep house excursion
There've been no shortage of attempts to fuse house, techno and other styles of electronic music with jazz over the years, ranging from the brilliant (Boulevard, Brown Paper Bag, Man With The Red Face) to the truly execrable (Doop) and stopping at all points in-between. But this latest offering from the studio of Danny Ward, AKA Double D, AKA Moodymanc, really is something special.
For when Danny's not busy being an acclaimed deep house DJ/producer, he's off being an in-demand session/live drummer on the jazz scene, backing some of the biggest names in the business. And with new project Well Cut Jazz Workshop, he's brought his two worlds together, dragging some of his jazz world chums into the studio and onto the dancefloor. The results are nothing less than stunning.
Opener Gone starts out with a full minute of fairly innocuous, shuffly house beats, then bursts suddenly into life with a live double bassline, credited to one Matt Owens, that could surely get the rump of a dead man shakin'. Mark Francis's pleasingly understated piano rounds out the track nicely, and the soulful male "you're gonna lose me, and I'll be gone" vocal sample will ensure mouth-along accessibility, but it's that bassline that steals the show.
Cherries was apparently first built around a sample from avant-garde jazz trumpeter Don Cherry (dad to Eagle-Eye, stepdad to Neneh), then augmented by a bevvy of top-flight horn players led by Steve 'Sgt' Parry. In its original form it has a more lounge-y, laidback feel than Gone, but an accompanying Trumpet Strip Dub beefs things up a little for dancefloor purposes. And then finally there's Stunt, featuring Danny Preston on bass and Mark Francis on keys, again a slightly more laidback affair but still with enough bottom-end kick for floor play.
You won't be hearing these tracks at Electric Daisy Carnival, for sure. But for those whose tastes in electronic music are a tad more refined, this is unmissable.
Words: Russell Deeks
Release date: 20 January
Review Score: 9