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Roman Andren: Color Green


Color Green

Ajabu CD, 2010

Birth Of Eshu – Piranha (The Buffalo Hunt) – Captain’s Sword – Always On The Run (To Love You) – Inside Life – Color Green (Pt 1 and 2) – My Ten Zillion Dream – Sky Ride – Let It Out – People Make The World Go Round – Love Is Still Everything (With You)

This CD has been around a bit now and I was made aware of it earlier this far as I am concerned it is the best Jazz album I have bought in YEARS. Look, if smooth jazz – or lift music as I call it – is your bag then this set will totally not be up your street. Let me explain. All the instrumentation is has verve, real energy and expression. The players are so into their playing one can feel the raw energy on which these songs ride. Imagine this...the best qualities of Ramsey Lewis, Ronnie Foster, Mizell Brothers, Charles Stepney...all wrapped up in a gorgeously writhing mid 1970s aural orgasm of funky soulful jazz. It is all I can do to contain myself about its I describe this music as brilliantly ALIVE. It is a joyous celebration of sound, scope and depth of vision that sweeps every lame smooth jazz set aside as violently as it does elegantly.

Every single track is a winner, and I have to say it towers above his previous release that was dedicated to 60s and 70s Jazz. That was a rather limp set compared to this album. Color Green could be a lost recording from 1975...and a true Jazz masterpiece for the second decade of the 21st Century. This is how high I rate this album! Mostly instrumental, all 11 tracks take us on a rollercoaster ride that takes us down to some scintillating sexy soulfulness with the Charles Stepney-like “Inside Life” and Roy Ayers Ubiquity-sounding “My Ten Zillion Dream” to the Manfredo Fest sounding Latin efforts such as “Captain’s Sword”. My goodness check out the lush rhythm and the flute! Totally spellbinding!

From these very high points we soar higher to the MASTERPIECE that is the title track...”Color Green” runs at an amazing 12 minutes-plus run...and is so lush, frenetic and essential that it hurts. Roman’s voice is totally unique...succulent...raw and perfectly in unison with the powerful driving music that owes more to Afro-Cuban roots than anything else...a sophisticated 1970s effort with a seriously funky underpinning...the horns stab, the rhythm flows and 5 minutes into it we hit some absolutely amazing forward-marching hi-hat action that superbly punches out of the speakers. Music like this makes me glad to be alive and actually sounds as lush, moist and tropical as the cover artwork belies.

Color Green, folks, is one of today’s most essential jazz albums and rates as one of my favourite albums of all time. Miss this baby at your peril and go support one of today’s most phenomenally talented jazz artists as music like this is as rare as rocking horse poo these days and what Roman Andren has done is successfully create NEW CLASSIC 70s funky Latin Jazz with a real ‘now’ sound to boot. Roman...I want to bow down before you, my friend. I hope people check this CD out and hear what I hear and feel what I feel. You, my friend, are a genius. No more no less. ..

Barry Towler

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