Rise Ashen/Various Refuel 1

Compiled and mixed by Ottawa’s Rise Ashen, Refuel 1 serves as an excellent primer on the burgeoning Canadian nu-jazz scene. Clocking in at 66 minutes, the disc is a non-stop procession of samba shuffle, organic instruments, soulful vocals, and driving house rhythms. The 12 tracks feature artists such as Miguel Graca, Legion of Green Men, and Ashen himself, who contributes the blissful "Something Pure,” as well as two tracks as one-third of the B.A.W. Collective. From the dub-inflected pulse of Fred Everything’s "Close 2 You” to the exuberant closer "Traveling” by BAW, Refuel 1 reaffirms what many already know: when it comes to nu-jazz, Canada is where it’s at. (Fossil Fuel)