Various Comet Jazz Beats

The Comet label from Paris is best known for its 1999 release of Tony Allen’s Black Voices. That disc’s mixture of earthy rhythms and sounds mixed with a very dubby, almost IDM-ish production style characterises Comet Jazz Beats. The best example is Art Konik’s "Finger” featuring under sung jazz pianist Bobby Few. The rhythm is just a few percussive sounds cut and pasted into un-identical loops, with a distended triangle rhythm and Few’s cascading keyboard sprinkled throughout. The calm, yet musically provocative groove is very reminiscent of Lonnie Liston Smith’s more ambient pieces, but with a lot more drive and harmonic interest. Allen gets his due with a couple of tracks, one of which is his excellent collaboration with Cinematic Orchestra from 2001’s Allenko Brotherhood Ensemble disc. This marriage of J. Swinscoe’s piano chords with Allen’s fleet Afrobeat gradually accelerates into a 160 bpm monster jam. Two reissued tracks from Randy Weston late ’60s work fit the mood perfectly. Weston’s mastery of 6/8 percussion grooves sound remarkably fresh and relevant to the rest of the tracks. The most inspiring track may be the first — Rare Moods’ "A Kind Of Fool”. After floating around for a few minutes, a bluesy shuffle is teased out of the rhythm, sounding like the soul of a crossfader. This is smart music that succeeds in getting low-down. (Comet)