Zeep Nina Miranda & Chris Franck Present: Zeep

Acid jazz never died. What started as an amalgamation of Brazilian and Latin beats, Northern soul, jazz-fusion, electronics and good old funk continues to produce offshoots some ten-plus years after its commercial peak. No wonder really, given that most cities, especially London, have some dance floor culture that subscribes to this ethos. The new vintage sounds of Brazil’s Far Out label are a direct descendant of those days, and Zeep is a gentle update on the sounds that made acid jazz famous, or notorious, depending on your point of view. Chris Franck and Nina Miranda’s new group make sunny, agreeable Brazilian pop. Undoubtedly, Bebel Gilberto springs to mind first upon reading those words but this album is resolutely upbeat. The sound is also more band-oriented than electronic, with vintage keys and a real drum kit. Miranda’s tone is more reminiscent of Astrud than Bebel, when comparing to a Gilberto, but less ’luded out. The mellow soul here isn’t that different than the feeling behind great British soul of years past from the likes of Omar and C.J. Macintosh, and the immediate forbearer of this group, Da Lata. This is not boundary smashing music but it’s a fully realised effort. (Far Out)