Jeff Sharel Jeff Sharel

This self-titled release is a first-ever full-length from versatile French producer Sharel - a man known for his jazz sensibilities, deep excursions into dub and house, and work with the likes of Tony Allen and Femi Kuti. Here, Sharel merges his worlds, creating a jazz-infused electronic stew where fragmented musical thoughts boldly underpin beautiful melodies. This is no coffee table electro-jazz, but rather the work of an uncompromising producer who has a clear vision of his music. Sharel's grooves are simultaneously simple yet contemplative, his music filled with loops and oft-repeated sounds. Somehow, this serves to strip away the clutter and get down to the basic beauty. "Piano d'hiver" is sincere and emotion-filled, its rich bass, flute and pretty piano gliding over chilled beats, recalling a stroll in lush country side. The similarly relaxed "Hounza" is perhaps the epitome of Sharel's deconstructed yet melodic sound, with piano sitting atop broken beats. "Conte d'automne" rides the same contrast to a more melancholic, scratchy conclusion, with bursts of flute rising and falling over heavily echoed sounds. But the centrepiece of Sharel's LP is his tribute to Miles Davis's On the Corner, a complex, often-jagged, influential album from 1972. Here, Sharel has created three sample-free pieces, all sharing different emotions. "Tribute Part One" has a lilting, light touch, with keys and much percussion interacting with drones. "Part Two" pays tribute to the funkier side of Miles, with heavy-duty noodling on bass and guitar actually recalling Eno meeting the Talking Heads in a chunky session. "Tribute Final" is the piece de resistance, where lovely, lazy muted trumpet helps to create a world where jazz, beats and electronic abstractions all live in perfect harmony. We couldn't ask for much more. (Statra)