Friday 26 January 2018

Michael Boothman: a rebirth beyond nostalgia

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Liner notes for Michael Boothman's 2018 EP, Break Away.

Seminal Caribbean jazz musician and recording artist Michael Boothman has, with the production of Break Away, his EP of new music, presaged the return of the musician to the focal point of creation and performance in the continuing exercise of the fusion of Caribbean rhythms and melodies with the tropes of jazz and popular Black music in the Americas — kysofusion is Boothman's name of that sound and music. His partner in this current exercise is Howard 'Howie' Lindeman, celebrated live and studio engineer with a who's who list of major credits, who worked on Boothman's pioneering album for Tabu/RCA Records in 1976.

The rekindling of this important relationship between these two stars in their respective fields has allowed for a rebirth of that kysofusion sound and music that convinced the US music industry that Boothman was worthy of signing. These four new tracks are a continuation of the aesthetic of excellence in music and the clear understanding of the role of the musician that both Boothman and Lindeman understand and personify

To "break away" is to liberate from the strictures of a kind of conformity. In the mind of Michael Boothman, it is also a celebration of that peerless Caribbean lifestyle and a return towards a freedom to be the best we can be.

© 2017, Nigel A. Campbell. All Rights Reserved.

Monday 1 January 2018

Playlist (January/February 2018) | Music ReviewsÂȘ

Glass World Rudy Smith

(Stunt Records)

Trailblazing steelpan jazz virtuoso Rudy Smith has been fusing the sound of the pan with bebop and progressive jazz for nearly fifty years, premiering the sound of native invention and “creole imagination” in the wider world. Europe has been his stomping ground for all those years, and with his eleventh full-length album Smith serves as a bona fide symbol of music excellence. Glass World finds Smith back fronting his Danish jazz band, re-inventing the idea of the steelpan as a solo instrument for jazz without the feeling of it being too avant garde. “Plangent” was the word used by a reviewer to describe the sound of the double second steelpans used by Smith, but a more apt descriptive would be “euphonious.” That tone juxtaposes beautifully within the songs, mainly written by his long-time collaborator and pianist Ole Matthiessen, to serve up a new standard in a diminishing marketplace for unique jazz. Traditional jazz is best served with originality, and this album delivers.


  1. More Caribbean Playlist reviews appear in the January/February 2018 issue of Caribbean Beat magazine.
© 2018, Nigel A. Campbell. All Rights Reserved.