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Radio Citizen - The Hop

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Uploaded on Mar 26, 2010

Radio Citizen's "Berlin Seregeti" summons the spirits of John Coltrane, Rashan Roland Kirk, McCoy Tyner, and the hard bop / experimental jazz of the mid-to-late 1960's and wraps them in extraordinarily crafted beats and samples to create a truly fresh sound. The true test of this kind of music is whether it simply recycles old sounds or recasts them in a new light. What struck me most was the amazing convergence between the afro-cuban beats and the hard bop horn and flute runs that comprise the CD's most interesting tracks. In this respect, McCoy Tyner is probably the closest point of reference and "Berlin Serengeti" effectively answers the question: "What would John Coltrane and Rashan Roland Kirk have sounded like if they had played with McCoy's Latin All-Stars?" German spoken word / poet / singer Bajka provides perfect vocal flavor to her tracks, including the rather incongruous though catchy "Hop", which starts the album off in more conventional trip-hop direction. Her contributions to "Everything" and "Championsound" are evocative in the manner of Nina Simone, while her tone and phrasing are superb, in the manner of Billie Holliday and Sarah Vaughn. "Berlin Serengeti" is really a remarkable achievement and succeeds in paying the best kind of homage to its sources. Even more, it reconnects avant-garde jazz with its dance roots - quite an accomplishment.

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