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Just4Games

GDRC607

Nuspirit Helsinki [Audio CD] Nuspirit Helsinki

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Recalling the thriller soundtracks of Lalo Schifrin and the atmospheric jazz of Miles Davis and Weather Report, Finnish collective Nuspirit Helsinki create organic nu-jazz, in which electronica becomes something greater than simple dance-floor dynamics. Like Germany's Koop and Jazzanova, the collective sprinkles elastic jazz rhythms throughout their detailed arrangements, with orchestral strings, biting brass, and percussion adding luster, and bluster. With an emphasis on live instrumentation, NH occasionally evoke the interstellar punk jazz of Jaco Pastorius's Word of Mouth big band. But NH is also alternately funky and danceable, balancing their spitfire jazz with smooth, Crusaders-style urban soul and surreal sound pastiches. Various vocalists appear, including Brooklyn soul kitten Nicole Willis, Chicago spoken word artist Chuck Perkins, and a robotic scat singer, but NH is too broadminded to be tied down to a single esthetic. This ambitious collective goes where the spirit leads. --Ken Micallef