Hear Souljazz Orchestra’s Take On A Christmas Classic In A Free Holiday Gift

K7_HolidayGift_2015We’re fully in the holiday spirit here at Strut, and what better way to celebrate the season than a blistering Afro-Funk take on a classic Christmas carol? The Souljazz Orchestra has given us just that with their wonderful version of “We Three Kings.”

The track is available exclusively for free download via the !K7 Collective Holiday Gift, along with material from some of our favorite independent labels like Luaka Bop, Piranha, Mister Saturday Night, R&S, and many others.

Share the love, and have a great holiday!

The Souljazz Orchestra Autumn Tour

souljazz_orchestra5_cropWe’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: The Souljazz Orchestra is simply one of the hardest working, must see live bands in the business. With their incendiary new album Resistance out now, the Ottawa-based sextet lead by Pierre Chrétien is taking to the road for an absolutely epic series of dates that sees them taking their very own fusion of roots music, jazz and funk from their native Canada to Europe and back again, making converts as they go. Dress light, as these shows will be HOT!

Resistance is available now via online retail and the Strut Store.

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Full Tour Dates

Sep 12 – Port Hope, CA – All-Canadian Jazzfest
Sep 26 – Ottawa, CA – Babylon Nightclub
Oct 03 – Lausanne, CH – Holy Groove Festival
Oct 04 – London, UK – Jazz Cafe
Oct 05 – Zurich, CH – Moods
Oct 08 – Beauvais, FR – L’Ouvre-Boîte
Oct 09 – Sannois, FR – EMB
Oct 10 – Rennes, FR – Ubu
Oct 11 – Laval, FR – 6PAR4
Oct 13 – Paris, FR – New Morning
Oct 14 – Massy, FR – Paul B
Oct 15 – Lyon, FR – Marché Gare
Oct 16 – Montpellier, FR – Rockstore
Oct 17 – Chalon-sur-Saône, FR – La Péniche
Oct 19 – Bristol, UK – The Lantern
Oct 20 – Liverpool, UK – The Kazimier
Oct 22 – Milan, IT – Biko Club
Oct 23 – Barcelona, SP – Say It Loud
Oct 24 – Madrid, SP – Sala Clamores
Oct 25 – Berlin, DE – Yaam
Oct 27 – Bochum, DE – Bahnhof Langendreer
Oct 29 – Cologne, DE – Club Bahnhof Ehrenfeld
Oct 30 – Pfarrkirchen, DE – Club Bogaloo
Oct 31 – Offenbach, DE – Hafen 2
Nov 03 – Vienna, AT – Andino
Nov 04 – Prague, CZ – AghaRTA
Nov 05 – Athens, GR – GazARTE
Nov 07 – Marseille, FR – Cabaret Aléatoire
Nov 14 – Gatineau, QC – Le Petit Chicago
Nov 20 – Hamilton, CA – This Ain’t Hollywood
Nov 21 – Toronto, CA – Lee’s Palace
Nov 27 – Québec, CA – Le Cercle
Nov 28 – Montréal, CA – La Sala Rossa

The Souljazz Orchestra Returns With New Album ‘Resistance’ September 2015

The_Souljazz_Orchestra_Resistance_front_coverCanada’s powerhouse Afro / Latin / Tropical collective, The Souljazz Orchestra, return in September 2015 with a powerhouse new album that sees the ensemble exploring some new sonic territory.

“We approached this album with a fresh ear,” explains bandleader Pierre Chrétien. “We were keen to build on the band’s sound and message, bringing in some of the French Caribbean and Francophone West African influences that we’ve loved since our youth, so the new album brings in French language tracks and elements of coupé-décalé, zouk and cadence to the overall mix.”

The Souljazz Orchestra remain one of the most solid units in their scene, retaining their original line-up since they were first formed back in 2002. On Resistance, they showcase their continuing versatility with saxman Ray Murray, percussionist Marielle Rivard, drummer Philippe Lafrenière and keyboardist Pierre Chrétien all taking on lead vocal duties on different tracks.

Resistance is released on 8th September on CD, LP & digital formats, and the band embark on a major new international tour, hitting up Europe during September and October 2015, followed by a Canadian run in November 2015.

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Afro-Beats Digital Collection

600x600Here at Strut, we’ve been captivated with African music of many varieties ever since we first dipped our toes into the vast waters of music from the continent. Our initial forays into releasing curated collections of music from Africa focused on West African Afrobeat and Afro-Funk, and in the following years broadened our scope to touch on Ethio Jazz, North African Gnawa, South African township jive, and countless other varieties and hybrids.

To kick off 2015, we’ve compiled selections from our many African releases for a special digital release. Afro-Beats is over two hours of music, and we kept the price below that of an average album release. Dig in, and enjoy!

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1. Ebo Taylor : Ayesama (taken from Appia Kwa Bridge)
2. Jabula : Jabula Happiness (taken from Spirit Of Malombo)
3. Mulatu Astatke : Green Africa (taken from Mulatu Steps Ahead)
4. Orchestre Poly-Rythmo : Koumi Dede (taken from Cotonou Club)
5. Orlando Julius with The Heliocentrics : Aseni (taken from Jaiyede Afro)
6. Jingo : Fever (taken from Afro-Rock Vol. 1)
7. Mulatu Astatke / The Heliocentrics : Phantom Of The Panther (taken from Inspiration Information)
8. Fanga & Maalem Abdallah Guinea : Kelen (taken from Fangnawa Experience)
9. The Souljazz Orchestra : One Life To Live (taken from Inner Fire)
10. Cornell Campbell Meets Soothsayers : We Want to Be Free (taken from Nothing Can Stop Us)
11. Jimi Tenor, Tony Allen : Against The Wall (taken from Inspiration Information)
12. Julian Bahula’s Jazz Afrika : Woza Cindi (taken from Spirit Of Malombo)
13. Orlando Julius with The Heliocentrics : Jaiyede Afro (taken from Jaiyede Afro)
14. The Souljazz Orchestra : As The Crow Flies (taken from Inner Fire)
15. Fanga & Maalem Abdallah Guinea : Kononi (taken from Fangnawa Experience)
16. Orlando Julius & His Modern Aces : Efoye So (taken from Super Afro Soul)
17. Ebo Taylor : Abonsam (taken from Appia Kwa Bridge)
18. Orchestre Poly-Rythmo : Holonon (taken from Cotonou Club)
19. Mercury Dance Band : Envy No Good (taken from Afro-Rock Vol. 1)
20. Malombo Jazz Makers : Hleziphi (taken from Spirit Of Malombo)
21. Mulatu Astatke / The Heliocentrics : Esketa Dance (taken from Inspiration Information)
22. Mulatu Astatke : I Faram Gami I Faram (taken from Mulatu Steps Ahead)
23. Jimi Tenor, Tony Allen : Cella’s Walk (taken from Inspiration Information)
24. Ebo Taylor : Nga Nga (taken from Love And Death)

The Souljazz Orchestra “One Life To Live” Video

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 1.20.47 PM The new music video  for Souljazz Orchestra’s “One Life To Live” captures the group’s impeccably tight live chemistry, as well as their analog aesthetic. Shot in their basement studio in Ottawa, the clip translates the intensity of the live show into a more intimate environment. With pyrotechnics like this happening like this on the regular, let’s hope the studio is well equipped for fire safety!

Inner Fire is available in record stores now, as well as on iTunes, Amazon and the Strut Store (where there are still a few 180 gram vinyl copies left!).

Video: The Souljazz Orchestra Covers The Gary Bartz Classic “Celestial Blues”

souljazz_orchestra1_med_cropTaken from the album Inner Fire, “Celestial Blues” sees Ottawa’s Souljazz Orchestra exploring their roots with an incendiary cover of Andy Bey’s rare groove classic, first recorded with the Gary Bartz NTU Troop back in 1971. In the spirit of the cosmic nature of the track, the visuals for the music video are culled from vintage public-domain NASA documentary footage from the early 1980s…

Inner Fire is released February 25th on Strut Records. Pre-order via iTunesAmazonStrut Store

Strut Africa Budget Sampler On iTunes

strut_africasmDating back to our very first release, Club Africa from 1999, packaging and presenting choice selections from the vast wealth of incredible music from the African content has been a labor of love here at Strut. We’ve had the good fortune to work with some of our heroes, and many stalwart legends of African music, spanning styles from Nigerian Afrobeat to South African Township Jive to Moroccan Gnawa and much in between.

This holiday season we’ve put together a special digital package featuring some of the cream of the crop from our African catalog, including music from legends like Mulatu Astatke, Ebo Taylor, Tony Allen and many more. The whole collection (26 tracks in total) is available on iTunes for $7.99, which makes it easy to dig a little deeper into some incredible sounds.

In addition, many of the original albums on which these songs appear are available at a discounted rate through iTunes for a limited time. Treat yourself to some amazing music!

Various Artists – Strut Africa Sampler

 

The Souljazz Orchestra Is Back With Inner Fire!

Souljazz Orchestra Inner FireOur favorite globally-minded Canadian virtuosos have finished up a new recording for 2014, and it’s a real scorcher! Inner Fire, the latest from Pierre Chrétien & co. sees The Souljazz Orchestra perfecting their global music fusion, and treading some extremely funky territory while they’re at it.

Recorded using the Orchestra’s signature analogue techniques at their studio HQ  in their home city of Ottawa, the new set continues the band’s expansive musical journey as they effortlessly fuse intricate Eastern influences, Afro beats, Egyptian jazz, Latin styles and spiritual elements into their unique musical melting pot.

The secret to the band’s sound remains a true openness tosouljazz_orchestra1_med_crop global music of all kinds and the individual experiences of the Orchestra’s band members. “We all have very wide tastes, we’re always digging for new sounds, and we’ve had the chance to work with master musicians from all over, from Nigeria to Rwanda, from Cuba to Haiti, so each band member ends up bringing different vibes and ideas to each of our albums,” explains keyboardist Chrétien.

On Inner Fire, the different vibes come thick and fast, burning through afro-jazz stompers, highlife flourishes, Cuban bolero sounds, smoldering salsa dura, and even scorching personal rendition of Gary Bartz NTU Troop’s 1971 classic, “Celestial Blues.”

Inner Fire will be out on February 24th, 2014, and the band will be undertaking a Canadian tour in February, followed by a full European tour in March and April.

TRACKLIST

1. Initiation
2. Kingdom Come
3. One Life To Live
4. As The Crow Flies
5. Black Orchid
6. Agoya
7. East Flows The River
8. Sommet En Sommet
9. Celestial Blues
10. Completion