2019 album. Soul / jazz / tropical collective. Also available on CD.
Since first arriving on the Canadian scene at the turn of the millennium, the Souljazz Orchestra has never stopped pushing the limits of its signature sound: an explosive clash of Soul, Jazz, Afro, Latin and Caribbean styles, unleashed by blaring majestic horns, dusty vintage keyboards, and an arsenal of earthquaking percussion. And now The Souljazz Orchestra return with their ninth brand new studio album for our troubled times, ‘Chaos Theories’. Now this is a fierce one - a mix of future soul, tropical groove and free jazz improv, all approached with a bit of a post-punk vibe...
Always known for their uncompromising social and political messages, the Canadian collective hit harder than ever on 9 new tracks, outing the hypocrisy of modern day politics, police brutality and the everyday struggle of the working man. Led by chief songwriter and arranger Pierre Chrètien, the band continue to evolve their sound, drawing on a broad palette from their trademark Latin, Afro and Caribbean styles to some of the UK’s political sounds of the early ‘80s, the era of The Clash, The Police, 2-Tone and frontline reggae. “We were basically messing around with the idea of creating our own brand of Afro-punk”, remembers Chrétien, “something with the aggressive, in-your-face energy of punk rock or free jazz, but still backed by the hypnotic, pulsating grooves of tropical music." The album takes the listener from carefully targeted sonic missiles to more reflective thought-provoking moments. ‘Police The Police’ starts the offensive: “I wrote this after my neighbour was beaten to death by Ottawa police during an arrest,” explains Chrétien. “The authorities downplayed the incident and the officers were working the next day like nothing had happened.” ‘House Of Cards’ takes a thinly veiled swipe at the current US administration on an infectious disco groove: “lies within lies within lies… like so many Russian dolls”; ‘Boat Rockers’ challenges us all to look beyond accepted norms and ‘General Strike’ documents the frustrations of the working class as the pay gap gets increasingly wider; ‘Slumlord’ shines the spotlight on dodgy landlords while the brilliant closer ‘Well Runs Dry’ laments modern day living, with its confused pace and mundane obsessions, remembering simpler days gone by.
Meanwhile, years of relentless touring have formed the Souljazz Orchestra’s live concerts into the stuff of legends – more often than not culminating in ecstatic, sweat-soaked, cathartic affairs, mixing pulsating arrangements with eruptive improvisations. Leading their field for 17 years, The Souljazz Orchestra have constantly moved forward and remain an in-demand live band worldwide. ‘Chaos Theories’ is their 9th album, is released on LP, CD, cassette and digital / streaming and is mastered by The Carvery. LP format comes as a special dark blue vinyl edition. The band tour Europe and Canada during September, October and November 2019.