Having played a key role within the fabric of the label since its inception, Darker Than Wax are very proud to present “Distant Dancefloor”, the debut album from original family member Kaye. Pondering the infamous Charles Mingues quote “Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple.”Kaye expertly crafts eight cuts of no-nonsense dancefloor heaters, pulling no punches as he channels his love of Jazz chords and club shaking sounds into one cohesive and irresistible package. And here he delivers a perfect Back To Mine 10…
Miles Davis – Old Folks
This was from Someday My Prince Will Come, and was probably THE album that changed my life when I was 14. My brother was a Jazz fan so there was always music playing in the house when I was growing up, but it wasn’t until I consciously picked something randomly from his collection to listen on my own that the music started speaking to me, and for some reason this album really tore through me. I was literally listening to it everyday till I almost wore out the cassette! Romantic, pained, cool, vibey, and pensive all at the same time. It was then the stars aligned and I knew I wanted to play music for the rest of my life, and I’ve still remained true to that oath I swore to myself all those years ago!
Miles Davis Quintet - Old Folks
Ornette Coleman – Mind And Time
Ornette Coleman was another huge influence in my playing and approach to music. Notoriously labelled the godfather of Free Jazz, but all that didn’t matter to me. What appealed to me the was this idea he had of freedom from rules and structure (seemingly so), and since I couldn’t (still can’t) read music, obviously it intrigued me a great deal more. Listening to the carefree and exuberant way he soloed, an almost cheeky disregard for changes really excited me in my younger years, and since then I’ve always tried to emulate that quality of ‘out-ness’.
Mind And Time
John Zorn – Snagglepuss
As a sax player, I’ve always loved the ballsy players, and boy is John Zorn one the ballsiest ones around! When I first heard the ‘Naked City’ album it blew my mind, because it was just so in your face. I’d call it “Trash Jazz”, and you really have to listen to the album yourself to know what I mean. To hear them flip from Rockabilly, Surf Rock, Ballads, straight ahead Jazz and even Latin to Trash Metal and back is both hilarious and exhilarating.
John Zorn Snagglepuss
Charles Mingus – Remember Rockerfeller At Attica
Remember I said I love ballsy players? That doesn’t just apply to sax players. Mingus was too much of an overshadowing figure to be playing a ‘background’ instrument like the bass, and he wasn’t know as a composer as much as a bass player, which is what I would highlight here. The melody is just nuts. I can’t explain it in theory since I’m not schooled that way. But what I can tell you is whenever I hear this tune I feel like I’m on a rollercoaster – the ups and downs, highs and lows, such a sweet ride.
Remember Rockefeller At Attica
Jamaaladeen Tacuma – Animated Creation
Ornette Coleman’s main bass player in his ‘Prime Time’ band, Jamaaladeen is such an underrated bass player. Rhythmic and funky, and choosing a bass that more Rock players than Jazz would use gave him a truly unique sound. This track is from his debut album and you can hear the jazz funk style he developed in the years he was working as Coleman’s sideman. You can hear Coleman’s ‘Harmolodic’ philosophy rubbing off a great deal on Tacuma as well.
A Tribe Called Quest – Check The Rhyme
I can’t leave this list without a Hip Hop mention. Besides Jazz, Hip Hop was a huge force in my formative years as well. The entire ‘Low End Theory’ album to me is a timeless classic, ‘The Love Supreme’ of Hip Hop if you will. It was a full circle for me because of the Jazz samples used, and the fact the Jazz legend Ron Carter (Miles Davis’ bass player in his second classic quintet) was on it as well.
A Tribe Called Quest - Check The Rhime
Beady Belle – Moderation
I re-listened this while considering tracks to add in this list, and I’m glad I did, because I still get goosebumps listening to this. I don’t know why, maybe its the melody, or the harmonies, or the sweet sick riffs, or the bassline. Probably everything. And I don’t really gravitate towards non Black vocalists, but Beady is a huge exception. At 5 minutes, it’s too short. We need a 15 minute version!!
Beady Belle - Moderation (HQ)
Bugge Wesseltoft – Change
I remember when this came out my partner Dean Chew aka Funk Bstrd was caning it to no end. I feel back then you could get away with a lot more on dance floors, and this is an example of it. Super deep and minimal, but it has that pull like the strength of a tugboat. Over 10 minutes long, but it just keeps chugging and you don’t feel bored at any one bit. The soloing is sparse and so tastefully done, it’s always something I try to achieve when I play my sax with DJs.
Bugge Wesseltoft - Change
Terry Callier – Love Theme From Spartacus (4 Hero Main Mix)
Man this is another tune I think I first heard in a club. A club, can you believe it?? I think it may have been a closing tune, but can you imagine the vibes on this as a closing tune? VIBES. Terry’s vocals are heavenly and that HUGE Rhodes sound that is the pot for all the other elements to stew in is just immaculate.
Terry Callier (Love Theme From Spartacus) 4 Hero Main Mix - 1998
Beanfield – Re-Ac-Tion
Broken Beat / Nu Jazz at its finest, in my opinion. Beginning with a super hard to count Broken Beat section, then going into this infectious 4 to the floor bit gets me every time. Atypical time signatures, super jazzy chord progressions, so rich in terms of arrangement but yet doesn’t distract you from the danceability one bit.
Artist: Kaye Title: Distant Dancefloor Label: Darker Than Wax Release Date: 22nd October 2021 Darker Than Wax:Instagram | Facebook