Monday, 15 April 2013

F(l)oating Through Space

While suitably hailed by East London's The Jazz Meet as "soul jazz for the 21st century," I would add that listening to The Greg Foat Group's second album Girl and Robot With Flowers personally evoked hazy teenaged memories of lingering on after the parents had vanished to bed and casting myself adrift to my second-hand copy of Pink Floyd's Meddle.  

Signed to the UK connoisseur label Jazzman, Girl and Robot With Flowers heartily embrace all things interplanetary in its cinematic jazz odyssey through the outer dimensions of the late 60s and early 70s psychedelic prog rock mode. This concept album recorded in Sweden, moreover befittingly exemplifies, throughout, the tenets of midcentury Scandinavian space-age design. The sonics are clean and exacting yet warm and inviting, and harmoniously balanced with a precise combination of lush analogue synths, brilliant horns, and an anchoring four-on-the-floor kick drum. It's an album built to last and withstand long journeys.  

Foat, himself, is the pianist, composer and arranger heard throughout the pieces, while the other members of his octet have been culled from the roster of top British session musicians, who at various times have backed Lionel Richie, The JBs, Justice and Questlove. It's these varied experiences beyond the traditional jazz academy that explain BBC radio host Jamie Cullum's acclamation that the group is "perfectly out of step with polished Modern Jazz."

If you, too, come to accept that you can't have enough of this record in your life, many of the developing suites on the album Girl and Robot With Flowers, namely "Have Spacesuit Will Travel (Part II)" and "Girl and Robot With Flowers (Parts IV-VI)," begin on an identically-titled, limited-edition, 10-inch EP

In addition to The Greg Foat Group website, check out their Facebook and Soundcloud pages, which host several of their tracks free for downloading.


The Greg Foat Group - Girl and Robot With Flowers, Jazzman, 2012.

Discogs: Girl and Robot With Flowers

"Girl and Robot With Flowers (Part 4)"

"Girl and Robot With Flowers (Part 5)"

"Girl and Robot With Flowers (Part 6)"

"Clear Skies Select Stick"

"Have Spacesuit Will Travel Pt. 2"

"For a Breath I Tarry"

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