I am always excited when someone sends me “something different” to review. This week’s submission from The Brighton Beat is one example of that. It is an Afrobeat jazz release by a large collection of musicians, double digits per the latest bio, along with a slew of others that will join them occasionally. Surprisingly they are based in New York, not Brighton, but they do have nice little soccer icon next to their name in the webpage tab, so I guess that makes up for it a little.
Like most Afrobeat groups, much of their music is influenced by the legendary Fela Kuti. Their songs are driven by rhythm and percussion. The grooves change nicely over the six tracks so you aren’t left feeling that this album is one long song. I appreciate this since ability can only take jazz release so far for most listeners. Switching it up a bit can do wonders for those of us that aren’t jazz aficionados. Half of the songs clock in over 10 minutes in length, but rarely did I feel them drag on, except for the last track “Indian Summer” which is also the longest song so it didn’t help.
The Brighton Beat does get a bit artsy at times, they are a jazz band after all, but it doesn’t really get long enough to be off-putting. More importantly is that while they are a jazz band, they are very danceable and I think that makes them quite appealing. They get groovy, funky, and smooth. The rhythms create the songs, and then the horns, keys, and guitar take you down numerous paths. Call it what you want, but The Brighton Beat has made an entertaining album that is enjoyable for those that consider themselves jazz fans or not.
Key Tracks: Changing Elevators, Capture the Flag
Kevin Kozel - Sr. MuzikReviews.com Staff
October 19, 2012