The Jazzinvaders project is a collaboration between producer/percussionist Phil Martin and members of famous Dutch jazz outfit The Houdini’s. Rejecting the producer-centric abstractions of the nu-jazz/broken beat set, ‘Up & Out’ is a groove-centred attempt at updating the classic latin and jazz-funk sounds of the 1960s and 1970s for the 21st century.
This is a band with their sights set firmly on the dancefloor. Opener ‘Bonga Bonga Jazz’ sets the tone – a propulsive concoction of Latin riffs and funky horn stabs driven forward by an elastic monster of a bassline. Elsewhere there are nods to the pioneering fusions of Fela Kuti and the Jazzanova crew as well as some lovely vocal turns from Mette Burild and Linda Bloemhard.
But for all its infectious vitality and the nods to recent dancefloor trends, ‘Up & Out’ remains a very retro affair that throws up no real surprises. Luckily what the set lacks in invention it more than makes up for in sheer exuberance – a welcome reminder of just how funky jazz can be.