Edinburgh based Jason Robertson fuses deep house, down tempo and nu jazz in this...
Andy Puleston 2002
Ahhh... the smell of freshly ground F Com in the morning, they really can do no wrong at the moment. In amongst last year's bundle were great albums from the likes of Alex Kidd, The Youngsters and Llorca. With 2002 now in full swing it is now the turn of Aqua Bassino aka Jason Robertson.
A sumptuous mix of styles, Beats and Bobs fuses deep house with nu jazz, down tempo and African rhythms to create a sound that is both accomplished and travelled. Robertson is responsible for playing most of the instruments, yet the record is magnified by the contributions from fellow jazzheads. Relishing Aqua's warm productions are saxophonist Martin Kershaw, UK Jazz Singer of the Year Niki King and African diva Nahawa Doumbia, all of whom turn in first class performances.
The album opens with "Ola", a generous portion of smooth, Balearic house furnished with acoustic guitar, gentle piano and Mr Kershaw's soprano sax. Bassino's groove reminds us that once again summer is on the way and that we really should be feeling the sand between our toes sometime soon.
The four to the floor journey continues through the record via the US with the "Sweet Home Chicago" sampling, deep house shuffle of "Baby C'Mon" and Italian inspired "Milano Bossa" complete with Rhodes piano and snaking bass line accessories.
However, this aquatic ceremony befits the lounge room as much as it does the dance floor. "Welcome Home" will surely evoke a 'white man's overbite' and incessant finger clicking as the lazy swing and muted trumpet permeates from your stereo and the less said about your attempts to emulate Niki King's wonderful smoky diva duties on "Time..." the better.
Boasting variation, subtlety and strong collaborations Beats and Bobs is a triumphant debut that will be equally at home in the DJs box as it will be in the CD rack next to your sofa. Once again F Com score another goal and hopefully, after the two years hard 'jazzualization' Aqua Bassino will take a well earned holiday. Cooler than than an Eskimo clutching a large bunch of cucumbers.