Very few albums manage to unveil their roots so honestly and at the same time succeed in creating something utterly distinct. Of All The Things from Jazzanova is one of these albums. Originally released in 2008 on Universal, it now gets a luxurious reissue on Sonar Kollektiv as a 3LP with pop-up gatefold cover including previously unreleased instrumentals. This format corresponds perfectly with the elegant opulence of the music that shines even brighter eleven years after its initial release. At no time is it unclear that this album is a deep bow to soul from the 1960s and 70s as well as genres like jazz, brazil and pop music in the vein of the early Beatles. Along these lines, Of All The Things is meant to be perceived as a tribute to the music that Jazzanova has been honouring affectionately in their DJ sets and which has always had a decisive influence on their own productions. At the same time, the Jazzanova guys have been successful in casually creating elaborate musical pieces which convey a deeply contemporary vibe – not least because of the multifarious references to electronic productions.
The path to this sophomore long player, which features the contribution of over 50 studio musicians, had been laid out beginning with Jazzanova‘s first album In Between from 2002.
While the overall impression of their full length debut was more minimal and rooted in club genres like broken beat and acid jazz, it became immediately apparent with Jazzanova‘s remix for Heavy’s ‘Wonderlove (for Minnie)’ in 2005 that the music collective was ready to progress towards utilizing the acoustic and electric instruments of studio musicians. Another fine step forward was the production of the soundtrack for Belle Et Fou in 2006 with its sophisticated arrangements and live orchestra.
Combining the art of sampling with classic compositional practices and songwriting – that‘s where this album excels while displaying the defining innovation of these musicians whose roots lie in DJ culture. What makes the songs on Of All The Things even more exciting are the many features of renowned vocalists like Phonte Coleman who has been causing quite a stir in the R‘n‘B world together with Little Brother as Foreign Exchange. The album also features a duet from Detroit legends Leon Ware and Dwele, the unique voice of Blue Note artist Jose James and even a guest appearance from Fat Freddy’s Drop front man Joe Dukie. Furthermore, the album marks the beginning of a long-term collaboration with Paul Randolph – another Detroit legend who has gone on to become one of the leading figures in Jazzanova‘s live band.