By: Ed Dyer
4 December, 2017, 20:00
Jazz music can have a tendency to become overblown, noodly nonsense for aficionados only. However, it can also be a wonderful mix of rhythms and melodies that beguile and subconsciously move the listener. Bristol outfit Feelgood Experiment are very firmly in the latter category, as they present a self-titled record stuffed full of beautiful melodies, captivating rhythms and some more than impressive musicianship.
Bearing more than a passing resemblance to the mid 90’s Acid Jazz output and bands such as Mother Earth, Corduroy and the more commercially minded Brand New Heavies, the combination of funky bass driven rhythms and swirling instrumentation provides a solid but dynamic foundation for the spiralling and dramatic vocals of Holly Wellington. But it is not as simplistic a comparison as this, as Latin rhythms, funk and disco all get pulled into the pot of influences supplementing the traditional jazz undercurrents to ensure that you are kept hooked in and it never descends to the depths of Pizza Express Jazz Muzak Lite. The track ‘Onocee’ even manages a vibe that recalls the jazz driven drum and bass output of LTJ Bukem, all the more impressive in that it is played live and not originated from samples.
There is a freshness to the record, despite the myriad of influences from across the history of jazz based music, it never becomes stuffy. The musicianship all round is pinpoint perfect, elevating the well-judged compositions into textbook Jazz Pop songs that across the record suit almost any mood you could have – out at a club, socialising in a bar or relaxing at home. This is late night listening par-excellence.