I hadn’t heard Afro Elements, but while digging around the web, I came across a link to their site from Down To The Bone’s website. Later, after I mentioned in a post on my blog that the album art on It Remains To Be Seen was a replica of Jeff Lorber’s Wizard Island, Simon from the group dropped me a note. In all honesty, even though I never listened to a track from these guys,I was looking forward to reviewing this release – just based on the balls needed to co-op the album art from one of the all-time great contemporary jazz releases.
Essentially, Afro Elements is Simon Bramley on bass, Phil Nelson on drums and Neil Burditt on keyboards. According to their bio, this core group of three, when not in the studio, expands to eight members for live appearances, as well as playing with and contributing to the likes of Mr Gone and Down To The Bone. If you’re a fan of Incognito and Down To The Bone, you’ll definitely get into these guys; very nu-jazz, great retro keyboards (permission granted for the cover art!), tight horns and an abundance of percussion. The music is very contemporary, leaning more towards jazz-soul-funk, than the electronica camp where a lot of the nu-jazz groups hangout. I would highly recommend picking this release up – this is very good stuff! Standout tracks include “Four Letter Word” and “Stop You’re Killing Me.”