Album Review: Impossible Ark: A Compilation - Various Artists

Released on Unfold, Impossible Ark: A Compilation features a selection of recent tracks from the stable of jazz stable Impossible Ark.

Modern jazz is always in danger of trying far to hard as far as BlackPlastic is concerned - adding the tag to another genre or getting so noodle-y that any semblance of melody evaporates just doesn't do jazz justice. Impossible Ark's merits are obvious in that this set doesn't risk any of this - instead it treads a pure line through a set of tracks that are timeless enough to make guessing their age practically impossible.

From the opening of the floaty and spacious 'What Is Life' from the Fiction Trio this album is just drenched in class. The Rhythmatic Orchestra's 'African Mailman' fuses salsa rhythms to a pair of jazzy solos from a piano and a flute, creating that perfect laid back afternoon vibe.

Jeb Jay Nichols provides a couple of vocal tracks, with the organic sounding 'Lake Whitfield' proving a highlight. Contemporary vocal jazz is often in danger of losing the magic beneath a collection of too highly polished session musicians - not so here, Nichols' band provide some of the most beautifully understated instrumentation BlackPlastic has ever heard.

Accessible yet authentic - Impossible Ark: A Compilation is genuinely a little bit spellbinding. Ending on the muted brass of The Voices of Time's 'Solstice', BlackPlastic cannot imagine a better way to spend the day than sipping coffee and taking in all the sites the world as to offer whilst soaking in these jazzy vibes.

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Impossible Ark: A Compilation is released through Unfold on 5 October, available for pre-order from on CD [Affiliate Link].