When I hear that the Arts Council has helped fund an album, I get nervous about what I'll have to listen to. This time, though, they've got it exactly right.
Stripped-down jazz, with enviously low-tempo vocals and superior production, makes this a blissful trip through the group's third album. Erykah Badu, the queen of Nu Jack Soul, would kill for some of the songs and rhythms Zrazy have created.
The two cover versions, of Billie Holiday's 'God Bless the Child' and Cole Porter's 'Night and Day', suit the mood perfectly. 'Beloved' is a spiritual anthem, but 'Ecstacy' is the real album highlight.
This is an early contender for Specialist Album of the Year and a must for all contemporary jazz fans.
by Neil Callanan