The Astralsound Orchestra is a collaboration project featuring artists from [astral projects] Records. The project is an exploration of vintage funk and jazz styles often through a cinematic lens. Label founder Js.One (Guitar, Rhodes) produces all material, and shares writing and arranging credits with Franco Eneiro (Flute, Sax, Piano), himself a library music composer. Instrumentation duties are shared between the former two artists as well as Stony Watson (Synths, Clav, Perc), and Otis “Bassy” Jr (Bass) of the [astral projects] band The Nubians.
I’ve had this Ep streaming for quite a few days now. I waited for a while before I wrote this review because, as is true with all of the richest musical compositions, it often takes a while before you really get the true gist of each and every track, especially anything to do with the jazz genre.
In the case of this latest gem from The Astralsound Orchestra, I can truly say that the entire Piece Of Mind Ep is easily accessible and immediately enjoyable. To tell you the truth, there is a point in this Ep that found me toe-tapping and finger-drumming without me even realizing it! That’s how potent the spirit of Piece Of Mind is.
The Astralsound Orchestra delves into a funky, jazz-fusion sound, across the 4 spirited tracks that make up this Ep; with “East Side Drive” and “Skyline Colours” being the pick of the bunch for me, personally.
As jazz fans know, complex time signatures are hard to follow for the casual listener. Which is why it’s so amazing to hear Js.One’s drumming, so exquisite, so tasteful, and so strong and simple. You always know where the one-beat is, making it clear that this band is masterful at creating natural, easygoing time-signatures. Complexity aside, though, the music is truly cutting edge, in a world which seems to be dumbing down as the decades pass.
There are probably just a handful of people like you, who are reading these reviews (no doubt most of you being musicians yourselves), who can still appreciate real music with real musicians.
The cool thing here, is that The Astralsound Orchestra releases a collection which is musically not too challenging for the casual listener, full of subdued energy and accomplishes its goal of great performances and music, which is both entertaining and lively.
On the go, on the move and on target this six-piece combo hit a stride which only an excellent group of musicians can accomplish. “Piece Of Mind” sets the stage for everything that follows on this very beautiful Ep. The overall theme is mellow, however with The Astralsound Orchestra, even mellow is monstrous!
This is really good stuff, very strong compositions from Franco Eniero, tight arrangements by Franco and Js.One, and brilliant performance skills from the entire band. I’ve listened to “Piece Of Mind” a bunch of times now and am still enjoying it!
Synths: Stony Watson
Guitar & Keys: Js.One
Flute & Sax: Franco Eneiro
Bass: Otis “Bassy” Jr.
Percussion: Stony Watson
Composition: Franco Eneiro
Arrangement: Js.One & Franco Eneiro
Produced By: Js.One