Various ‘Inside A.MA Volume 1 Compiled by Bob Hill’ (A.MA) 4/5

What do I want from a compilation album? I want to hear some music I haven’t heard before. Music that excites me. Music that makes me want to delve deeper and discover more from the artists featured. Too often I’m left disappointed. Too often I’m left wondering why would I bother, really… But not this time. This one seriously hits the spot. Inside A.MA is the first compilation to be released by the Italian jazz label. Curated and compiled from the label’s back catalogue by Bob Hill of The Illicit Grooves Show on Totally Wired Radio, this series opener reflects the best of the innovative sounds that have been released by the label over the past decade.

“Being given free access to the back catalogue of A.MA Records,” says Bob Hill, “has been like being given the password to Aladdin’s Cave or the map to Tutankhamen’s tomb. I play grooves for the leftfield and go across the tracks. It is this philosophy that I’ve applied to the Inside A.MA series of compilations and one which has resulted in this first volume.”

There’s a vibrancy to this album that can’t help but make you feel glad to be alive. Its rhythmic energy beats from start to finish. Ten artists/tunes are featured, and there isn’t a single dud amongst them. From the dancefloor funk-jazz of The Motion Collective to the drum & bass liquid fusion of Antonio Trinchera. My ears have been enlightened. Francesca Sortino’s rework of Little Sunflower is wonderful. Deep grooves combine with lush vocals on this stunning piece. Walk Tall – Tukan is a fabulously infectious slice of contemporary guitar-led jazz. The inventiveness continues with Fabio Tullio’s Qwerty, an invigorating tune that sparkles with a spirited intensity. And so the list goes on… excellent contributions from Enrico Noci, Paolo Archenza 4, Sebastian Jarrousse Tentet, Sanja Markovic, and Alberto Parmigianni, all combining to make this a worthwhile ride of discovery.

If you’re looking for some fresh grooves to brighten up your Christmas and New Year, this collection is definitely worth checking out. I for one am already looking forward to Volume 2.

Mike Gates