Rama Dyushambee ‘Orbit in Space’ LP/DIG (Gravitational Encounter) 4/5

rama-dyushambeePeople like me spend a lot of our time searching for that elusive (and near exclusive) record from an artist that no one else has heard of. For some reason, those same people who may have only released one album in limited numbers seem to have one or two dynamic jazz pieces of music on that record which makes the search and ultimately the need for a second mortgage totally justified.
Rama Dyushambee partly falls into that category. His new album ‘Orbit in Space’ seems like a long lost album of years gone by but is in fact a current first time release for the San Diego based vocalist/trumpeter who proudly describes himself as: Visionary, Author, Musician, Identity – Awareness – Sexuality – Spirituality – Relationships Consultant, Story Teller.
The album (which so far has only seen a vinyl release without download voucher) is being marketed as a deep spiritual jazz record with its front space-like cover and sticker saying ‘Space Jazz’. It is in fact a great jazzy, funky & bluesy record.
Mr. Dyushambee’s voice is light but nimble (reminiscent of Bob Dorough, and Doug Hammond) and very musical. The first track is a rollicking jazzy funk number called ‘What’s your Game?’ which will get all but the ardent non foot stomper up and moving to it. This track was side A of a 7” release earlier this year and the clear stand-out cut on this 7 track record.

‘Hey you People’ is a good ol’ fashioned uplifting tune pushing you, me and everyone to not sit around but to get up and do something with our lives. Another big bold jazzy sound accompanies this song with some great horns thrown in for good measure. It’s definitely another song you would want to dance to with a cool piano solo to further tell you of its serious intention.

The last track on side one is an instrumental, showcasing the band (whose names we don’t know). It is a grooving bluesy number featuring piano, double bass, drums and guitar.

Side 2 brings ‘Heal It’ which may have taken part of its name from an album he released in 2003 called ‘Let’s Heal It’. The tempo is brought back up to a nicely progressive pace now. Rama seems to work well with his band as he gives them plenty of space to do their thing and on this track he gives the drummer some, and the drummer duly responds in a creative but subtly nuanced manner. What a lovely balanced jazz track this is – a definite favourite of mine.

‘Git Off’ is a modern-day bop instrumental featuring the full band including the man himself on trumpet.

The final two vocal tracks just further confirm that this is a very capable collection from musicians that know what they are doing, and know how to make jazz danceable and enjoyable without sacrificing its message or the quality of the music.

Sammy Goulbourne