Third album from poet and musician Anthony Joseph is produced by Malcolm Catto (The Heliocentrics) and featuring Jerry Dammers of The Specials - a mesmerising mix of funk, jazz, rock, Afrobeat, soca topped by Josephs distinctive vocal delivery. Musically, Rubber Orchestras is rockier and more melodic than previous albums, the title also referring to the range of different atmospheres and grooves present on the album, on which new Cuban rhythms give a more calypso rock overlay to the Afrobeat/funk base. The decision to use producer Malcolm Catto came about through a mutual love of 70s music and Cattos extensive knowledge of analogue sound. Several members of Cattos band The Heliocentrics appear on the album, as well as Catto himself on percussion, plus Shabaka Hutchings on clarinets and trumpeter Robin Hopcraft. There are also the deep, warm vocals of singer Jasnett Lindo that underscore this new, more melodic direction. Last but not least, Jerry Dammers (with whom Anthony Joseph has been playing for years in The Spatial AKA), has also come to the banquet. The legendary founder of The Specials, took to the controls to arrange and enhance a visionary and revolutionary poem, the iconic suite called Generations. A stand out track on the album, the lyrics talk about Josephs relationship to his homeland and its history through his ancestors. They struck a chord with Dammers and his beautifully sparse arrangement with understated vocals marries perfectly with Josephs words. Anthony Josephs new book, also entitled Rubber Orchestras, will be published on 15 November by Salt Publishing.
(4 stars) Jazz poetry, with added Jerry Dammers...producer Malcolm Catto orchestrates complex rhythms, adding Cuban friskiness to sinewy jazz funk. -- Uncut, (Alastair McKay), November 2011
(4 stars) Joseph's powerful, erudite and articulate wordplay constantly weaving narrative threads through each deadly groove...music of real spirit and soul. -- Bass Guitar Magazine, (Mike Flynn), November 2011
(4 stars) Mesmeric sounds...hypnotic rhythms...a set of incredibly strong liberation songs. -- MOJO, (Lois Wilson), January 2012
(4 stars) Rubber Orchestras is a stunning piece of work...Part Scott-Heron, part Lord Kitchener, Joseph has come into his own. -- Jazzwise, (Jane Cornwell), December 2011 / January 2012
Audacious mÃ©lange of street verse, funk and jazz..the music - brassy and uncompromising - holds you transfixed. -- The Sunday Times, (Clive Davis), October 9 2011