12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 14 February 2004
I was not prepared to enjoy this album as much as I have. "Three Street Worlds" can be characterized as a modern-day revision of soul-jazz (i.e Leon Thomas, Pharoah Sanders, Doug and Jean Carne, etc.), interlaced with touches of brukbeats/electronic/nu jazz flavors. Featuring a wonderful melange of sounds and styles, it is also an entirely coherent recording that plays superbly from start to finish. The cd opens with "Two Miles before Dawn" a meditative/lament that puts me in mind of Leon Thomas with an quasi orchestral/modal jazz arrangement (hints of George Russell perhaps). This track serves as a prelude to "Angels Walk" which is truly a beautiful hope giving track that lingers long after it has finished. However, things take off with the proceeding two tracks, both featuring the lovely voice of Valerie Ettiene -- "One Day" , followed by "Banks of the Nile" which is a tremdous dance-jazz work out. Strong uptempo acoustic jazz arrangements bouy both of these tracks and the musicianship is top shelf. Following are some mellow tracks that range from an electronic interlude, followed by a moody guitar-led "Blues for Brother" then on to the beautiful ballad "Unclaimed" -- again offering the grace of Valerie Ettienne. The most forward reaching tracks have to be the title track "Three Street Worlds" -- an ass kicking-loose yourself in the gorgeousness-techno-soul track; followed by the creme de la creme of the whole affair "Rising". This is a massive involved/evolved track that is worth the price alone. Bembe Seque who works steadily with the West London crowd is on point here and gives perhaps her finest recorded performance to date. Three Street Worlds is exceptional project that goes from strenght to strenght and offers real depth for your attention. It is a prized addition to my cd collection. Wonderful beauty.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Wow was my initial reaction when I first played this CD. From the very first track which really grips you until the final track the listener is drawn into this tapestry of rich sounds that weave in and out of your consciousness. This is a real progression for Two Banks of Four and they have taken on a more organic sound and enriched it with great vocals and lyrics. At times it is very emotive but at the same time it has a cathartic effect.
Whilst the Cinematic Orchestra have been wooing everyone in recent years this is certainly something that should be up there with the best of them. The textures and sounds are more complex than the Cinematic Orchestra (not just built up of reptitious melodies), urgent and all the more pleasing to the ear. Valerie Etienne excels with emotive beauty on "One Day" and "Closer" and one of my favourites "Unclaimed" which is a bluesy ballad. Even Bembe Segue, sounds greater here than on much of what I have heard of her recently.
The album does have an overall Black Jazz feel to it but with a West London producers touch. Destined to be a classic for collectors and one definitely not to be missed.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 11 March 2004
I knew nothing about Three Street Worlds before I brought this album (I only knew of the music). I was only buying this on other reviews. Giles P (Radio1) , message boards, amazon all recommended this album... Was I impressed...?
I was amazed, astounded, taken away. It really is a remarkable album. Its chilled, beautiful, every song is as good as the next. The vocals are slick and silky and the music sounds so authentic. I'm hoping to see them perform this soul/jazz/funk very soon but for now I have this album to listen to... Buy it now.