Album of the Day: Sunny Side Up, “Sunny Side Up”

Comprised of tracks from a diverse lineup of musicians, Brownswood Recordings’ Sunny Side Up compilation is a powerful document of Melbourne, Australia’s bubbling contemporary jazz scene. Incubated in collective houses, studios, and rehearsal spaces, the musical movement captured here is, in spirit, not far from the cooperative jazz scene that sprung up in American inner cities in the 1970s.

Sunny Side Up kicks off with a gorgeous opener, “Banksia,” a dreamy, hypnotic mood piece from percussionist Phil Stroud. From jazz-funk, hard-bop, and beyond, Sunny Side Up is packed with stellar cuts from Horatio Luna, Zeitgeist Freedom Energy Exchange, and more. Dufresne’s slinky, electric jazz-funk monster “Pick Up / Galaxy” brings to mind the deep grooves of ‘70s hybrid acts like Pleasure or The Blackbyrds. The album closes with “Orbit” by Allysha Joy, an outstanding jazz vocal piece built upon steadily intensifying drum and bass work, building up steam beneath an endless tower of celestial vocal harmonies. Engineered and mixed by Nick Herrera of Hiatus Kaiyote, Sunny Side Up is a beautifully captured snapshot of a young generation of musicians with strong musicianship and compositional flair.

-John Morrison

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