The Souljazz Orchestra: Uprooted (2005)
Funk Manchu Records
01 – Quest
02 – Red Light
03 – Molotov Cocktail
04 – Sankofa
05 – BBQ Ribs & Fried Chicken
06 – Chango
07 – Satellites In Orbit
08 – Oscillations
09 – Centretown
Pierre Chrétien – vintage keyboards, percussion, vocals
Zakari Frantz – alto saxophone, flute, percussion, vocals
Steve Patterson – tenor saxophone, percussion, vocals
Ray Murray – baritone saxophone, percussion, vocals
Philippe Lafrenière – drums, percussion, vocals
Marielle Rivard – percussion, vocals
Uprooted is the Souljazz Orchestra’s first album. Mostly instrumental, it showcases the band’s beginnings.
A multi-cultural, high-energy collective from Ottawa, Ontario, the Souljazz Orchestra — featuring keyboardist Pierre Chrétien, alto saxophonist Zakari Frantz, baritone saxophonist Ray Murray, tenor saxophonist Steve Patterson, and percussionists Marielle Rivard and Philippe Lafrenière, all of whom are also vocalists — took root in 2002 and debuted with a fully developed sound that fused Latin and African jazz, funk, and Afro-beat.
The group’s first album was Uprooted, released in 2005 on the Funk Manchu label, but it was the overtly political 2006 single “Mista President,” off second album Freedom No Go Die (Do Right!), that really increased their audience, voted to the number nine spot in the 2006 Top 30 of BBC DJ Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide program.
Manifesto, the third Souljazz Orchestra album, was released in 2008.
Two years later, they moved to the higher-profile Strut label for Rising Sun, another Peterson favorite.
After nearly constant touring for a year, the band re-entered the studio; the result was Solidarity, released in the early fall of 2012.
~ Andy Kellman