Define Love – Dope Sagittarius (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Jazz is often seen as an acquired taste, a complex and niche musical style with a slightly inaccessible vibe to it. Pop music, by contrast, as being a frivolous and perhaps throwaway genre. But perhaps by mining a sonic seam that runs through both, you could come up with the best of both worlds, music which plays to jazz’s ornate charms and pop’s accessible ways simultaneously.

Well, the splendidly named Dope Sagittarius seem to think so and by the sound of their latest single, Define Love, they have not only explored such dark musical recesses but emerged the other side clutching a real gem of a song.

The brainchild of Funkface’s Luqman Brown, for Define Love he managed to gather around him people such as The Veldt’s Micah Gaugh, Dizzy Gillespie sideman Marc Carey, Corey Glover from Living Colour and Ronnie Drayton who’s played with everybody from the Persuaders and The Chambers Brothers to Defunkt, Nona Hendryx, and 24-7 Spyz.

But a song isn’t about who, it is about how- how it sounds and how it makes you feel – and Define Love is a gorgeous and warm slice of alt-pop poise wrapped in intriguing and intricate jazz waves. It makes for a great teaser for the album to follow, Sacred Places, next month but also stands alone as a gorgeous, soulful, deft and delicate track in its own right.

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