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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Musician, scribbler, historian, gnostic, seeker of enlightenment, asker of the wrong questions, delver into the lost archives, fugitive from the law of averages, blogger, quantum spanner, left footed traveller, music journalist, zenarchist, freelance writer, reviewer and gemini. People have woken up to worse.


  1. […] Dope Sagittarius is proof that opposites do attract, at least in the musical world, and Black Empress is a great example of the art of genre-bending, and in doing so it creates music that is hard to place but easy to love. It is both full of off-kilter jazz intricacies and rock and roll groove. There is a pop immediacy to the song and also a confident swagger that comes from knowing that it turns heads and confounds expectation. It is cool and contagious and also inventive and left field. It raps and soothes, it is highly original, forward-thinking and creative yet full of past musical references which spiral back down the years as well as across the genres. […]

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