We first became aware of Martin Davis and Oskar Mann’s Book Works after spotting one of their slick t-shirts with tasteful jazz-inspired graphics. After digging a little deeper, it turns out jazz is woven into the fabric (heh) of everything they do. And now they’re doubling down on their love of jazz by expanding their operations to include original music and limited-run vinyl editions. The first of these, the Book Works Trio EP, collects a handful of tunes recorded by Oskar with classmates from The New School’s jazz program and Manhattan School of Music. All three tracks sport cool, laidback grooves landing somewhere on the spectrum between jazz and funk, anchored by Max Tucker’s drum kit and Jansen Cinco’s bass, with Isaac Darche’s masterful high-register guitar flourishes sealing the deal. The real highlight here is the breezy slow-disco rendition of cubano-jazz standard “Poinciana,” featuring some of Darche’s best playing on the EP, and Oskar’s latin-inspired polyrhythms really take the tune to another level, primed for sweltering hot August nights standing out on Avenue B. The flipside sports a remix of the track by Max B (not that Max B, but free that Max B!), who reinterprets it via the Primo school of hip-hop drums, retaining the original’s summery guitar inflections and adding a sprinkle of Dilla sirens for good measure. Cut nice and loud at 45RPM, housed in screenprinted jacket featuring original artwork by Martin Davis and additional design by Toya Horiuchi. Recommended.
- 45 RPM
- screenprinted sleeve
- limited edition
- music label: Book Works 2018
reviewed by nick nightingale 05/2018