Jackson Conti is an exotically beautiful collaboration between producer extraordinaire Otis Jackson Jr. (aka Madlib) and Azymuth drummer Ivan ‘Mamão’ Conti which began when Jackson took a trip to Brazil and fell in love with the sounds of the country’s funky jazz and bossa nova, with a particular interest in Mamão’s band.
Unapologetically deep into it’s alluringly exotic sound, both artists dive into the project with abandon, creating an environment marginally detached from anything Madlib‘s been involved with yet, including most of his jazz-centric Yesterday’s New Quintet material (excepting, of course, the few Jackson Conti-titled tracks on the YNQ compilation album Yesterday’s Universe). It’s straight up pure old school Brazilian jazz, with the same feel that Conti’s been pounding out for over 30 years – with enough intricate production flourishes and head-nodding polyrhythmic tones that let us in on the fact that it’s, in fact, a very modern record. It’s truly impossible to describe exactly what this feels like if you’re not familiar with the sounds, so I’ll leave it at this: if you want a relaxed but intense jazzy tropical vibe to get lost in for days, give this a try. It’s habit forming in the best way. As a huge Madlib fan, I must admit that despite it’s esoteric nature and loose connection to any of his other work, Sujinho is near the top of my favorite records by the prolific artist.