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Mushroom Jazz: Volume Five

Om Records: Release March 22nd

Mushroom Jazz's roots were, essentially, a mix tape initiated by DJ Mark Farina some 13-years ago. Vol. 5 marks another installment of smooth tracks that would blend seamlessly into your candlelight dinner for two, or a night out in San Francisco's tight-knit club scene.

Some of my personal favorites on the disc would have to be "Autumn Evening Breeze". The title pretty much says it all. If you are used to having a spoken word artist rhyming in the dusk followed by a jazzy piano playing into the wee hours of the night you'd certainly appreciate this one. The same is true for "Hollywood", another title that speaks to the songs' long, dark drive tempo. If you were strolling Mulholland on a clear night I'd find it hard not to have this song as the definitive soundtrack.

The choice picks by Farina are well leveled by anyone's measure. He keeps the bulk of the album enjoyable by including traditional instrumentation to help stir some of the repetitiveness that we hear in many lounge mixes.

It's not all down from there; there are some larger jumps that pick the album up as a whole. "Here's The Proof", tells of a night that's about to get better. It offers an uplifting charm in this mix that is probably the most interesting and re-playable out of the bunch. On the down side, there is "It's A Love Thing (Instrumental)" that seems like it may have been added for its similarity but not its integral or beneficial traits. It has the most background tracks on the whole volume. But as Farina lives and breathes in the Mushroom Jazz world he also recognizes this and includes "The Yacht Club" to get you back out of your all-sustaining psychedelic trip. I particularly like the Soul/Hip-Hop track finale that is "Nic's Groove". Nice one. I would have to suggest making Vol. 5 a mix to remember; a volume to share with yourself a few times first, then spread the love.

Farina is also giving us a chance to hear Mushroom Jazz live for the first time in 3 years April 1st in San Francisco @ Mighty.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars