Jazzanova's equatorial rhythms and tropical melodies tip a straw hat more toward São Paolo than to the group's native Berlin. Those qualities endeared the band to tastemakers like BBC DJ Gilles Peterson, who gave the sextet its first exposure on his radio program in 1997. Jazzanova labored five years over its 2002 debut album, In Between (JCR/Ropeadope), during which time it also went on a remixing binge (for proof, see the double disc The Remixes 1997-2000).
The result of all that meticulous tinkering is a disc full of sophisticated jazz and bossa nova, lightly seasoned with funk, hip-hop, and house elements. In Between's aim seems to be to get you swaying in the most languid way possible while making you feel like a continental swinger. Sometimes it sounds a bit too Sade-with-broken-beats for those who prefer some grit and glitch in their electronic music. But there's no disputing Jazzanova's deft arrangements and production that murmurs "organic" and "out of your price range." Jazzanova's touring in support of a new DJ mix CD, helpfully titled . . . Mixing, whose 16 tracks reflect a devotion to deep funk, spiritual broken-beat, uplifting house, sensuous hip-hop, and soul ballads. The sounds are so rich, they may give you gout.