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Romantic Funk: The Unfamiliar

by Orlando le Fleming

  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    High quality, 180 gram, 12" LP - comes with download code containing the digital album in multiple formats

    Includes unlimited streaming of Romantic Funk: The Unfamiliar via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 5 days
    edition of 300 
    Purchasable with gift card

      $28 USD or more 


  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    High quality, 6 panel digifile with a velvety soft-touch laminate finish

    Includes unlimited streaming of Romantic Funk: The Unfamiliar via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 5 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      $2.50 USD or more 


  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $10 USD  or more


Waynes 05:40
FOMO Blues 04:02
Mischievous 04:43



Philip Dizack - trumpet (all tracks except 6)
Will Vinson - alto sax
Sean Wayland - keys/synths
Orlando le Fleming - upright and electric bass
Kush Abadey - drums (except tracks 3 & 5)
Nate Wood - drums (tracks 3 & 5)


Recorded by John Davis at The Bunker, January 10 & 11 2020
Mixed by John Davis
Mastered by Alex DeTurk
Original Artwork Darcy le Fleming
Graphic Design by Dave Bush
Produced by Orlando le Fleming
Executive Producer - Michael Janisch
Photos by Luke Marantz
All compositions by Orlando le Fleming (Focustrate Music / BMI)


released September 18, 2020


"Outstanding” is an overused description but one that’s applied to bassist Orlando le Fleming so consistently that its justification can’t be denied. Since relocating from his native UK to New York City he’s thrived in the world’s toughest jazz environment, and brought his inimitable personality to work on projects for the likes of Branford Marsalis, Joey Calderazzo, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Bill Charlap, Billy Cobham, Wayne Krantz, Ari Hoenig, Seamus Blake, Jeff “Tain” Watts and David Sanchez among many others.

“As a leader he shines even brighter - his drumless OWL Trio in particular gained plaudits across the board for its hushed, intimate atmosphere. Now he’s back with a completely different conception: his latest release Romantic Funk: The Unfamiliar introduces us to a new sound, a tribute to the muscular, high-intensity fusion of the 1980s, and a new band, Romantic Funk. Le Fleming has assembled an awesome team of top flight players: with Philip Dizack on trumpet and Will Vinson on sax in the frontline, Sean Wayland on keys and drummers Kush Abadey and Nate Wood rounding out the powerhouse rhythm section. All the compositions are by le Fleming, developed over time at the band’s extended residency in Greenwich Village’s 55 Bar, and captured live in the studio. The power and precision of the performances astonishes throughout. Says le Fleming: “In under two days in the studio, this album was all played live, with very few edits and overdubs. The musicians are of such high quality that the risk taking paid off; for me, the inexpressible magic of the group and moment in time was captured."

Le Fleming’s tunes showcase his band’s individual excellence and group cohesion. ‘I’ll Tell You What It Is Later’ is influenced by the Miles Davis albums of the 80’s and late 60’s. It uses a simple form with minimal chords and open unrestricted solo section, giving Philip Dizack space to shine. “Phil is a very intuitive, musical player. His choices always seem to make so much sense.” ‘Waynes’ is inspired by le Fleming’s two favourite Waynes - Shorter and Krantz alternating excitingly between tension and release. Lauded multi-instrumentalist Nate Wood’s drums drive the triplet-laden groove of ‘The Myth of Progress’ and return to thrilling effect on ‘FOMO Blues’ - “Nate’s pocket and language are exceptional, but it’s his all round musicality which isso impressive.” In contrast to the groove-heavy material, ‘Struggle Session’ floats in an effortless rubato over Abadey’s creative percussion “Kush is a rare find. A wonderful, sensitive jazz drummer who understands the aesthetics of swing but can also groove and improvise in rock and funk.” ‘More Melancholy’ features an improvised intro from Wayland, and a stunning statement from Vinson - “I love Sean’s other- worldly note choices and the sounds he builds on his synths. His beautiful free intros are much better, less predictable and more personal than any I could have written. Will’s lyrical saxophone is sublime on this album. Every solo he plays is thoughtful, expressive and captures the mood of the moment.” ‘Mischievous’ is a pure blowing vehicle with an unexpected time change “We really stretch this one out live, and this version captures that feeling”. Closing track ‘The Inexpressible’ features acoustic bass and another outstanding Wayland improvisation to set up a slow, spiritual groove dedicated to le Fleming’s family.

“When writing this album, I was very conscious of the improvisational sections being tailored for the specific musicians, allowing them freedom to express their quirks. I encouraged risk taking and tried to make it fun for them without being too much of a control freak. It’s very much a cohesive band, as we workshopped this material at the 55 bar over the last year. The ‘Romantic’ in Romantic Funk is more in line with romantic ideals such as the indefinable, unbounded, inexpressible, unfamiliar.” To which we might add - Outstanding.


"Long may Orlando Le Fleming's electric jazz renaissance continue."
★★★★ Jazzwise Magazine (Editor's Choice)

“An outstanding bassist takes a turn towards muscular fusion.”

"Worthy and engaging... with strong compositions and stellar playing."
Bebop Spoken Here

"Funk and jazz lexicons intertwine and consolidate with wisdom in this exciting tribute to the fusion of the 1980s... With the group members on the same wavelength, the music works as it should."

"A nimble team that is reminiscent of the early fusion days of Stanley Clarke."
Jazz Weekly

"While the bass licks are all glorious, the real depth of this set comes from the compositions themselves and the way that they build, a little like a suite, into a coherent whole."
Jazz Views

"Raw, exciting, authentic and vital."
★★★★ The Jazz Mann

"It’s so refreshing to stumble upon a recording that lives for the groove... It sounds like a soundtrack to a backyard party, and all of it sounds like all the fun that anyone could possibly ask."
Bird is the Worm

"A warm mixture of straight-ahead and smooth jazz; funk and fusion."
Musical Memoirs

"An implicit sensibility for group interaction, intuition, and improvisation."
News Break

“The power and precision of the performances astonish throughout.”
Drum Head Magazine

"Ambitious and definitely worth a listen."
Jazz Podium

"A self contained talent that makes his presence known and felt"
Midwest Record

"Le Fleming's precise-sharp playing lends itself to the most complex of grooves."
Jazz Magazine

Bass Musician Magazine

"The eight tracks impress with their intense rhythmic focus."
Concerto Magazine

"Superb... a fresh mix of energy, intelligence and groove."
★★★★★ Jazz'n'More

"A melodic album with a groovy undertone."
Der Hörspiegel

"Fusion at its finest."
Musikreviews Magazine


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