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2023-11 November Playlist SunNeverSetsOnMusic

2023-11 November Playlist SunNeverSetsOnMusic

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Isaiah Collier - Parallel Universe

Parallel Universe

by Isaiah Collier

Released 24 November 2023

Night Dreamer

*****

Chicago-based innovator and educator Isaiah Collier is opening up new dimensions in the jazzwise continuum. A saxophonist by trade whose multi-instrumental talents and compositional prowess have stretched the limits of the form, Parallel Universe (which was recorded direct-to-disk) represents a new chapter in Collier’s musical journey.

Having already performed with a diverse range of musicians such as Chance The Rapper, Waddada Leo Smith, Chicago jazz royalty Angel Bat Dawid and his own band The Chosen Few, Collier’s latest work as a bandleader explores the shared musical heritage of the African diaspora with a sense of grace and assurance that belies his years.

Embracing the risk and vulnerability that comes with the live process, Collier and his band tapped into the frequencies of improvisation that fired up so many of the most timeless jazz recordings.

“Recording direct-to-disc gave me a really fortunate opportunity to experience what our musical predecessors almost a hundred years ago were dealing with,” he explains.

Read more... Bandcamp

Beverley Glenn-Copeland - The Ones Ahead

The Ones Ahead

by Beverley Glenn-Copeland

Released 28 July 2023

Transgressive Records

*****

Though Beverly Glenn-Copeland is now a Polaris Prize winner whose wondrous music has garnered a group of dedicated fans, his early compositions, like 1986’s superb New Age experiment Keyboard Fantasies, weren’t originally heard by the masses. It’s only recently that the Canadian composer has become part of the mainstream consciousness; his resonant voice, forward-looking lyrics, and blissful instrumentals capturing a new generation of listeners and crate diggers in the past decade. But much of this conversation has surrounded albums he released years ago. With The Ones Ahead, Glenn-Copeland shares all-new music for the first time in almost 20 years, offering the clearest thesis of his vision yet: that the future is out there for us, and we can capture it in a song.

 

Read SunNeverSetsOnMusic's December 2021 review of Glenn-Copeland's album Keyboard Fantasies here

Read more... The Guardian

Andre 3000 - New Blue Sun

New Blue Sun

by Andre 3000

Released 17 November 2023

Epic Records

*****

If you can get past the premise (and overlook the goofy song titles, most of which are too long and silly to dignify) and tune in to New Blue Sun as an album of contemplative healing sounds, it's pleasant and sometimes even sublime. Carlos Niño co-produces, bringing the same soft warmth he's cultivated on his own transcendental pop albums for the International Anthem label. The songs wash by in waves of airy synth pads, gentle wind chimes, electric piano, or absent-minded guitar lines. 3000 is joined by a host of players including Nate Mercereau, Diego Gaeta, Surya Botofasina, Mia Doi Todd, and others, all of whom fold new textures effortlessly into the stream of sounds. Opening track "I Swear, I Really Wanted to Make a 'Rap' Album But This Is Literally the Way the Wind Blew Me This Time" is among the most structured pieces, moving in patient ripples similar to Pharoah Sanders and Floating Points' majestic Promises. It's hovering and aimless like Emerald Web's or Alice Coltrane's most new age material, vibrating constantly but never bubbling over.

New Blue Sun is probably not the André 3000 solo debut most OutKast fans had expected or hoped for, but it does continue the integrity and spirit of his creative journey, in a way that's fittingly bizarre and beautiful.

Read more... AllMusic

SANAM - Aykathani Malakon

Aykathani Malakon ص​ن​م - أ​ي​ق​ظ​ن​ي م​ل​ا​ك​ٌ

by SANAM

Released 23 June 2023

Mais Um

*****

Debut release from the Beirut-based free-rock post-folk sextet.

Sandy Chamoun (vocals), Antonio Hajj (bass), Farah Kaddour (buzuk), Anthony Sahyoun (guitar, synth), Pascal Semerdjian (drums) and Marwan Tohme (guitars) bring a myriad of influences gleaned from years performing either solo or as members of influential acts in Beirut’s tight-knit independent music scene (such as Al Rahel al Kabir, Postcards, Kinematik and Ovid).

SANAM's music is a ritual where improvised rock, free jazz and noise underscore an exorcism of traditional Egyptian song and Arabic poetry,

Combining regional and local folklore and poetry with experimental forms of instrumental music are at the core of Aykathani Malakon. Chamoun, who chose the texts for this album and has performed in the Lebanese satirical music collective Al Rahel al Kabir, turned to modern and contemporary Arab writers and composers such as Lebanese poet Bassem Hajjar whose poem Aykathani Malakon lends the album its title and opening track, Paul Chaoul whose poem Chamoun recites in a state of ascending ecstasy in Ayouha Al-Taiin Fi Al-Mawt and the Egyptian composer Sayyid Darwish in the languorous Ya Nass that features prominently the buzuk played by Farah Kaddour. As Chamoun points out, the poetry or lyrics in the album constitute “a collective call for an escape from a hallucinatory state engendered by love but also the mysteries of life itself”. 

Read more... Bandcamp

Tara Clerkin Trio - On The Turning Ground

On The Turning Ground (EP)

by Tara Clerkin Trio

Released 3 November 2023

World of Echo

*****

Not far off two years from the day, Bristol's Tara Clerkin Trio return to World of Echo and the EP format for a five song collection of quixotic, emotional redolence. But do not mistake their absence for inertia. If their musical output has been a little sparse during those in-between years, limited to a few solo ventures and an astonishing ten minute long piece as a trio, their time has otherwise been richly spent: continuous writing and recording, extensive live performances across Europe and Japan, a cultivation of local and more far-flung artistic connections (musical and otherwise), and a monthly NTS show that, through the voice of others, speaks most obviously to their own unorthodox interests. It's the conflux of that winding activity that leads indirectly to On The Turning Ground, 26 minutes of probing, thoughtful composition that draws from no one specific source.

Read more... Bandcamp

Ancient Infinity Orchestra - River of Light

River of Light

by Ancient Infinity Orchestra

Released 17 November 2023

Gondwana Records

*****

Ancient Infinity Orchestra is a 14-member jazz ensemble led by double-bassist and composer Ozzy Moysey, based in Leeds in the North of England – home to one of the most innovative and community-based jazz scenes in the UK. Saxophonist Mathew Cliffe who also performs with Matthew Halsall is a key member of the rotating line-up which includes drums, two bassists, keyboards, harp, violin, cello, two tenors, alto, oboe, flute and percussion.

Their Gondwana Records debut ‘River of Light’ drinks deep from the well of spiritual jazz and is especially inspired by the soulful sounds of Pharoah Sanders, Alice and John Coltrane – all of whom are mentioned in the brilliant track ‘Pharoah Sings’ – but also channels a certain Northern sensibility that can be heard in the music of Matthew Halsall or Alabaster de Plume. Melodic, warm and honest this is music that is happy to wear its heart on its sleeve.

Read more... Gondwana Records

Miguel Atwood-Ferguson - Les Jardins Mystiques Vol. 1

Les Jardins Mystiques Vol. 1

by Miguel Atwood-Ferguson

Released 10 November 2023

Brainfeeder

*****

Miguel Atwood-Ferguson is a LA-based producer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, music director, and educator. Recording on over 600 albums, films and TV shows, Miguel has recorded and performed with some of the greatest artists of our time, spanning multiple genres.

14 years in the making, “Les Jardins Mystiques Vol.1” comprises 52 tracks / 3.5 hours of music composed, arranged and produced by Miguel with contributions from 50+ friends including Kamasi Washington, Thundercat, DOMi & JD Beck, Jeff Parker, Carlos Niño, Austin Peralta, Bennie Maupin, Gabe Noel, Jamael Dean, Jamire Williams, Burniss Travis II, Deantoni Parks, Josh Johnson, Marcus Gilmore and many more.

“Les Jardins Mystiques” is a project that throws open and shares Miguel’s musical universe. It took shape over a dozen years, largely self-funded by Miguel, and showcasing his distinctly elegant musicianship (on violin, viola, cello and keyboards among other instruments) alongside his free-spirited dialogues with more than 50 instrumentalists. Volume 1 is the first in a planned triptych, which will collectively comprise ten-and-a-half-hours of original, refreshingly expansive music.

Read more... Bandcamp

Cat Power - Cat Power Sings Dylan: The 1966 Royal Albert Hall Concert

Cat Power Sings Dylan The 1966 Royal Albert Hall Concert

by Cat Power

Released 10 November 2023

Domino Recording Co.

*****

At first approach, Cat Power Sings Dylan is as straightforward as covers albums come. Marshall performed the music live, following every contour of Dylan’s set, down to his switch halfway through from solo acoustic performance to rollicking full-band rock. She didn’t tinker much with his arrangements: If a given song, in Dylan’s rendition, begins with an instrumental vamp or ends with a harmonica solo, it probably does in Marshall’s version as well. But after a while, the meticulous literalism of her interpretation comes to seem like its own conceptual gambit. When the similarities are so pronounced, the differences, when they inevitably occur, capture your attention.

Rather than in volume and intensity, Sings Dylan finds subversion in its very form, as a covers album that celebrates and estranges its source material at once. Of course, someone shouts “Judas” near the end of the show, as if following the evening’s script; instead of Dylan’s famous “I don’t believe you,” Marshall retorts with “Jesus.”

It’s the most uncanny moment on an uncanny album, made more so by the fact that the mock heckler pipes up a little earlier than he’s supposed to: before “Ballad of a Thin Man” instead of “Like a Rolling Stone,” which is fitting enough.

The chorus of “Thin Man,” a sort of mission statement for Dylan at the time, might also describe the aptness of Marshall’s tribute, whose sly ambiguity is essential to the truths it conveys about both parties. Something is happening here, but you don’t know what it is.

Read more... Pitchfork

Diego Gaeta - Fearlessly Accessing The Divine Spirit Of Freedom From Here On Out

Fearlessly Accessing The Divine Spirit Of Freedom From Here On Out

by ​Diego Gaeta

Released 7 July 2023

Preference Records

*****

"Fearlessly Accessing the Divine Spirit From Here on Out" is the vinyl debut from up-and-coming pianist, composer, and producer Diego Gaeta. He has previously released projects as Club Diego and with the trio Human Error Club (whose members Mekala Session and Jesse Justice helped produce this record). He has quickly become a fixture in a number of Los Angeles musical environments, working with Lionmilk, The Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra, Carlos Niño, Black Nile among others. This album is a synthesis of these many LA environments, and carries chamber, jazz, ambient, and folk influences, ultimately giving it an uncategorizable feel similar to works by Arthur Verocai or David Axelrod.

Gaeta recorded the initial ideas for the album by himself after experiencing a burst of creativity during the lockdown of 2020, in the aftermath of a season of protests in Los Angeles, on a piano at his home in El Sereno. 

Gaeta’s dream band for these ideas would be a 9-piece ensemble or “nonet”, which was finally assembled in the summer of 2021. After careful arrangements and rehearsals the album was recorded. Some of Los Angeles’s finest artists are featured in the ensemble and as featured guests, all combining efforts to fulfill the thematic vision of Gaeta’s inspirations and ideas. 

Read more... Bandcamp

Don Leisure, Amanda Whiting - Beyond The Midnight Sun

Beyond The Midnight Sun

by Don Leisure with Amanda Whiting -

Released 24 November 2023

First World Records

*****

Cardiff producer Don Leisure has evolved considerably in the decade or so he’s been releasing wax. Indeed, he wasn’t Don Leisure when he was making drum’n’bass in the late-00s – he did that as Jamal, his real name – but adopted the pseudonym when he hooked up with Che Ahmed to make tracks as Darkhouse Family.

Beyond The Midnight Sun' expands upon ground first explored on Don Leisure's track 'All Praises Due', which also featured Amanda (with Angel Bat Dawid), and featured on his previous album 'Shaboo Strikes Back'. This is a full-length project that these two formidable Welsh artists have collaborated on together.

Joining him throughout this project, we have the pleasure of welcoming the phenomenal talents of highly-acclaimed harpist Amanda Whiting to the First Word label. A virtuoso in her field, this classically trained musician quickly established herself as an essential player in the UK jazz scene, carving her unique sound following the paths forged by Ashby and Coltrane.

Read more... Stones Throw Records

UNLIV Wind Orchestra, Thomas G. Leslie - Joe's Tango Concerto for Trombone & Other Works

Joe's Tango Concerto for Trombone & Other Works

by UNLIV Wind Orchestra, Thomas G. Leslie

Released 10 November 2023

Navona

****-

There is something very special about the symbiosis of a great composer and a talented performing musician: many of the great moments in musical history were born of such collaborations. This rare joy is now to be felt in our time: JOE’S TANGO features the world premiere recording Concerto for Trombone by none other than jazz legend Chick Corea, tailor-made for virtuoso solo trombonist Joseph Alessi.

It’s a riveting, marvelous work — classical in scope, but contemporary in rhythm and feeling. Conductor Thomas G. Leslie, his University of Nevada Las Vegas Wind Orchestra, and the Boston Brass Quintet empathetically frame this centerpiece with works by Hugo Montenegro and the young Jorge Machain, who offers the world premiere recording of his Five Cities to the mix. The resulting album — as one might expect — is altogether outstanding.

Read more... Navona Records

Ali Sethi, Nicolas Jaar - Inthia

Inthia

by Ali Sethi, Nicolas Jaar

Released 17 November 2023

Other People

*****

Singer, songwriter and author Ali Sethi had been entranced by the music of Nicolas Jaar (the Chilean-American composer and recording artist based in New York) long before they began collaborating.

He’d absorbed the sounds over a number of years, listening casually and taking in their subtleties in bars and rooftop parties across Lahore and London. “It felt familiar to me, that sense of adventure you have when you hear his music, like a tale that teases you and plays with your expectations as it unfolds,” says Sethi. “In that sense it resembled the leisurely improvised ghazals and qawwalis I grew up hearing in Pakistan.” So when the two were finally introduced by Indian visual artist Somnath Bhatt, a regular Jaar collaborator who also handled the album’s artwork, Sethi was well prepared. He began to sketch out voice notes using loops snipped from Jaar’s acclaimed 2020 album ‘Telas’, improvising vocalizations and seductive Urdu poems over Jaar’s weightless, time-bending productions. Jaar was astonished by the result; “It was what ‘Telas’ had been missing,” he explains.

Read more... Bandcamp

Billy Porter - Black Mona Lisa

Black Mona Lisa

by Billy Porter

Released 17 November 2023

Island Records / Republic Records

****-

In a career spanning 30 years, Billy Porter has established himself as one of the most talented individuals in the entertainment industry. He has excelled in various roles across film, television, and theater, winning a Tony Award in 2014 and a Primetime Emmy in 2019 for his stellar performance in the critically acclaimed, Pose. Regardless of the space he was in creatively, music has continued to maintain a presence in the psyche of this Pittsburgh native.

November 17, 2023, saw the release of Black Mona Lisa, “a celebration of life,” as Porter puts it. “I’m excited to share the joy and the hope and the love and the peace and the compassion with the world,” he continues. “That’s what this music is about.”

Executive produced by Grammy-nominated songwriter, Justin Tranter, this new album contains songs that tell Porter’s story authentically, with depth and nuance. Throughout its 12 tracks, Black Mona Lisa takes listeners on a journey influenced by an era when house, disco, and dance music reigned supreme. It also encompasses a bevy of emotions, from the powerful transparency on “Audacity” and “Children,” to the upbeat sound of “New Shoes,” this project gives the thoughts and feelings of a person comfortable in living their truth.

Read more... essence

The Melbourne Ska Orchestra - 20 Years Young

20 Years Young

by Melbourne Ska Orchestra

Released 10 March 2023

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

****-

From the fun-loving humble beginnings in St. Kilda to the international stages of Glastonbury, Istanbul, Montreal, Edinburgh, New York, and beyond, the band has steered their ramshackle train into the hearts of many.

Initially formed to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the birth of Ska (1963-2003), their infectious energy soon earned them a coveted slot at Bluesfest and WOMADelaide, a recording contract, and accolades from all over the world. Two ARIA award wins cemented their reputation as one of Australia’s best live acts, while three of their songs were chosen for a UK feature film about Ska.

Read more... Melbourne Ska Orchestra

Leonard Bernstein - Maestro (Original Soundtrack)

Maestro (Original Soundtrack)

by Leonard Bernstein

Released 17 November 2023

Deutsche Grammophon

****-

Cardiff producer Don Leisure has evolved considerably in the decade or so he’s been releasing wax. Indeed, he wasn’t Don Leisure when he was making drum’n’bass in the late-00s – he did that as Jamal, his real name – but adopted the pseudonym when he hooked up with Che Ahmed to make tracks as Darkhouse Family.

Beyond The Midnight Sun' expands upon ground first explored on Don Leisure's track 'All Praises Due', which also featured Amanda (with Angel Bat Dawid), and featured on his previous album 'Shaboo Strikes Back'. This is a full-length project that these two formidable Welsh artists have collaborated on together.

Joining him throughout this project, we have the pleasure of welcoming the phenomenal talents of highly-acclaimed harpist Amanda Whiting to the First Word label. A virtuoso in her field, this classically trained musician quickly established herself as an essential player in the UK jazz scene, carving her unique sound following the paths forged by Ashby and Coltrane.

Read more... Stones Throw Records

Terrace Martin, Calvin Keys - The Near North Side

The Near North Side

by Terrace Martin, Calvin Keys

Released 17 November 2023

Sounds of Crenshaw

****-

Calvin Keys (born February 6, 1942) is an American jazz guitarist, known for the several classic jazz-funk albums he released for Black Jazz Records early in his career. Keys has also performed and recorded with Ray Charles, Ahmad Jamal, John Handy, Bobby Hutcherson, Eddie Marshall, Tony Bennett, Sonny Stitt, Pharoah Sanders, Joe Henderson and others.

For this collaboration with Terrace Martin, Keys calls on his Latin and Brazilian influences and produces a smooth jazz masterclass of six original compositions and stunning interpretations of Duke Ellington's "Cotton Tail" and "In A Sentimental Mood" and the Patti Austin deep cut "The Island".

Terrace Martin, Gallant - sneek

sneek

by Terrace Martin, Gallant, sneek

Released 17 November 2023

O'Connor/Lowly

****-

On the 9-track project, Martin and Gallant know no bounds. The pair pulls in jazz, R&B, neo-soul, and EDM elements to fill their musical canvas. The common thread throughout the project is the musical freedom expressed on the lead single, “311!” featuring Robert Glasper and Keyon Harrold.

Gallant has become known for his powerful vocal delivery, whereas Martin has strenuous instrumentation. However, on Sneek, both present a sense of ease. 

Gallant taps into a gentler side of his voice. Martin’s production shows a sense of freestyle rather than a tightly guided structure. Sneek is an artist’s album. A work to display their innermost creative concepts stretching beyond what fans are open to hearing.

Read more... This Is R&B

 

Terrace Martin - Ornamental

Ornamental

by Terrace Martin

Released 1 December 2023

O'Connor/Lowly

****-

When you've had a year as prolific, creative and successful as Terrace Martin's in 2024, what better way to round it out with a Holiday album that will shuffle happily in our Christmas playlists but can be played all year round?  The album artwork and song titles (Hot Chocolate, Starry Night, Wish List etc.) look the part, but this is a free zone for carolly cliches. 

In fact, Martin may have redefined what a Christmas album can be: he realises that otherwise "serious" artists from Bob Dylan to The Ramones have indulged themselves with great success (granted, this is debatable for many) but instead of reworking established carols, his playlist is made up of a set of songs that don't fit into any of the other eight (yes, 8) albums he released this year and might not otherwise have seen the light of day any time soon.

So it's a nice present to his followers and fans. Thanks Terrace. Seasons' Greetings!!. 

Ishmael Ensemble - In A Dub Style

In A Dub Style

by Ishmael Ensemble

Released 27 October 2023

Seven Songs

****-

 

Ishmael Ensemble return with another mighty south-west link up this time handing the controls to dub & roots music legends Dubkasm.

As soon as Ishmael Ensemble finished their collaborative ‘New Era’ EP with Rider Shafique, bandleader Pete Cunningham knew he wanted to have it remixed in the classic dub-style; and who better to enlist than Bristol’s finest, DJ Stryda & Digistep aka Dubkasm.

Following in the well worn footsteps of dub legends such as King Tubby, Mad Professor & Scientist - Dubkasm rework and authentically dub the original recordings and warp them into a sound-system ready collection of heavy hitting, deep sonic explorations complimented perfectly by Rider’s iconic voice and potent, thought provoking lyricism.

Read more... Bandcamp

Hamzaa, 1SRAEL - RUSH

RUSH

by Hamzaa, 1SRAEL

Released 17 November 2023

King East/Colture

****-

Teaming up with producer 1SRAEL, Hamzaa presents us with a soulful body of work that she uses to showcase her powerful vocals across five tracks. The EP features the previously released “Borderline”, as well as a collaboration with her friend and fellow east London songstress Kali Claire titled “Believe It”.

“This project was born out of a discovery phase,” Hamzaa wrote in an Instagram post. “I needed to learn who I was all over again. I needed to understand what it is I really even care about. ... I knew ... that as urgent as getting my life back together is, I cannot RUSH the healing process. I needed time to acknowledge everything going on around me first and let time heal all wounds.”

Read more... GRM Daily

Kokoroko - Could We Be More Remixes

Could We Be More Remixes

by Kokoroko

Released 10 November 2023

Brownswood Recordings

****-

Over a year since the release of their exhilarating debut Could We Be More, Kokoroko present a new collection of remixes of tracks from their first album. The record brings together a dizzying, globe-spanning array of contemporary music’s most forward-thinking artists, each bringing their own unique identity to the project while maintaining the immersive sound-world of the original. Could We Be More Remixes is due 10th November 2023 via Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings.

All the remixers share a common approach with the band, filtering global influences and backgrounds through the lens of their hometown. As a result, each remix explores and stretches the core elements of the debut in different ways

Could We Be More was an ambitious and expansive album. Stretched out over 15 tracks, Kokoroko’s debut release wove together Afro-beat jam-outs, funk grooves, psychedelic flutters, brass stabs and soaring soul with dub-echo, astral electronics and introverted interludes. All combining to create an immersive experience evoking the band’s multi-faceted notions of home.

This is a beautiful sister release to Kokoroko’s Could We Be More. The remixes treat the source material with care but imbue them with a potent energy, strangely reminiscent of seeing the band perform live. This collection follows the album and achieves what few remix albums are able to; creating a headphone listening experience while at the same time drawing out the dance music elements for the club.
 

Read more... Bandcamp

Deborah Jordan & K15 - Human

Human

by Deborah Jordon & K15

Released 13 May 2022

Futuristica

****-

The new collaborative project between Deborah Jordan and K15 explores the concept of our own humanity while attempting to address what does in fact make each of us human.
While the inspired pairing of revered singer and songwriter, Deborah Jordan, alongside the boundless versatility of producer and musician K15 (Kieron Ifill) for a whole album seems too good to be true, this is actually a project that each of their respective roads have been converging towards for years.

With a musical union that stretches as far back as Jordan's sophomore album release 'What You See' (2011), K15's immaculate production has become a firm staple within her music since having gone on to contribute remixes for 'Love From The Sun' and 'Amina' as well as four staggering productions on Jordan's monumental 'See in the Dark' album.

Read more... Bandcamp

The Pretenders - Relentless

Relentless

by The Pretenders

Released 15 September 2023

Parlophone

****-

That voice, like Hynde’s wiry, shaggy-haired silhouette, never really changes, though her writing hasn’t clung to youth. Turning 71 doesn’t mean, either, that Relentless joins the post-Time Out Of Mind genre of rockers stoutly confronting the Grim Reaper. Instead, Hynde and guitarist/co-writer James Walbourne have slowed their music down to take forensically precise snapshots of regret and dismay, as if dissecting emotional car crashes. Relentless often exists in sun-baked climes, dry heat making the singer squint to see the worst, searing air burning off delusion in pitilessly clear sky. “From San Francisco to Sydney, there’s no rain,” Hynde sings on “Your House Is On Fire”. Even “The Orlando Hotel in late November” in “The Promise Of Love”, with snow laying thick, offers only a different colour of piercing clarity. Lyrics about a world in turmoil, from climate change to national decline, become symptomatic backdrops for personal entropy. At the same time, as the album title suggests, this potent work leaves the current Pretenders fiercely resurgent.

Read more... Uncut

Maria Jose Llergo - ULTRABELLEZA

Ultrabellezza

by Maria Jose Llergo

Released 27 October 2023

Sony Espana

****-

The first song on María José Llergo’s new album sounds unlike anything she’s done before.

It’s a pop banger propelled by a disco beat with a triumphant chorus.

It’s called “Aprendiendo a Volar,” or “Learning to fly.” And it almost seems like a disclaimer for listeners, a warning that what lies ahead is a departure, an act of artistic liberation.

“I shed a lot of baggage, of what I should, or should not be,” Llergo said. “I am what I am. I write what I want, sing the way I want, and I’m not here to please anyone.”

Some songs on the album may be the closest the artist has been to what one would call mainstream pop, but others are among her most experimental and daring creations to date.

The lessons she learns from her grandfather, beyond flamenco, are also present in the album: “He teaches me to love others for who they are, not for what they seem, or what they have.”

This is the theme of the title track, which turns a religious prayer into a hymn for acceptance. 

“‘Ultrabelleza’ is the place we would reach if we understood differences in our society as something not bad, but which makes us richer,” she said.

Read more... The World

Allison Miller - Rivers In Our Veins

Rivers In Our Veins

by Allison Miller

Released 6 October 2023

Royal Potato Family

****-

Drummer Allison Miller brings together a rustic Americana sound with her inventive modern jazz harmonies on her ambitious 2023 LP Rivers in Our Veins. Commissioned by the Mid-Atlantic Arts Organization and Lake Placid Center for the Arts, the album is a 12-song cycle inspired by the many rivers and watersheds of the United States, as well as the organizations devoted to protecting those vital resources. Integral to the work is Miller's ensemble, beginning with pianist Carmen Staaf, with whom she worked closely during the composition phase. Equally key is violinist Jenny Scheinman, a longtime associate who helped breathe yet more life into the folk-inflected songs at the core of Miller's vision. Rounding out Miller's group are Ben Goldberg on contra-alto and B-flat clarinets, trumpeter Jason Palmer, and bassist Todd Sickafoose. Initially conceived as a cross-disciplinary multimedia work, the album also features a cadre of tap dancers, including Claudia Rahardjanoto, Michelle Dorrance, Elizabeth Burke, Byron Tittle, and Orlando Hernández. While the use of tap dancers in jazz is a long and storied tradition, the way Miller incorporates them so seamlessly into her music is notable

Read more... AllMusic

Dennis Young - Primitive Substance

Primitive Substance

by Dennis Young

Released 24 May 2019

Athens of the North

****-

This excellent album from 2029 stands the test of time.

Dennis Young writes: "After Liquid Liquid disbanded in 1985 I continued to record electronic music at my home studio inEdison,New Jerseybut I decided to mix the songs for "Concepts" at another studio so I could have another set of ears to help with the mixes. I was lucky when I looked in the local music ads that I to find Gabriel Farm Studios inPrinceton,New Jerseyowned and operated by Andy Gomory. Andy was a true talent, a keyboardist and arranger, we hit it off immediately. After he recorded my mixes we would record songs together. Andy played drum machines and keyboards while I played percussion, keyboards, & guitar and we both sang. When Andy and I parted ways in the late 1980's I decided to add both drums and percussion as well as overdubs from guest musicians many of which are included on this album. The albums timeframe ends in the year 2004. The later recordings have a jazz feel to it yet still had dance music elements mixed in"

Read more... Bandcamp

Tom Misch - Quarantine Sessions

Quarantine Sessions

by Tom Misch

Released 3 September 2021

Beyond The Groove

****-

South London singer-songwriter Tom Misch released this album in 2021 recorded during lockdown,  of 5 classic covers and a few new originals. “I’ve always been able to make feel good music regardless of whether I’m feeling good” says Misch. “Perhaps that’s set me in good stead for where we are now.”

He reimagines James Blake’s “The Whilhelm Scream,” Solange’s “Cranes in the Sky,” Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” and Crystal Waters’ “Gypsy Woman.” For the final cover, “Parabéns,” he worked with the originator, Brazilian jazz and bossa nova legend Marco Valle.

The three new tracks from Misch are the opener “Chain Reaction,” then “For Carol” featuring Tobie Tripp, and closer “Missing You.” Misch also commissioned artist Oliver Macdonald Oulds “to create a hand painted version of one of the scenes from the sessions (‘Cranes in the Sky’) for the album artwork.”

Read more... Flood Magazine

Moonchild - Reflections

Reflections (EP)

by Moonchild

Released 10 November 2023

Tru Thoughts

****-

This EP sees the Grammy-nominated LA-trio Moonchild (aka Amber Navran, Andris Mattson, & Max Bryk) follow up on the band’s iconic Tiny Desk performance (now on 4.9 million views), by reimagining and revisiting old songs, including some of the trio’s biggest hits. 

Talking about the new acoustic re-imaginings, Max Bryk adds: “Reflections, an EP covering our older songs, naturally shows some of our growth as musicians over the last 10 years. Amber’s vocals, in particular, are a fantastic example of that. A more subtle example of growth is our musical maturity and restraint. Leaving space for the music to breathe. I think that’s the main reason we created this new project, and we are excited to share Reflections with our fans.”

Read more... Bandcamp

Gotts Street Park - On The Inside

On The Inside

by Gotts Street Park

Released 13 October 2023

Blue Flowers Music

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Leeds-based instrumental soul unit Gotts Street Park have finally unveiled their debut album, an eagerly anticipated project since their first slew of excellent singles back in 2017. ‘On The Inside’, the first full length effort from the trio, is a stunning and melancholic body of work, the tempo slowed, the production glossy yet still retaining a vintage timbre. 

‘On The Inside’ is a wonderful blend of soul and R&B, a cohesive and assured debut record. The smatterings of indie, pop and more alternative moments keep the project fresh, the trio carving their own lane in the heavily saturated modern R&B circuit.

Read more... Clash

Laneous - Normal Music

Normal Music

by Laneous

Released 16 November 2023

Soul has No Tempo

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Laneous is back with a new 4-track EP ‘Normal Music’—the long-awaited follow-up to his 2020 singles ‘Elsewhere’ and ‘Flawless’. Touting this release as “cootie-free entertainment”, ‘Normal Music’ is the latest recorded evolution of one of Naarm/Melbourne’s (via Meanjin/Brisbane) most influential musicians.

With the exception of Perrin Moss (Hiatus Kaiyote) on drums, Laneous played everything else, writing three of the four songs mostly on-the-fly at The Grove studio in Coburg. Grammy-nominated Nick Hererra (Hiatus Kaiyote, 30/70, Nai Palm) once again handled recording, production, sonics and mixing.

‘Normal Music’ displays Laneous’ unique modus operandi that distinctly combines subtly humorous lyricism, catchy ditties and stunning chord progressions. It’s a gorgeous, whimsical ride showcasing the evolution of his trademark ‘mutant-soul/croon punk’ sound that will make day one Laneous fans rejoice.

Read more... Bandcamp

Ella Thompson - Domino

Domino

by Ella Thompson

Released 2 November 2023

Hopestreet Recordings

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Ella Thompson’s Domino is a spooky, bittersweet collection of cinematic soul cuts influenced by 1970s Italian 'Giallo' film scores, with luminous vocals that draw a line between 60s icons like Nancy Sinatra and contemporary soul artists like Kadhja Bonet. Ella’s effortless singing and haunting lyrics paint angular pictures in the moody darkness. In her words: “The original instrumental of the song ‘Domino’ is titled ‘Swimming in a cold lake at night’ this kind of sums up the feeling of many of the songs on the record….seeing light in dark places, freedom and anxiety of the unknown, curiosity, never regretting a swim and the euphoria you get when you come out the other end.”

The sparse production is intentionally cinematic, deeply influenced by the music of Italian ‘Giallo’ film scores of the 1970s, particularly by composers like Piero Piccioni but comparable to current artists like Adrian Younge or Bad Bad Not Good in a meditative mood. 

Read more... Bandcamp

Simona Castricum - SINK

SINK

by Simona Castricum

Released 13 July 2023

Dinosaur City

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Simona Castricum describes herself as a cross-disciplinary creative and academic from Naarm|Melbourne working on Wurundjeri land of Kulin Nation.