Friday, May 22, 2020

New Music From Malia, Ben Marley Quartet & Nick Colionne

Malia – The Garden Of Eve

After releasing spine-tinglingly striking single "Hope" just before Christmas, Malawi-born, London-based jazz singer Malia welcomes the new decade with 'The Garden of Eve', an album dedicated to the blues and its stories. It has been a long time since a contemporary artist has made such a beautiful homage to the blues, a style that in the year 2020 deserves to have a bit of its dust brushed off. "Blues has always been dear to my heart: it's a cathartic experience, precious and profound, whether it's playing it or listen to it on the radio. When I first heard Billie Holiday sing 'Blue Moon', I could feel it with every cell of my body. She had such a powerful effect on me. Sentimental blues, originating from tragic situations, sometimes even reflecting my own experiences... No matter how bad family, friends, politics, lovers, governments or society might be, they can never destroy the forces for good in this world. And as time passes by, I more and more find the truth that is rooted in my soul. And I finally feel mature enough to understand this wonderful musical tradition - because blues means life." And if blues means life, Malia is the energy that allows the blues to have a soul, a voice. Characterized by her unique timbre - that doesn't need any further explaining - Malia gives us a thrill throughout the 12 tracks of this album, that has everything to become a classic.

Ben Markley Quartet – Slow Play

For Ben Markley's fourth recording, the fleet pianist/composer teams with New York tenor saxophone great Joel Frahm for a dynamic set of modern jazz originals. Though written specifically with the band of Frahm, drummer Jim White, and bassist Marty Kenny in mind, Markley continually finds inspiration from significant influences in his musical life, most notably Cedar Walton, Chick Corea and Bill Evans. With engaging and elevating support from Kenney and White, Markley and Frahm pop on the boogaloo "'Mon Back," strike a Jazz Messengers-esque pose on the grooving "Return of Catboy," and strut on the half-time funk of the title tune. "Frahm's playing bubbles over with ear-catching inventiveness and a robust, positive feeling." Ottawa Citizen.

Nick Colionne – Finger Painting

Having spent the last two decades painting vivid musical pictures with his signature guitar stylings, guitarist Nick Colionne releases his 11th studio recording appropriately entitled 'Finger Painting', a collection of sonic art painted by the fingers of the master guitarist who has scored 11 number one Billboard singles out of his last 12. Colionne's knack of connecting with not only his rabid fan base but with a compelling melody and hook are in great evidence here with this collection of musical art that explores the corners of the genre with great vibrancy and color. Collectors of memorable pieces of musical art will find much to like here with a pallet of moods and feelings emanating from his gifted fingers to your anxious ears.

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