Monday, September 25, 2023

New Music Releases: Natasha Watts, Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids, Jaimie Branch and Kiefer

Natasha Watts - Music Is My Life

Mighty nice work from UK soul singer Natasha Watts – a contemporary artist, but one who's got a nicely crackling approach to her music – at a level that maybe takes us back to that great moment when British soul was really finding its own way forward at the start of the 90s! As with some of the best work from that era, Natasha has a way of being personal yet upbeat – a different pitch than US soul singers, with this flow that seems inspired slightly by jazz, yet delivered with a strongly soulful groove! Production includes work from Dave Doyle, Toni Economides, Ziggy Funk, and Mike Patto – the last of whom plays keyboards – and titles include "I Do I Did I'm Done", "Heaven Sent", "Brighter Days", "Feels Like Sunshine", "Not What You Think", and "I Am Me".  ~ Dusty Groove

Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids - Afro Futuristic Dreams

Bold new work from the legendary Pyramids ensemble – a spiritual jazz group who go back to the 70s, but who've reemerged in recent years with a renewed sense of energy, and a very forward-thinking sound! Leader Idris Ackamoor is still a master of tone and feeling on reeds – including alto and tenor, plus some other instrumentation as well – and he also vocalizes a bit on the record too hitting some righteous expressions that are in the spirit of Leon Thomas or Dwight Trible, mixed along with instrumentation from other players on drums, percussion, keyboards, trumpet, trombone, and guitar. The album's got a beautifully positive vibe – and titles include "Police Dem", "First Peoples", "Afro Futuristic Dreams", "Garland Rose", "Truth To Power", and "Requiem For The Ancestors". ~ Dusty Groove

Jaimie Branch - Fly Or Die Fly Or Die Fly Or Die (World War)

One of the last recordings ever made by the genius trumpeter Jaimie Branch – and a set that shows the bold new direction she was going in, right before she left our planet all too soon! The music here leaps forward from any of Branch's earlier recordings – with harder rhythms, more focus in the driving quality of the music, and even some lyrical passages that are quite stunning – vocals that add a lot to the music, and which could have had Jaimie finding an audience in a world far past just jazz! The core group is incredible – the drums of Chad Taylor have never been so powerful, urged on by the bass work of Jason Ajemian – and folded beautifully with the cello, voice, marimba, and keyboards of Lester St Louis. Branch herself also plays keyboards and percussion – and Daniel Villareal guests on some additional percussion too – and the whole thing comes together with an incredible sense of energy and vision, at a level that has us missing Jaimie's presence on the planet even more than before. Titles include "Aurora Rising", "Take Over The World", "Baba Louie", "Burning Grey", "The Mountain", and "Borealis Dancing". ~ Dusty Groove

Kiefer - It's OK BU (yellow vinyl pressing)

Kiefer's one of those artists that we sometimes forget about, then fall in love all over again when we drop the needle on a record – which is definitely the case this time around, as Kiefer seems to be more on top of his game and focused than ever! As before, there's a mix of piano/keyboards and percussion that dominates the sound – sometimes live drums, sometimes programmed – delivered with a warmth that really makes the spare elements resonate with a lot more soulful power than you might expect – almost as if Kiefer listened to some of the more soulful, subtle keyboardists in the 70s fusion generation, but found a way to transform their energy to a 21st Century setting – transforming the world of beats and keys in the process. Titles include "I Wish I Wasn't Me", "My Disorder", "Panic", "High", "Dreamer", "Head Trip", "I Could Cry", "August Again", "Forgetting U", and "I Was Foolish I Guess". ~ Dusty Groove

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...