25/30 album of the week jazz

brandee younger – brand new life

‘Brand New Life’ is a well-mapped argument for the healing qualities of melody.

20/30 jazz pop rock

fievel is glauque – flaming swords

We never entirely trust the ostensible positivity of Flaming Swords. It’s a disarming album of very smooth jazz, which it then cuts up into unpredictable, coltish motions. The septet have an infectious sense of play that – forgive the middle-class dad analysis – the French do very well. Fievel is Glauque succeed less in producing […]

24/30 folk jazz

the wau wau collectif – mariage

The Wau Wau Colectif found each other when Karl Jonas Winqvist was stranded in Toubab Dialaw, an hour down the coast from Dakar. He encountered local musicians in a spirited artistic community and, when he returned to Sweden, traded Whatsapp notes until a debut was born. Mariage is their second record, pieced together without hiding […]

25/30 house jazz r&b revisited review soul

gaelle – transient (2004)

Gaelle had a lot on her mind in 2004, or maybe it was one omnipresent thought. Either way, one hundred words might be too few to list the genres she brandished on her sole full-length release. Gaelle’s stunning house shines through padded kicks, nocturnal moods, and, later on, longing piano licks. The R&B and neo-soul […]

30/30 jazz revisited review

billie holiday – all or nothing at all (1958)

“Why people tear the seam of anyone’s dream is over my head.” Billie Holiday’s life was shaken by clandestine, anti-jazz government officials who sought to disgrace the African American public image. The opening line on All or Nothing At All, sung acapella, creates the image of a single spotlight on her face—everything else silent and […]

23/30 bossa folk funk jazz jazz fusion

miquela e lei chapacans – miquela e lei chapacans

Found between Southern France and the Pyranees, this starburst of folk-funk compiles the work of a delightful progressive girl group from the late 70s and 80s. After her beloved self-titled debut in 1978, lead singer Miquela continued to promote the baroque Occitan language in which she sung. Here, as a unified force, her troop of […]

27/30 album of the week jazz jazz fusion

makaya mccraven – in these times

‘These Times’ has been lovingly made with a torrent of textures. Through the labyrinthine motions, McCraven and his entourage stay relentlessly kinetic with an unusual level of calm. That is a genuinely great aspect of this record: it is testing, but it works for you, with you. The liquidus quality of the marimbas, flute, and […]

27/30 jazz revisited review

blossom dearie – blossom dearie (1957)

Margrethe Blossom Dearie died in 2009, aged 84. It is strange to think that the voice we hear on this record, so precisely alive and sweet, could ever be anything but. A lover of jazz and bebop, Dearie was widely admired in return by figureheads such as Gil Evans, Bill Evans, and Miles Davis. Her […]

23/30 EP jazz latin

maria rita – desse jeito (EP) 

After her intimate 2003 debut, Maria Rita’s music has often been delivered with an unnerving level of precision that belies her carefree vocals. Desse Jeito returns to the same tidiness, but with as much personality as the singer has ever shown. There’s a slight fracture in Rita’s voice, singed with emotion, that paves a deeper […]