25/30 album of the week jazz

nduduzo makhathini – in the spirit of ntu

The South African piano master reaches his 10th album with ‘In the Spirit of Ntu’. It is his second release under the great Blue Note and will be one of the label’s most enthralling releases this year. Makhatini wants his piano to mimic the isiZulu language and its own unique “melodic structures”. Jazz of such […]

23/30 jazz

patty waters – you loved me

On what would have been her third record, Patty Waters explored what love might be. She confesses to not knowing exactly what it was at the dawn of her career; the voice here, originally recorded in 1970, takes on a sublime composure that battles the darkness of her debut, ‘Sings’ (1965).  It is touching knowing […]

album of the week folk jazz jazz fusion latin

bola sete – samba in seattle: live at the penthouse, 1967

Bola Sete’s live performances show the Brazilian hunched over a guitar, with his face skewed in concentration as faint plucks radiate from his instrument. It is easy to forget exactly how intricate Sete’s playing is by way of seduction; while he operates on a mechanical level, there is sufficient soul in his compositions to thrill […]

29/30 classic review experimental hip-hop jazz soul

portishead – dummy (1994)

Portishead’s DNA is copious and varied, braising individual obsessions in an after-hours cauldron. ‘Dummy’ is what happens when a hip-hop sample comes to life, like Pinocchio, growing jazzy breaks and a soul of its own. The record’s haunting, cinematic atmosphere is lavishly upheld by Beth Gibbons’ foggy vocals, as she whispers enough to remain both […]

23/30 jazz rock singer-songwriter

father john misty – chloë and the next 20th century

The other day, I heard a comedian explain why a spot-on impression is less funny than one delivered with imagination. In much the same way, indistinguishable mimicry of time-bound music is less compelling than cherry-picking from past and present. Josh Tillman addresses this with his writing, which fastens his unique sharpness to mid-century pomp. C&TN2C […]

29/30 classic review jazz soul

nina simone – wild is the wind (1966)

Nina Simone possessed one of the most rounded voices in soul. Her distinctive contralto vocals visited the subtle, beautiful, brooding, and haunting within the shifting of an octave, or an inflection. ‘Wild is the Wind,’ though confusedly arranged, is an album dedicated to her range. The first track is a pleasant, swinging soul number; the […]

26/30 album of the week breakcore electronic experimental hip-hop jazz psychedelic

material girl – i85mixx21-22

‘i85mixx21-22’ sounds like a crowded town meeting in which everyone is speaking in time. Material Girl secures stirring jazz, electronic, and hip-hop, cooking them together until they’re soft to touch. In the boundless chasm of sound, this sublime artist embodies a frenzied character whose underlying depth is relayed through candid lyrics and breathseizingly touching tones. […]

23/30 jazz soul

wayne powell octet – plays hallucination

‘Plays Hallucination’ was recorded in 1965, shortly after its chief architect witnessed a vibraphone performance from Lionel Hampton. It features warm, spiritual soul-jazz with a penchant for tight grooves and bustling percussion. The listen as a whole is diffuse, but that shouldn’t reduce the eminent pleasure of the tracks. If there is a problem, it […]

25/30 jazz reissue rock soul

doris – did you give the world some love today, baby?’ (1970)

A second wave of restockings at London record stores and another reissue announcement have arrived, and with them comes a reminder that an original copy of ‘DYGTWSLT,B?’ will set you back £1,000. For soon-to-be-listeners, picture Ye and Madlib deconstructing each of their samples and bringing them together in a single sound: it will come close […]