With so much good music coming through thick and fast, it’s easy for brand-new music to drop online and go overlooked. To help prevent this, we’ve picked five albums you need to hear. Stream music from Richard Spaven, Thabang Tabane, Sarathy Korwar, Ben Lamar Gay and Okay Kaya. If you like what you hear, support the artists.
Richard Spaven – Real Time
A unique blend of electronics with jazz that traverses through drum & bass, broken beat, dubstep and more, all seen through the lens of the distinguished drummer Richard Spaven. The album features Jordan Rakei, Jameszoo, Kris Bowers, MC Cleveland Watkiss and Spaven’s longtime collaborator, guitarist and composer Stuart McCallum. Standouts include ‘Faded’, ‘Rescue, ‘Show Me What You Got’, Loved One’ and an absolutely stellar reimagining of ‘Celestial Blues’.
Thabang Tabane – Matjale
Following his stunning work last year on Sibusile Xaba’s ‘Open Letter to Adoniah’ LP, malombo drummer, vocalist, and composer Thabang Tabane share his debut solo LP. The album brims with ambition and an appetite for life. Employing brisk tempos, nimble basslines and intersecting polyrhythms, Thabane crafts songs cognisant of the hardships of life, but chooses to deliver them with an irrepressible optimism. Essential!
Sarathy Korwar – My East Is Your West
London-based percussionist/composer Sarathy Korwar teams up with the UPAJ Collective for his new album My East Is Your West. Recorded live at London’s Church Of Sound, the album is a homage to the great musicians of the 60s and 70s spiritual jazz movement, covering the likes of Alice Coltrane, Pharaoh Sanders, and Joe Henderson. The 10-track recording seeks to rebalance the cross-cultural relationship between ‘Western’ and ‘Eastern’ music.
Ben LaMar Gay – 500 Chains
The prolific Ben LaMar Gay shares 500 Chains a collection of music and storytelling (an “audiobook”). The album is 1 of 7 previously-unreleased back catalogue records included in the source material for his ‘Downtown Castles Can Never Block the Sun’ compilation. A must have for any modern jazz lovers collection.
Okay Kaya – Both
The debut album from Norwegian singer/songwriter Okay Kaya. Over 14 tracks she lays herself bare with frank and intense lyrics. As addicting as ever, the album is packed full of Kaya’s warming tones and atmospheric melodies. It doesn’t get much more honest than this.