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 Leonardo Marques, Rōnin Arkestra, SAULT, Abro, and Ashley Henry. If you like what you hear, hit the links and support the artists.
Leonardo Marques – Early Bird
Brilliant album from Leonardo Marques. Veering from soft pop, indie folk, sixties psychedelia, lo-fi and flavours of the Brazilian Clube da Esquina the album is full of intricate arrangements and melodies. Sung in both English and Portuguese his entrancing vocal uplifts the vibrant instrumentation and this wonderful set of soothing earworm is absolutely essential.
Rōnin Arkestra – Sonkei
Led by Mark de Clive-Lowe, Tokyo jazz collective Rōnin Arkestra features a dazzling array of musicians such as members of Kyoto Jazz Sextet, WONK, Cro-Magnon, Root Soul, Sleepwalker, Sauce81, and Kyoto Jazz Massive. Juggling a variety of musical styles, the collective fuses ’60s deep and spiritual jazz with experimental electronica. The album follows the release of their critically acclaimed debut EP ‘First Meeting’, and ‘Sonkei’, continues where the EP left off. Part of the album is deeply meditative like ‘Lullabies of the Lost’ whilst the horn-heavy, fusion-driven ‘Art of Altercation’ and the impulsive and free-flowing ‘Cosmic Collisions’ are full of energy. Highly recommended!
SAULT – 5
This album by SAULT is not that new, but you definitely need to hear it! The elusive outfit dropped this record back in May, but we missed it the first time around. Now out the vinyl, their killer 14-track LP is a myriad of African, soul, funk and post-punk vibes. From the opener’ Up All Night’ to the closer ‘B.A.B.E’, ‘5’ is a magnificent collection. If you love this head here for their new album, it’s just as good.
Abro – Leaf Boy
South African bassist Gilad Abro provides the latest instalment in Raw Tapes’ Time Grove Selections series. Kicking off in 2014 the series of releases originated from the encounters of leading jazz musicians and producer Rejoicer. Across the 11-track project, you’ll hear a wide range of styles from electronic jazz to contemporary R&B, jazz-tinged house rhythms and more. The stunning album features some brilliant instrumentalists – Amir Bresler, Sefi Zisling, Nitai Hershkovits, Nomok – and vocalists – KerenDun, Karolina, Echo. A solid collection that gets better with each play. Do not sleep.
Ashley Henry – Beautiful Vinyl Hunter
On last year’s acclaimed Easter EP, the South London pianist and composer Ashley Henry reimagined the classic hip-hop of Nas and indie-punk trio The Enemy while keeping rooted in acoustic jazz. On his debut studio LP ‘Beautiful Vinyl Hunter’ he once again moves in all different musical directions. Drawing influences from classic jazz, hip-hop, and grime he enthuses that the album “takes you to some crazy places to meet some beautiful and crazy people, all you need to do is listen.” It most certainly does, and with the help of talents like Makaya McCraven, Jaimie Branch, Binker Golding, Ben Marc, Keyon Harrold, Luke Flowers, MC Sparkz, and Joshua Idehen, this album is a supreme example of contemporary jazz.