With so much good music coming through thick and fast, it’s easy for albums to drop online and go overlooked. No lengthy write-ups as who reads those anyway? We keep it short and to the point because you’re here to listen to the music! Check out our weekly mini-guide below and if you like what you hear, click the links and support the artists.
Chien Chien Lu – The Path
The Path by New York-based vibraphonist Chien Chien Lu’s, her debut album as a bandleader is a joy to behold. Freewheeling her way through an array of classic tracks like Roy Ayers’ We Live in Brooklyn Baby and jazz standards such as Miles Davis’ Blue In Green she puts her own distinctive spin on each song taking them to some fascinating places. The Path is a cool sounding album that is bursting with creativity and lovely tunes.
SPAZA – UPRIZE!
Rotating South African jazz ensemble SPAZA return with a new album titled, UPRIZE!. Recorded in Yeoville, Johannesburg, during a three-day improvised scoring workshop in 2016, the LP soundtracks a documentary film about the 1976 Soweto uprising. The resulting record is every bit as impressive as the debut SPAZA project, but with a more resonant and mournful sound that honours those who lost their lives fighting against apartheid. Exquisitely original, accessible and challenging at the same time. UPRIZE! will easily find a place in my Top 10 albums of the year.
Jamire Williams – Prophecies & Other Concepts
There isn’t much else to say, but Jamire Williams has done it again! The Los Angeles based multidisciplinary artist recently unveiled his new project, Prophecies & Other Concepts. Centring around the concept of an art-house film captured on cassette the album features Chassol on fender Rhodes, Carlos Niño on gongs and percussion with Josh Johnson on synthesisers. All in all, another fantastic body of work from the mad scientist.
Sam Gendel – DRM
There isn’t much to say, as you know, it’s Sam Gendel so apart from the fact that this album is weirdly brilliant, click the play button.
Bless The Mad – Bless The Mad
Okay, this album is niceness. If you’re seeking something fresh and original, you can stop reading and immediately press the play button. Bless the Mad aka Ibrahem Hasan, and Matthew Rivera drop their self-titled debut offering, and it’s an ever-changing ride through beats, hip-hop, soul, jazz and more. If you enjoy soulful vibes, great interplay between musicians, killer singers and raps, then this is essential listening.
G Sudden – Bunout Boss EP
Portmore, Jamaica’s Caza G Sudden links up with Vancouver crew Seekersinternational, for the latest Bokeh Versions x Duppy Gun version excursion. Every track hits the spot but ‘Can’t See Mi Fail’ is the boom track, matching G Sudden’s rhythmic flow with killer bass notes and hypnotic breakdowns. Bursting through all sorts of musical boundaries this is well worth investigating.
Kibrom Birhane – Circles
Circles is a superb 3-track release of Ethiopian and spiritual jazz coated in hip hop flavours by Kibrom Birhane. Released without much fanfare last month, we’re hoping this little under the radar gem won’t remain in that status for too long. For those seeking something fresh and different, you need to hear this EP.
Javier Santiago – Rebirth EP
This new EP from Javier Santiago is fantastic from start to finish. Yep, I know that’s a bit of an over-used cliché, but in this case, it perfectly encapsulates this wonderfully immersive offering from the virtuoso pianist. Mind you when you’re backed by an ensemble that includes the likes of J Hoard, Danielle Wertz, Elena Pinderhughes and Braxton Cook to name a few how could you fail. My one complaint is that it only lasts for sixteen minutes – I need more!
Ola Szmidt – Blood Of An American
We don’t post too many covers/reinterpretations here at Twistedsoul, but now and then, one comes along that, breathes new life into an already brilliant song. Step forward Ola Szmidt who recently shared her achingly gorgeous re-imagining of Bobby Wright’s stripped-back ’70s soul track Blood Of An American. A crazily good version.
El Conejo – A Lullaby for Elisa
Two versions of the same blissfully soothing and relaxing song. Hit play and let El Conejo send you to a magical place far away.