Between The Cracks: Essential Releases From Across The Musical Landscape

 

Albums

Daniel Casimir – Boxed In

With a focus on isolation and stereotyping issues, Daniel Casimir’s debut LP Boxed In mirrors the experience of navigating the rules of popular culture and the labels typically attributed to black musicians. The hotly-tipped Casimir shines on double bass; joining him on the album is Rosie Turton (trombone), Nubya Garcia (tenor sax), Moses Boyd (drums), James Copus (trumpet), Rebekah Reid (violin), and others. A more than promising debut essential release!

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Ill Considered – Liminal Space

After releasing nine self-released albums in less than three years, London-based jazz improvisation collective Ill Considered drop their first studio record. Idris Rahman (saxophone), Liran Donin (bass) and Emre Ramazanoglu (percussion) are the new core line-up with guest spots from Sarathy Korwar, Theon Cross, Kaidi Akinnibi, and Ahnanse of Steam Down, among others. The new line-up brings a breath of fresh air resulting in a rebirth of the band in the image of what came before. Essential.

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Irreversible Entanglements – Open The Gates

International Anthem keeps the goods coming with Open The Gates, the third LP by Philly/NYC/DC free jazz collective Irreversible Entanglements. The collective features saxophonist Keir Neuringer, bassist Luke Stewart, trumpeter Aquiles Navarro, drummer Tcheser Holmes driven by the powerful words of Camae Ayewa. Synths and experimental electronics expand their sound across seven tracks and 80 minutes of music, augmenting traditional jazz instruments. A free-flowing jazz tour de force with a punk attitude.

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King Champion Sounds – Between Two Worlds

I was absolutely enthralled hearing the first taste from King Champion Sounds new album, Between Two Worlds, a few months ago. Now the entire album is here; it’s time to be enthralled all over again. The songs range in length from three to seven minutes and are oozing with brilliant compositions, unfailing adventure and a thrilling sense of musicianship. The thirteen-track record features guest appearances from Gerry Love, Mia Doi Todd, Sally Timms, Jon Langford, Janet Beveridge Bean and Marieke McKenna. Please, do yourself a favour and listen to this exceptional album.

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Boom.Diwan featuring Nduduzo Makhathini – Minarets

Boom.Diwan is a collaborative jazz ensemble led by Ghazi Al-Mulaifi, an applied ethnomusicologist based in Abu Dhabi who draws inspiration for the project from the pearl diving music of the Indian Ocean trade in Kuwait. The three-movement suite was recorded across three countries: the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and South Africa. The record results from an intimate, trusting, and vulnerable conversation between Ghazi Al-Mulaifi and pianist Nduduzo Makathini. Utterly wonderful.

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Kyle Shepherd – After the Night, the Day Will Surely Come

Multi-award-winning South African composer Kyle Shepherd blesses us with a selection of solo piano meditations on the human spirit in a time of lockdown and beyond. He reworks some of his favourite melodies and improvisations on this album. If you enjoy jazz that blends modal and afro-fusion flavours, this is for you.

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Malcolm Jiyane Tree-O – UMDALI

Johannesburg multi-instrumentalist Malcolm Jiyane marks his debut as a leader with UMDALI. The record follows his contribution to last year’s SPAZA LP, UPRIZE! In creating the LP, Jiyane draws on many musical friendships he’s formed over the years, including bassist Ayanda Zalekile, drummer Lungile Kunene, percussionist Gontse Makhene, pianist Nkosinathi Mathunjwa, saxophonist Nhlanhla Mahlangu and trumpeters Brandon Ruiters and Tebogo Seitei. UMDALI  is a joy from beginning to end. I loved every note of its beautifully arranged, sombre yet spirited journey.

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Sam Wilkes – One Theme & Subsequent Improvisation

Sam Wilkes, a bassist, producer, and composer who has been active in the Los Angeles jazz scene for several years, has just released his second full-length album through Leaving Records, entitled One Theme & Subsequent Improvisation. This album was born of an impromptu recording session with Wilkes on the fender bass, two drummers, a Maestro Rhythm King drum machine, and two synthesists who played “one repetitive theme that led to two subsequent movements.” Wilkes then decided to destroy the audio of predetermined sections of the music through tapes, sampling, and effects experiments to find new music through an immersive process. The results are stunning.

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EP’s

cktrl – zero

The latest release from South London artist Bradley Miller as cktrl is this transcendent four-track EP. The record features guest vocalist Mereba and harpist Ahya Simon, who adds a new dimension to his marvellous sound. A beautiful journey from beginning to end, with each song taking you deeper into cktrl’s musical universe.

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Monsieur MÂLÂ – EP-001-MM 

Hailing from Paris, Monsieur MÂLÂ comprises five highly sought-after musicians who combine jazz, rock, funk, electronic and world music elements to create a fascinating musical brew.

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CF Smith

Write for Music Is My Sanctuary & Stereofox.

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