It’s Friday, which means it’s time for a new Between The Cracks, so once again, we select eight releases for your musical enjoyment. We’ll give you a brief overview of each release, so you can decide which ones you want to check out. Tune in below to hear our picks, and if you like what you hear, click the links and support the artists.
Magda Kuraś Quintet -Tryptyk Biłgorajski
In 2022, a group of talented musicians with a shared love for ethnic music and traditions came together to form Magda Kuraś Quintet. The band led by Kuraś plays a unique blend of South-Eastern folk music from Poland with jazz, not jazz arrangements. I love Kuraś unique voice and the band’s unusual compositional approach. A great listen from start to finish.
Alexander Flood – Oscillate
‘Oscilate’ is an inventive, bold, upbeat collection of cosmic, dancefloor-leaning jazz tracks. From the get-go, drummer and bandleader Alexander Flood defies so much modern jazz music, with a stunning array of tones and textures – including dancing flute melodies in the title track ‘Oscillate’ and vocal chops and 808 bass on ‘U R THA 1’. Flood’s new release is uniquely refreshing. As a result, its differences avoid feeling like something from a well-trodden path. You don’t want to miss this one.
Meshell Ndegeocello – The Omnichord Real Book
Following her 2018 album ‘Ventriloquism,’ Meshell Ndegeocello returns with an album of entirely original material that explores the full spectrum of her musical influences. Ndegeocello’s distinctive voice and bass playing are further enhanced by guests including Joel Ross, Jeff Parker, Brandee Younger, Julius Rodriguez, Mark Guiliana, Cory Henry, Joan As Police Woman, and more. The album is also her debut on Blue Note after 30 years in the business.
Gia Margaret – Romantic Piano
Short, sweet and sparse. That’s how Gia Margaret likes to roll on her third album ‘Romantic Piano’. Check out her powerful piano pieces alongside a few vocal tracks touched with subtle field recordings that exude calm, honesty and intimacy.
JJ Whitefield – Ethio Meditations / Drama Al Dente
Recently, Madlib dropped the first Invazion Music Library Series and gave us a taste of what’s to come. JJ Whitefield is the one who’s calling the shots with his ‘Ethio Meditations / Drama Al Dente’. This series was birthed during the pandemic as a way to pay homage to… “the best ‘Music Library’ releases of the past, on labels like Italy’s Sermi, Germany’s Bruton, France’s MP2000 and the UK’s DeWolfe.” Whitefield uses his considerable skills in combining seriously groovy Ethiopian jazz and psychedelic funk in his LP’s 19 tracks. Seriously impressive! Check out the second instalment in the series here.
Greg Foat x Gigi Masin – Dolphin
The first collaborative LP between Venetian maestro Gigi Masin and esteemed pianist/composer/producer Greg Foat is a must-listen for anyone who loves chilled-out instrumental music and is a testament to the duo’s creativity and skill. It’s an audio head massage you will remember for a long time. Highly recommended.
High Pass Filter – Nice Coordinated Outfit
Deep minimal dub, bizarre electronica with elements of shoegaze and experimental noise, you’ll find it all on this superb compilation celebrating the work of cult 90’s Melbourne Band High Pass Filter out on La Sape Records. So sit back and enjoy over an hour and forty eclectic minutes.
Flock – In C
More open-minded jazz and experimental music shenanigans from London collective Flock. Comprised of Bex Burch, Sarathy Korwar, Danalogue, Al MacSween and Tamar Osborn, the quintet has wasted little time sharing its second project in less than a year. ‘In C’, is a 5-track EP inspired by minimalism pioneer Terry Riley. As expected, the collective continues to push the boundaries of what is possible in music.