Kate's Soulfood: Allan Harris hot prospect of a homage to Harlem

No one is holding a gun to my head forcing me to press replay after replay where upcoming Kate's Soulfood by singer-guitarist Allan Harris is concerned. It's just obvious the need to keep listening for more to get even more detail. The overall …

Published: 22 Dec 2020. Updated: 2 months.

No one is holding a gun to my head forcing me to press replay after replay where upcoming Kate's Soulfood by singer-guitarist Allan Harris is concerned. It's just obvious the need to keep listening for more to get even more detail. The overall Kamau Kenyatta sound is no everyday experience. The producer bottles warmth and humanity, something he did to perfection on Gregory Porter's early records. Harris likes the Kenyatta flavour, knows the shape of the mood he creates, and above all how to respond. From a few of Harris' past records it is clear that the New Yorker can sing the phone book. Here he achieves new heights accessing a different directory. Best songs are clearly the talked-in back from the brink 'Wash Away My Sins' that unveils a horn arrangement to die for and some engaged female backing vocals folded in to enhance and embellish the journeying on. Missing-you strivers song '99 Miles' later in the album has instant classic written all over it, get over its soppiness. Not for cynics, songs like any of these do not come along very often and sprinkled through there are a couple more of the same high quality (tearjerker 'Color of a Woman is Blu' especially). Where the album grooves most is on 'Shallow Man'. A wisdom of the elders, Harlem-as-universe reflection looking to the inside-you as much as the blues of the outside world, imagine as the ultimate test hearing Kate's Soulfood over the PA in the most meaningful jazz place in your life where you know that you are most real and feel most completely alive. Figure out if these sounds match. For me, it's completely natural that they do and because it is also a seriously hot prospect of a jazz record. SG. On Love Productions. Out on 12 February 2021. Photo of Allan Harris, top: Gulnara Khamatova

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Top 10 jazz labels in 2020

Selected for quality not necessarily quantity, A and R, sound excellence, look and collectability. 1 Night Dreamer. 2 Blue Note. 3 Jazzland. 4 Edition. 5 Concord Jazz. 6 ECM. 7 Gondwana. 8 International Anthem. 9 Ubuntu. 10 Rare Noise.

Published: 21 Dec 2020. Updated: 2 months.

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Selected for quality not necessarily quantity, A and R, sound excellence, look and collectability.

1 Night Dreamer.

2 Blue Note.

3 Jazzland.

4 Edition.

5 Concord Jazz.

6 ECM.

7 Gondwana.

8 International Anthem.

9 Ubuntu.

10 Rare Noise.