Judi Jackson, Grace, Silvertone Records ***

The best is kept to last, in other words the title track far and away the best of these songs that comes right at the end. The work of a magnetic singer. But too many songs try to be catchy, poppy, whatever, but often just don't get beyond the …

Published: 4 Nov 2021. Updated: 29 days.

The best is kept to last, in other words the title track far and away the best of these songs that comes right at the end. The work of a magnetic singer. But too many songs try to be catchy, poppy, whatever, but often just don't get beyond the fairly likeable level and move on no further. Happily there are exceptions and apart from the fine title track one obvious winner is 'Blue Baby' which has that seriousness that is often missing on the frothier songs. The collaboration with Blue Lab Beats on ‘Space Gyal’ also is a plus factor here but seems as if it belongs on another album. The main talking point of the album is the fun and very warm collaboration on ‘Sunrise’ with 1970s underground sensation Arthur Verocai who also crops up on the new BadBadNotGood release Talk Memory. Hand on heart overall I prefer 2018's less manicured and far more boisterous and compelling Lateralize release Live in London. But US singer Judi Jackson is worth being patient with and some day it's easy to guess and certainly hope that she will come up with a classic album when more of the right songs and the right kind of bloodyminded producer comes along who can handle Jackson's maverick approach and match it with the right material (not necessarily her own songs either) and that can stretch her more. She's not there yet but it can't be too far away surely and Jackson is a singer you need to know about right now, one who is far less glossy and with less filters to her approach than say China Moses but not quite as accomplished an artist as Moses already is. As for the very humane 'Grace' Jackson's spinetingling homage to her mother the song winds surely and steadily into your consciousness and is an achievement that will lift you up and make you admire Jackson even more than you might already. Stephen Graham

Tags: Albums and EPs

Andorra, Orbit, April Records ***

Drawn from Andorra to be released next week this Danish electric jazz-rock quintet redolent of early period Christian Scott for instance 2007's Anthem still very possibly his best record before the New Orleanian added the aTunde Adjuah part as a …

Published: 4 Nov 2021. Updated: 29 days.

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Drawn from Andorra to be released next week this Danish electric jazz-rock quintet redolent of early period Christian Scott for instance 2007's Anthem still very possibly his best record before the New Orleanian added the aTunde Adjuah part as a suffix to his name and how he is now known to all. That of course leads to thinking about the lead trumpeter here who is Mads La Cour and also a member of the formidable Danish Radio Big Band and very impressive he is too. La Cour has a magisterial very compelling persuasive way with his approach but really it's the overall band spirit and momentum here on 'Orbit', the pushing along that comes from drummer Nikolaj Bundvig and a thundering bass from Morten Jørgensen, that makes the piece work so well. Recorded back in March this studio album also has another of its tracks the ballad 'The Poet' streaming ahead of release which avails more of strong studio engineering and is a significant statement from La Cour.