Daily jazz blog, Marlbank

Meshell Ndegeocello, The Omnichord Real Book, Blue Note ****1/2

ALBUM OF THE WEEK ON MARLBANK FOR WEEK BEGINNING 19 JUNE 'Virgo' heralding release proved Afrofuturistically funky and a beckoning from another universe. That is one point of entry here. But there are so many ways in. A deft way of shifting the …

Published: 16 Jun 2023. Updated: 13 months.

mnc

ALBUM OF THE WEEK ON MARLBANK FOR WEEK BEGINNING 19 JUNE 'Virgo' heralding release proved Afrofuturistically funky and a beckoning from another universe. That is one point of entry here. But there are so many ways in. A deft way of shifting the tectonic plates of what you might expect operates even when you feel in a safe space settling into a jazzfunkilyR&BAfrojazz mélange of such originality. There is no one like bass guitarist, singer, composer, bandleader Meshell Ndegeocello here with her first album for Blue Note. Joining the American is an interesting array of guests from various backgrounds - Josh Johnson, Jade Hicks, Deantoni Parks, Jeff Parker, Cory Henry, Joan As Police Woman on the oh so tender 'Gatsby', Joel Ross, Jason Moran, Thandiswa, Brandee Younger, Julius Rodriguez, Hanna Benn, Ambrose Akinmusire, The Hawtplates and World Saxophone Quartet legend Oliver Lake. 'Perceptions' featuring Jason Moran is the ultimate pick here and proves mesmerising, calming and challenging. The two Hawtplates tracks lift us higher into a very spiritual domain and 'Vuma' is so scintillating, the South African sounds sliding us effortlessly on to the dancefloor by adding a vital expansiveness and sense of swaying propulsion. Ndegeocello's anarchic beat on ''things fall apart oh happy day'' song 'Burn Progression' featuring Blue Note trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire is yet another significant highlight. Essential. Out today. Meshell Ndegeocello, photo: Charlie Gross

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Kasia Pietrzko Trio, Fragile Ego, Warner Music Poland ****

A profound slice of arthouse jazz where the trio as an entity is both muse and an end in itself pianist Kasia Pietrzko has long since proved of the calibre of Marcin Wasilewski and Dominik Wania although the outside world is still in the process …

Published: 15 Jun 2023. Updated: 13 months.

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A profound slice of arthouse jazz where the trio as an entity is both muse and an end in itself pianist Kasia Pietrzko has long since proved of the calibre of Marcin Wasilewski and Dominik Wania although the outside world is still in the process of waking up to what she has to say. And dear readers if oblivious to her sound even six years on since Forthright Stories when the Pole first began to surface it's no better a time to delve into her work. In her stern chords on 'Foggy Dreams' there is an authority that is present throughout this gem of an album, the trio balanced so well in the sound engineering that the whole thing seems to hover on its very own frequency. With bassist Andrzej Święs, drummer Piotr Budniak and - so elegiacally and mysteriously - singer Klara Cloud on 'Widow.'