Soothsayers meets Victor Rice and Friends, 'Last Days,' Red Earth ****

Track of the day has a delicious head bobbing outsider-ska flavour to it. It's Robin Hopcraft on beefy trombone leading the way in the dynamic arc of the piece. Sarf London band Soothsayers have built up quite a following over the years traversing …

Published: 17 Jun 2022. Updated: 23 months.

Track of the day has a delicious head bobbing outsider-ska flavour to it. It's Robin Hopcraft on beefy trombone leading the way in the dynamic arc of the piece. Sarf London band Soothsayers have built up quite a following over the years traversing reggae and Afrobeat stylings on different projects and led by eloquent versatile jazz saxist Idris Rahman alongside Hopcraft who is usually known as a trumpeter now joined by São Paulo-based bassist Victor Rice, guitarist João Erbertta and drummer Bruno Buarque in the personnel. There's a dub version of 'Last Days' also available on 10-inch vinyl. Soothsayers play the Rhythmtree festival, Isle of Wight on 8 July. The track is drawn from the so-far unreleased Soothsayers meets Victor Rice and Friends. Soothsayers photo: press

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Laura Zakian, Dreaming Life ****

It is deeply tempting to begin listening by turning out of sequence to the beautiful cover of Patty Griffin's Downtown Church song 'Come Home To Me' (2010) first. But don't do that. Instead begin at the first downbeat and revel in the interplay …

Published: 17 Jun 2022. Updated: 23 months.

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It is deeply tempting to begin listening by turning out of sequence to the beautiful cover of Patty Griffin's Downtown Church song 'Come Home To Me' (2010) first. But don't do that. Instead begin at the first downbeat and revel in the interplay between voice and the baritone saxophone of Paul Bartholomew on the chamber-jazz arranged opener, 'Plainsong'. Laura Zakian's very unadorned clear-as-a-bell voice is wrapped inside the sound of an at times deftly modal jazz-arranged ''acoustic''-sounding ensemble who make the whole effect so note worthy. Even more satisfying than Minor Moments this is very grown-up music-making, in other words no one is posing or playing the myths in the mists all over again indulgently.

Working closely with the vibist Martin Pyne who wrote practically all of the music, the Norma Winstone-esque calibre lyrics on the Pyne originals are Zakian's. Pyne is usually heard in avant circumstances, perhaps you remember his extraordinary Spirits of Absent Dancers. UK piano great the Inclassificable-era Sheppardian Steve Lodder is an elegant presence as ever.

Available via Pyne's Bandcamp page