Best of 2017 #30: Nate Smith – “Kinfolk: Postcards from Everywhere” (Ropeadope)


There’s some seriously vivid imagery on Kinfolk: Postcards from Everywhere, and the way it’s presented as snapshots of a story instead of a running narrative makes the music resonate that much stronger.  Nate Smith is, in fact, telling a story on his 2017 release, and his fortuitous decision to focus it through the lenses of his bandmates (and various guests) gives that story a detached, ethereal presence, as if recollections told through shared dreams.  And so the modern jazz and soul and contemporary groove and folk and old-school ballads and string sections all sort of coalesce into a blurry haze at the same time the immediate moment is snapping into focus.  The phase in and out of contradictions and states of unison drives this music, even when it’s laid back and easy-going.  That’s no small thing.  Also not to be undervalued is the supreme enjoyment gained from simply sitting back and hearing that story pour on out.

Music from NYC.

Read more at Bird is the Worm.