Jan 11 2019
Best of 2018 #29: Sons of Kemet – “Your Queen Is A Reptile”
No matter how you look at this album, you’ll see a statement. There’s the political context, of the idea of royalty and the fracture of racism cutting down the center of society. There’s the media context, and of who is presented to the public as role models and heroes. There’s the musical context, of the roots of folk music stretching across continents, of cross-pollination of influences, and of musicians stamping their mark on the present day scene. But in ascendance over all of those, the statement that rings most clear, is that a heavy message need not clip the wings of music that simply wants to go soaring. There is an unmissable sense of importance that radiates from every note of Sons of Kemet‘s Your Queen Is A Reptile; so are its expressions of joy.
Released on Impulse Records.
Read more on Bird is the Worm.
Music from London, UK.
Available at: Amazon
Jan 20 2019
Best of 2018 #5: Makaya McCraven – “Universal Beings”
I’m not sure how much more I can say about this recording. I originally included Makaya McCraven‘s Universal Beings in my Best Jazz on Bandcamp column, in which I explained how “Four concerts in four different cities [and] four casts of collaborators lead to four different perspectives on the expressionistic range of modern jazz.” Later, for the Best Bandcamp Jazz in 2018 column, I added that his “cohesive vision of the strength and diversity of today’s talent pool… is a statement, and that statement is: This is jazz today.” And then, finally, for its inclusion on The Best Albums of 2018, which included music for all genres, I summed up that “Universal Beings reveals the wealth of riches right there in front of us. You don’t need to hold onto 1959; Makaya McCraven can give you today.” McCraven captures four different takes on the modern jazz sound with four different ensembles performing in four different cities, further cementing the fact that this music is everywhere and that its potential for expression is limited only by the space on the planet and how that affects the space within artists heads and hearts and souls.
Released on International Anthem.
Music from Chicago, IL.
I wrote about this album for The Bandcamp Daily.
Available at: Bandcamp | Amazon
By davesumner • Recap: Best of 2018 • 0 • Tags: Brandee Younger, Chicago, International Anthem, Jazz - Best of 2018, Jeff Parker, Makaya McCraven, Shabaka Hutchings, Tomeka Reid