Category Black American Music

BILL MOSS JR. – BRAND NEW DAY (SINGLE) [SALATHIEL RECORDS]

A pleading ballad from Bill Moss Jr., whose soaring vocals overlay a jazzy composition. Worth a listen. FCC: Clean RIYL: Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago, Marvin Winans, Jason Nelson

SHARON JONES & THE DAP-KINGS – JUST DROPPED IN (TO SEE WHAT CONDITION MY RENDITION WAS IN) [DAPTONE]

A DJ Ravioli all-time favorite! The newest album from Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings features a treasure trove of previously unheard material from the beloved Sharon Jones and her Dap-Kings. Listeners will be enthralled with a perfectly eclectic mix of covers that range from Woody Guthrie to Janet Jackson, all of them with the band’s […]

SONNY GREEN – FOUND! ONE SOUL SINGER [LITTLE VILLAGE FOUNDATION]

Sonny Green covers some classic soul songs while also bringing in some original tunes on his latest album. Horns abound to keep the groove going, and Green’s slow vibrato voice soars above it all. Play! FCC: Clean TRY: 1, 5, 10 RIYL: Nora Jean Wallace, Johnny Iguana, Peter Parcek

BETTE SMITH – THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE BETTE [RUF RECORDS]

Bette is back with a force on her latest album! A master of ballads and upbeat tracks alike, Smith wows with her unique, rock-and-soul vocal stylings. Backed by a fantastic band, Bette truly tears it up. Listen all the way through and play, play, play! FCC: Clean TRY: 1, 4, 7 RIYL: Kat Riggins, Chuck […]

EMMA DONOVAN & THE PUTBACKS – DON’T GIVE UP ON ME (SINGLE) [HOPESTREET]

Powerful vocals from Emma Donovan backed by a stellar band including (my favorite) some strong tambourine. The lyrics are pleading yet full of force. Play for sure! FCC: Clean RIYL: Margarethe Klose, Claudia Lee, Lili Chookasian

Derrick Hodge – Color of Noize [Blue Note]

Bassy, electronic, groovy music. Straddles the line between an astral funk record and a jazz record. Highly recommended for fans of modern jazz rap.

Ron Miles – Rainbow Signs [Blue Note]

Gorgeous music that is contemplative and whimsical. Bill Frisell’s guitar is wonderful.

Joel Ross – Who Are You? [Blue Note]

Joel Ross’ highly anticipated sophomore effort, Who Are You?, was released on Blue Note Records October 23rd. The mature, narrative songwriting style that combines structure and free stretching is something of masterful proportions. Listen to how Brandee Younger blends her harp so well with Immanuel Wilkins alto.

Giveton Gelin – True Design [Self Released]

The Nassau-born trumpet player present incredible maturity and compositional prowess on his debut recording. Possessing a tone informed by Freddie Hubbard and Booker Little, he fires off gorgeous melodic statements along with alto saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins. Phenomenal record. PLAY.

Christopher Parker & Kelley Hurt – No Tears Suite [Oxford American]

Beautiful on the nose music about the Black experience in America. Contributions from Brian Blade are strong.

Gregory Porter – All Rise [Blue Note]

Singer Gregory Porter releases another soulful and striking record of originals. His low, controlled voice and nuanced phrasing is truly something to behold.

Jamael Dean – Oblivion [Stones Throw]

Deep, spacey music put out on cassette from the ever expansive Stones Throw records. Lush ensemble work is really something else.

Joel Ross – Gato’s Gift [Blue Note]

Another single to come from Joel Ross’ forthcoming sophomore release, this written by Gabrielle Garo. It is a beautiful introspective piece that highlights cyclic chord motion and the pretty harp strums of Brandee Younger. Who Are You?, comes out in late October.

Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra (PAPA) – Little Africa [The Village]

Jamael Dean’s piano and Sharada Shashidar’s vocals open this beautiful burner that introduces the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra’s new label, The Village, to audiences for the first time. PAPA has been a breeding ground for the West Coast’s most daring and creative Black American Musicians. Infectious melodies and incredible collective improvisation.

Joel Ross – More? [Blue Note Records]

The first single off of Ross’ sophomore effort Who Are You seems like a natural continuation of King Maker with Immanuel Wilkins’ pungent sax and Ross’ shimmering vibes leading a tense charge through a churning eddy. Harmonically things are more mysterious and darker than they were on King Maker. Who Are You comes out in […]

Blu & Exile – Miles [Dirty Science Records]

Really beautiful, almost carnival-like beats are juxtaposed against serious and dense lyrics. A vivid imagery that’s come to saturate a truly poetic genre seems to be reinvented here with, of course, themes of colors.

Georgia Anne Muldrow – Mama, You Can Bet! [eOne Music]

Music filled with loping grooves, drastic mood shifts, hip samples, and dissonant choirs. Muldrow has been called the modern day Nina Simone and, certainly in the field of artistic weight, this is an apt comparison.