Header Ads

Breaking News

Kamasi Washington’s Dynamic Apollo Set, and 9 More New Songs


The saxophonist Kamasi Washington and his band had been virtually living on the road for about four years when they arrived in Harlem to play a packed house at the Apollo in 2019. You can tell from this video — excerpted from a new full-length concert film — that the group has not lost the spark inside the material; on this version of Washington’s “Street Fighter Mas,” from the album “Heaven and Earth,” the two-drummer rhythm section pounds out a beat that’s both funkier and more thrashing than on the record — and Cameron Graves takes a lightning-sharp keyboard solo that could make a metal guitarist quake. GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO

The sequel to “Talk,” Khalid’s magnificently tentative 2019 collaboration with the production team Disclosure, feels a little too inevitable. There’s nothing really wrong with “Know Your Worth,” Khalid’s brotherly self-help advice to someone who’s being mistreated and underestimated (though the cutesy vocal sample of “What!” does get annoying). But after the opening line, “He keeps leaving you for dead,” there’s nothing — a plot twist, a texture shift, a contrasty bridge — to challenge anyone’s expectations. JON PARELES

Sharon Van Etten’s new single is all deliberation and determination, hovering between dirge — “Your big old heart gets beaten down” — and homily: “Don’t you get beaten.” It’s a subdued anthem that ticks slowly along on sustained synthesizer tones, tolling piano and Van Etten’s high, carefully understated voice, refusing to grieve or exhort, only to claim and hold its place. Maybe it’s an election-year song, too. PARELES

The bright jangle of “Promises,” by the Chicago indie rock band Beach Bunny, belies much darker subject matter. The singer Lili Trifilio is overcome by a breakup — “Sister said be patient, things aren’t what they seem/But it’s hard to think clearly, you never say what you mean” — and grappling with the void it left behind. In the video, she’s jumping on the bed, flailing. But look closer: She’s having fun, she’s free. JON CARAMANICA

A slickly appealing too-big-to-fail collaboration between the rising reggaeton singer Jhay Cortez — one of the writers of the world-beating Cardi B hit “I Like It” — and the established stars Anuel AA and J Balvin. Cortez’s voice is almost airy, a sharp contrast to Anuel’s gruff antics and Balvin’s clinical poise. CARAMANICA

Leaked versions of this song have been popping up online since last summer, and have been making their way onto the viral song charts for the last few weeks. Now, it’s finally getting a formal release. “Blueberry Faygo” is the best song to date by the generally unimaginative rapper Lil Mosey. He sounds cheerful, almost childlike, in his boasting. Underneath him, the production is dreamy, built on a tightly squelched sample of Johnny Gill’s R&B classic “My, My, My.” CARAMANICA

Christine and the Queens — the French songwriter Hélöise Letissier — couldn’t be more straightforwardly melancholy than she is in this ballad. Behind her declaratory vocal lines, it’s all bassy, sustained, 1980s-flavored synthesizers (think “Take My Breath Away”) and quivering strings. She’s singing about depression and withdrawal, perhaps with a partner — “If you disappear, then I’m disappearing too” — and passages in French trace her wounds back to a lonely, misjudged adolescence. But the music insists she’s not vanishing anytime soon. PARELES

The esteemed bassist Christian McBride was born just after the close of the Civil Rights Movement, so he remembers learning about its heroes by flipping through the copies of his grandmother’s copies of Ebony and Jet magazines from the 1950s and ’60s. For many years he has worked on “The Movement Revisited,” a musical suite celebrating four figures from those pages who inspired him as a child: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Rosa Parks and Muhammad Ali. The suite, finally released as an album Friday, mixes hard-nosed small-group playing, soaring big-band orchestration, spoken readings from figures like Sonia Sanchez and Wendell Pierce, and choral singing. On “Sister Rosa,” the piece dedicated to Parks, a big band and a choir both savor the deep, mid-tempo swing feel, leaning on McBride’s bass for support as the voices unite in a long, weary drawl, quoting Parks: “I’m tired.” RUSSONELLO

“That thing you do is not love,” the Colombian-Canadian singer Lido Pimienta chides a disappointing partner, but “Eso Que Tú Haces” — from an album due in April, “Miss Colombia” — is no petty kiss-off. It’s a substantial cultural statement uniting Afro-Colombian roots — rhythms, instruments and, in a video shot in Colombia, group dances — with just enough synthesizer heft to place Pimienta’s music in the here and now. PARELES

Pottery is a band from Montreal, but it lays a carpetbagging claim to to punk and psychedelia in the six-minute “Texas Drums Pt 1 & 2.” At first, it harks back to the Clash’s “Rock the Casbah” and a hint of the Rolling Stones version of “Harlem Shuffle” — a grunting, cowbell-thumping, guitar-scrubbing vamp with an electric piano in the mix — and proceeds to get ever more crowded and noisy as singers shout, “All my best friends moved to Texas/All my best friends play those drums.” Of course there’s a phasing-and-feedback interlude, generous dollops of fuzztone, even a key change — anything but the sounds of the present. PARELES

Source link

No comments