Here is a list of my favorite albums from the past month. Enjoy!
Are these lists for you? My musical tastes vary widely, but you’ll always find hip-hop, jazz, funk, or a blend each in the selections, along with the occasional country, rock, and reggae record. Hopefully, you’ll find something you like. Of course, I’m always looking for new (and old) music, so any recommendations are welcome!
Also, you can find a playlist of tracks that I love on my Right About Now playlist. 🎧
Love this for any time of day. My beat tape instrumental groove pick of the month.
While Daymaker is inherently a solo project, the album includes collaborations with giants in the electronic and funk realm, with contributors ranging from keyboardist Borahm Lee [Pretty Lights], Jeff Franca [Thievery Corporation], Hunter Roberts and hip-hop funk duo Recess and Mike Tallman [Euforquestra].
Album Review: Flamingosis – Daymaker: https://www.magneticmag.com/2021/06/album-review-flamingosis-daymaker/
Baw Baw Black Sheep
My hip-hop pick of the month. Reminds me of Mike Jenkins how it moves between styles and feelings.
Irish rapper creates a trippy companion soundtrack to his favourite childhood film, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
Huh? 🤔 Just listen, I promise.
Rejjie Snow – ‘Baw Baw Black Sheep’ review: a world of pure imagination: https://www.nme.com/reviews/album/rejjie-snow-baw-baw-black-sheep-review-2988768
Nafs at Peace
My jazz pick of the month (ok, maybe one of two jazz picks)
The album takes its title from the Qur’an’s evocation of “nafs”, meaning the ego or self. The holy text describes three levels of nafs: the soul inclined to evil (an ego-dominated existence, serving temptation), the self-reproaching soul (an internal battle from sin to repentance), and the tranquil soul (the state of serenity, transcending sin). Across seven tracks, Jaubi effectively convey this journey of the self via shifts in musical character – from a hip-hop swing to classical ragas and ferocious jazz improvisations – and a subtle increase in pace and intensity.
Jaubi: Nafs at Peace review – Pakistani band battle ego with improv: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2021/apr/30/jaubi-nafs-at-peace-review-battling-the-ego-with-improv
I Know I’m Funny hahah
Something different in the form of some sad/beautiful country songs. This one grew on me.
There is so much depth to Faye Webster’s dazzling fourth album. It strikes a perfect balance between classic country stoicism and the sound of the saddest person you follow on social media.
Faye Webster I Know I’m Funny haha: https://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/faye-webster-i-know-im-funny-haha/
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
Bad Boys of Jazz
Afrobeats, jazz, and funk. Sign. Me. Up. 🥁
Even before clocking the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble’s origin story, it’s hard to shake its music, a collection of roiling big-band horn harmonies, hip-hop inflected rhythms, Afrobeat-styled percussion accents and wiry wah-wah guitar accompaniment. It’s almost the perfect summation of the past 70 years of brass and dance music.
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Bad Boys Of Jazz Review: https://downbeat.com/reviews/detail/bad-boys-of-jazz
Honorable mentions ✌️
Vince Staples new album has a great bounce (“I’m a real beach boy, come around my way”). I’ve been discovering the beat tapes from Damu the Fudgemunk (see How it should sound vol 5). I’ve also been listening to Ahmad Jamal’s classic Poinciana after coming across the following performance: