Snarky Puppy’s Michael League Discusses ‘Immigrance’ Recording for World Cafe
Michael League, the bassist, composer and leader of world-renowned outfit Snarky Puppy, appearded on NPR’s World Cafe this week. In an insightful interview, he spoke about the emotions that informed the title of their new album Immigrance, including his thoughts on the xenophobia and anti-immigration sentiment that has been stoked across world politics in recent years.
The broadcast features immaculate live renditions of new cuts Bad Kids to the Back and Even Us closing with a very special variation fan favourite Lingus, featuring the incredible Innov Gnawa. Check out the interview below and catch Snarky upon their return to the UK, in November.
The Repeat Listen: Teodross Avery – After the Rain : A Night for Coltrane
Tasting Notes: John Coltrane Quartet – Africa/Brass, Nat Birchall – Creation, Joshua Redman Quartet — Come What May, Akira Miyazawa – Nijimasu, John Coltrane – Live At The Village Vanguard
There have been few jazz saxophonists as impactful as John Coltrane. His defining compositions are of such importance to the jazz canon, and to the teaching of his instrument in the modern jazz style, that today, players around the world are familiar with his music and have responded to its spiritual undercurrents, inventive construction and emotional weight.
Dr. Teodross Avery is both an educator and experienced performing saxophonist, so appreciates Coltrane’s music from more than one single perspective. He has delivered lectures and concerts centred around Coltrane’s music, and set one of the latter to record at The Sound Room, Oakland, California, producing this powerful six-track album.
Avery calls the album his ‘most sincere offering’ and his playing certain lives up to his sentiment. On title track After the Rain for instance, his notes are clear, sustained, and packed with feeling and conviction. He makes light work of the quick ascents and descents on Pursuance and cuts loose with fearsome power on Africa. The recording itself strikes an appropriate balance between clear reproduction and lively atmospheric sound, giving the impression that a variety of instrument and room microphones were used. Whether or not that was the case, the resultant sound does well to place the listener in the room.
Avery’s band turn in strong performances too. Adam Shulman’s piano play feels very much like the glue that binds this combination together. Darrell Green’s controlled pace on Pursuance is a fine highlights, as is Jeff Chambers’ menacing bowed bass solo on Africa. While a reminder of Coltrane’s brilliance is always welcome, an album offering a window into the musicianship of four lesser known stateside talents is perhaps more so, as it confirms that important and impactful work is taking place on the fringes of the scene, in addition to that of the marquee names at its heart.
New Sounds and Visuals
Sarathy Korwar’s new track Mumbay unites artists from London’s jazz scene with Mumbai-based marathi rapper MC Mawali. It is the first track released from his forthcoming album More Arriving, and is accompanied by a video shot in India, with production by Bombay Arthouse.
Not to be confused with Bernie Wayne and Lee Morris’ classic, as performed in David Lynch’s hit eighties film — Tia Gostelow’s Blue Velvet is an uneasy yet empowering indie ballad, here stripped down to acoustic piano and vocal. Gostelow’s voice soars with the minimal instrumentation, showcasing the intricacies of her singing and heightening the emotion of the track itself.
Jamila Woods’ LEGACY! LEGACY! Drops today, and its twelfth cut BALDWIN draws inspiration from the writer James Baldwin. In a Pitchfork track-by-track article, Woods explained how Baldwin’s advice to his nephew challenged her to question the idea of acceptance, especially when considering acts as deplorable as racially-motivated murder. Her lyrical concept of ‘lethal fear’ arose from exploring those ideas, shaping the sound of this inspiring track.
Azmari premiered their new track K’aïsitavia Melodic Distraction this week. Inspired by time spent in Istanbul as well as Ethiojazz conventions, it is a beguiling 8-minute introduction to this promising sextet.
Visionary vocalist and producer GAIKA has released a new video for his Seven Churches for St Jude B-side, 1800 FENDI. Featuring 3D scanning, an array of video processing techniques and creative styling, it reflects the far-reaching sonic amalgam that the Brixton-raised artist has crafted during the past five years.