Pharoah Sanders, Fabrizio De André & More: My Albums of the Week #33

I would consider myself an “albums guy” and my taste in music is very varied. In this new feature, I list the albums that I listened to most intensely during the week. The list will include albums old and new, and the number of albums listened to every week will most likely vary on a week-to-week basis.

Zara McFarlane
Arise
(Brownswood, 2017) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

TRACKLIST (favorite tracks underlined): 1 – Ode to Kumina // 2 – Pride // 3 – Fussin’ and Fightin’ // 4 – Peace Begins Within // 5 – Stoke the Fire // 6 – Freedom Chain // 7 – Riddim Interlude // 8 – Allies or Enemies // 9 – In Between Worlds // 10 – Silhouette // 11 – Fisherman // 12 – Ode to Cyril

A collection of original socially-conscious songs sung against a rich backdrop of music blending sounds and styles of a wide range of cultural and geographical provenance, including Africa and Latin America. Zara McFarlane is a talent and with this record, she affirmed her spot among the most notable talents of London’s burgeoning modern jazz and creative music scene.

 

Attarazat Addahabia & Faradjallah
Al Hadaoui
(Habibi Funk, 2019) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

TRACKLIST (favorite tracks underlined): 1 – Al hadaoui // 2 – Albaki // 3 – Moulate salef // 4 – Taali // 5 – Aflana // 6 – Chama’a // 7 – Kaddaba

The transcendental sound of ’70s Moroccan garage rock. Another gem from the Habibi Funk label’s catalog. Gnawa mixed with funky electronic guitars. And a take on Beethoven’s “Fur Elise” like you’ve never heard it before.

 

Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders & The London Symphony Orchestra
Promises
(Luaka Bop, 2021) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

TRACKLIST (favorite tracks underlined): 1 – Movement 1-5 // Movement 6-9

Spiritual jazz legend Pharoah Sanders returns and continues to break new grounds with genius electronic producer Floating Points. “Promises” is a touching, magnum opus that also feels like the perfect music to encapsulates the tumult of recent times and the uncertainties for the future. At some point, towards the middle, the whole thing erupts into a largescale epic, courtesy of The London Symphony Orchestra. This is an album that really takes you places and maybe the best new album I have heard all year thus far.

 

Kandace Springs
The Women Who Raised Me
(Blue Note, 2020) ⭐⭐

TRACKLIST (favorite tracks underlined): 1 – Devil May Care // 2 – Angel Eyes // 3 – I Put a Spell on You // 4 – Pearls // 5 – Ex-Factor // 6 – I Can’t Make You Love Me // 7 – Gentle Rain // 8 – Solitude // 9 – The Nearness Of You // 10 – What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life // 11 – Killing Me Softly With His Song // 12 – Strange Fruit

The program was nothing exciting to begin with but Kandace Springs’ interpretation doesn’t add much to anything. Despite the star-studded lineup, The Women Who Raised Me is surprisingly dull and maybe even a little too reverent.

 

Fabrizio De André
Tutti Morimmo a Stento
(Bluebell, 1968)⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

TRACKLIST (favorite tracks underlined): 1 – Cantico dei drogati // 2 – Primo intermezzo // 3 – Leggenda di Natale // 4 – Secondo intermezzo // 5 – Ballata degli impiccati // 6 – Inverno // 7 – Girotondo // 8 – Terzo intermezzo // 9 – Recitativo (Due invocazioni e un atto di accusa) // 10 – Corale (La leggenda del re infelice)

Maybe the greatest Italian concept album of all time, from an observant young man with a lot to say. A fusion of music and rock and roll, sublimely produced. And De Andrè’s poetry, lyrically pugnacious and beautiful, inspired by the poetry of François Villon.

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