Matana Roberts Quartet - The Chicago Project
Jazz, like country or 'classical', is one of those genres that takes a shitload of work to get into. It's basically a world away from your regular rock and roll genre conventions, with its own terminology, sub-genres, etc. Unfortunately due to growing up with rock based forms i've been kind of slow getting into jazz, the main reason being that I know what I like when I hear it, but i'd have no way to work out which specific style that was. Luckily however I listen to enough stuff to stumble upon things I do like very now and then, and this new release from Matana Roberts is one of them.
Matana is a composer and live performer from New York who performs as a saxophonist, and who describes her work as being heavily rooted in ancient African American musical traditions, whilst it also incorporates intense lyrical improvisatory elements, and to my ears recalls the no-holds-barred passion of Sun Ra and those influenced by him. This new cd features Jeff Parker of Tortoise as well as other Chicago jazz and jazz influenced luminaries, and is extra extra enjoyable. It's out in February on the excellent Central Control label, who were also responsible for the rather good debut from Strings of Consciousness last year and have also released the last few LPs by Barry Adamson. Listen and buy.
Matana Roberts Quartet - Love Call
Matana Roberts Quartet - Birdhouse 2