Even when paying homage to the Moroccan music she grew up with, vocalist Natacha Atlas can't help but let the multicultural and modern seep in. With bossa nova, Western pop, and just a thin slice of electronica figuring into the mix, the "back to my roots" album Mish Maoul is a rich collection of music that doesn't sound decorated but natural coming from an artist who prides herself in being a musical nomad. Easy to believe a nomad's memories of her homeland would be foggy and sentimental, and easy to believe the modern nomad's soundtrack would sound something like this – only something like this because this is far and away Atlas' most personal album. Suitably, she seems totally in charge of its construction, making interesting production choices with the help of Temple of Sound, Timothy Whelan, and others. For someone who has worked with Transglobal Underground, Art of Trance, and Jah Wobble in the past, the restraint Atlas uses on the rhythmic and ritualistic "Hayati Inta" is surprising and creates an intoxicating tension with only a slight bit of electric guitar revealing this isn't a field recording.
Louis Sclavis’s band of the season is the Atlas Trio, an ensemble with a global reach of reference. Chamber-improvisation, polyrhythmic grooves, minimalistic pulse patterns, enveloping ambience, rhapsodic piano and funky Fender Rhodes, distorted guitar, clarinet soliloquies, contrapuntal themes, free group playing, a bit of everything. An open-form aesthetic applies in multi-facetted music simultaneously exploratory and involving. Recorded in the South of France last September, the album - Louis’s ninth for ECM – features a programme of new Sclavis compositions, and is issued in time for tour dates including a major showcase at the Europa Jazz Festival in Le Mans.
A fabulous release by this Canadian instrumental band that blends latin, r&b, soul, film soundtracks, jazz and more into moody and infectious grooves. Bret Higgins is no stranger to Tzadik, performing on the 2014 release Zebrina and performing with Tzadik regulars like Frank London, David Buchbinder, Ben Goldberg and many others. A new take on The Meters and Booker T, this is small unit instrumental music that you will return to again and again.
Whirlwind is elated to announce the signing of internationally-acclaimed artist Natacha Atlas and her October 4th release Strange Days. Heralded as one of the world’s most distinctive voices, she’s carved a path synthesising western and middle eastern vocal traditions with mind-blowing dexterity. Natacha’s latest work sees her push vocal and musical boundaries even further by effortlessly weaving jazz traditions into her already unique blend.