2/23/16: Banda de Los Muertos, Tessan Chin, Rokia Traore

@@@ Banda de Los Muertos: Self-titled (Barbes, 2015).  Some uptempo cumbia/Latin music off the WRIR weekly playlist email.  The emphasis in this first tune is on the intricate and energetic horn arrangements.  There is most definitely a swing band jazz influence going on.  The second tune moves from swinging to a more openly Mexican mariachi feel and I dig the tuba as well as the crispness of the horn section.  A strong female singer makes an appearance on the third tune and I think Imma gonna have to circle back on this record when I have time for the whole thing.  Righteous tuba playing on this record, he/she is holding it down for sure.

@@@ Tessan Chin: Love Suicide (Chinita, 2016)  A slow burning, modern r&b love single off the Apple Music r&b section.  The drums are pretty modern sounding but there’s a bunch of Al Green-like sounds on the tune.  Instrumentation is guitar, piano, bass, drums (machine, I think!) and Chin doing her thing.  She rides the line between passionate singing and ridiculous over-singing.

@@@ Rokia Traore: Ne So (Nonesuch, 2016).  Some female fronted African music also off the WRIR weekly playlist email.  As it’s coming out on Nonesuch the production is going to be super highbrow and polished for yuppies.  Traore has a beautiful voice but the band is a bit restrained in the first tune.  You know these guys can rip it, let ’em play.  I like the unique rhythmic arrangement of the second tune, but I wish the sound of the band was less mellow.    Instrumentation is pretty standard — kora, electric guitar, electric bass, drums and a lot of vocals.

YTD recordings listened to: 183
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 101
Not good music: 68

Honorable Mentions: 4
Buys: 3

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Bone Dance, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Debruit, Slidhr, The Whammies, The Chewers, Alexander Hawkins, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Dawn Richard, Mastery, Leviathan, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Akitsa,  Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Destruction Unit, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves, Matt Walker, Divanhana, Troum, Unrestrained, Carrie Rodriguez


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