Is the year over? Not quite. As we said in October, every month has great stuff to listen to, including November. Or rather, Yesvember. Let’s get to it!
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Phoenix, Arizona’s Sunn Trio has provided us with fantastic music in the past, in the form of their self-titled free jazz debut and Bali Kratom, their Gamelan jazz experiment. Both were quite amazing in their very own rights, and so is their newest offering: فايروس (Fayrus). As the name suggests, the band looks towards the middle east for inspiration, and that comes with the scales traditionally associated with this region’s music as well as folk songs and instruments. Fayrus is mystical and somewhat magical. It sometimes recall the works of Russian group uSSSy, but mostly is remarkably unique. The delivery is pretty varied as well: going from the fusion jazz to the more atmospheric pieces. It’s a fun album to add to your library!
Anamorphose was a French band on the heels of the Zeuhl and jazz fusion scenes. Their sole album, Palimpseste, from 1986, was recommended to me by an interesting vinyl and book collector and vendor. I’m glad he did, because this is one intense experience that has gotten somewhat forgotten with time. Palimpseste puts a lot of emphasis on odd time signatures, which makes it an enjoyable ride for any prog rock fan, but it also has the added benefit of being quite thoroughly rooted in jazz, instrumentally. Have fun discovering this hidden gem!
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I can’t exaggerate my excitement for this release. Ukandanz is a collaborative project between Ethopian singer Asnake Gebreyes and French fusion musicians. Their previous album, አዎ (Äwo), was totally entrancing and important for me—as you can read here in my review of the album, last year—so it’s no surprise that I’m very vocal about my excitement for ይቀጥላል (Jəqetelale)—romanized stylistically as Yeketelale. I expect the formation to keep their firm roots into modern rhythmic and heavy jazz while Asnake’s idiosyncrasies are allowed to run wild at the forefront of it all. Fortunately, we won’t have to wait long, since the album is scheduled for a release this Wednesday!