Thursday, 16 April 2020

Bryony Jarman-Pinto ‎– Cage and Aviary (2019)

Genre: Jazz, Funk / Soul, Pop
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Tru Thoughts

Tracklist:
01.   For The Birds
02.   As I've Heard
03.   Saffron Yellow
04.   Sweet Sweet
05.   All About Life
06.   Sun Kissed
07.   Alchemy
08.   Emerge
09.   Threads
10.   Day Dream
11.   Sour Face
12.   Company
13.   For The Bear

Comparisons are often trite and unimaginative in criticism, but if you don't know who Bryony Jarman-Pinto is, we should at least establish a starting point. Dig Lianne La Havas? You might like the a cappella harmonies showcased during "For the Birds" or the updated go-go of "Sun Kissed". How about Somi? Check the world soul of "Emerge". Maybe Corinne Bailey Rae? Chances are you can easily get into the slow groove of "Company". 
Got all that? Good. Now forget it. Because the truth is that Jarman-Pinto combines the best parts of all those artists and creates something spectacularly original on her debut LP, Cage and Aviary. Sure, it's jazzy and funky, and yes, it's beautiful and lush. But most importantly, above all else, it's simply unforgettable. It's a statement of a record that deserves to be heard by anyone claiming to be a fan of R&B music, anywhere in the world. 
Cage and Aviary's biggest victory comes in the form of fearlessness, the sound of an artist not conforming to the ideals of genre, which comes, perhaps, in the name of youth. Based in London, the signer grew up with musician parents, a reality that could be both gift and curse. Jarman-Pinto knows nothing of convention, though, and if there were any misfires blamed upon her upbringing, they don't appear here.

Instead, what you get is magic. "As I've Heard" takes a neo-soul template and lifts it up with a pop purity lost in most of her contemporaries' work. Coming complete with a slithering time signature change that elevates the hook, the song embodies the Quiet Storm tome with its laid-back approach and delicate vocals. It's both gorgeous and steamy. 
Her penchant for African textures provides the most lasting attribute of her work, however, and that's especially true toward the latter part of the record with songs like "Threads", "Emerge", and "Sour Face". Consistent through it all is the singer's appetite for whimsy, often layering vocals in subdued, intelligent forms that create a warm backdrop for the party that's formulating around her. 
The most memorable moments come when Jarman-Pinto takes those values and throws in dashes of jazz spices to make the pot particularly appetizing. "All About Life" centers around swinging drums that evoke a time in music when twerking wasn't even a figment of the imagination, and ball gowns were as prevalent as suits and ties on a dance floor. There's a touch of class in everything Jarman-Pinto does and here, her winking vocals and bopping bass line all but demand nothing but the sweetest glass of champagne as the proper companion for a dance such as this.

"Saffron Yellow" then goes on to highlight a quick, jazzy guitar line behind sparse drums painted with rim shots and a tastefully low snare. The harmonies are abundant and addicting, her range supported by an essential helping of confidence that makes all the difference for such a young artist. "Sweet Sweet" then marries the bop and the beats courageously, a series of horns emanating atmosphere for fans of both genres. 
Still, she's at her best when part of her vision temporarily vanishes. "Day Dream" is straight-ahead soul-pop with a funky groove that accentuates her ability to one day be a mainstream star if she so chooses. And "Sun Kissed" should be a Song of the Year contender with a lazy feel that evokes peak Erykah Badu. From R&B DJs to playlist tastemakers, there's no reason it shouldn't be climbing whatever charts are relevant in today's crowded music world. 
Part of Bryony Jarman-Pinto's talent is her willingness to skirt labels whenever possible, so maybe classifying her under any umbrella is a futile exercise. Even so, there's no denying the talent and the creativity underneath all she does, and it's because of as much that Cage and Aviary is most likely the best album you haven't yet heard. 
There's still hope, though. Because once you hear it, you'll know precisely how impossible it will be ever to forget the name Bryony Jarman-Pinto again.
Colin McGuire / PopMATTERS

Angélica V. Salvi ‎– Phantone (2019)

Style: Ambient, Experimental
Format: Vinyl
Label: Lovers & Lollypops

Tracklist:
A1.   Sinople
A2.   Cinzolino
A3.   Wisteria
B1.   Solidago
B2.   Bistre
B3.   Indigo

Credits:
Harpa/electrónica e composição: Angélica Salvi
Assistente de composição: Fátima Fonte
Produção: Alexandre Soares
Gravação e mistura: José Arantes
Masterização: Miguel Pinheiro Marques

Notes:
Gravado com uma harpa Salvi Rainbow Electroacoustic Concert Grand.
Gravado no Mosteiro de Rendufe no âmbito do festival Encontrarte Amares 2019.

Se a música é a mais abstracta das artes, será também – por isso mesmo, que não apesar de tal circunstância – aquela que melhor veicula o trânsito das emoções, as de quem toca e de quem ouve, de quem toca para quem ouve e até de quem ouve para quem toca, como se pressente algumas vezes, as que realmente valem a pena, em situações de concerto. “Phantone”, álbum a solo da harpista espanhola, mas há muitos anos radicada no Porto, Angélica V. Salvi não só evidencia essa particular condição como tem a rara faculdade de fazer com que voltemos a acreditar no ser humano. Algo que é bem difícil de experienciar no cada vez mais horrendo mundo de hoje. 
Neste que é, até à data, o mais belo disco saído em 2019 no nosso país (dificilmente dará lugar a outro no topo da lista que eu fizer dos melhores títulos portugueses do ano), Salvi reúne as suas diferentes valias enquanto intérprete de música contemporânea e enquanto improvisadora e junta-lhe algo mais, algo que surge entre um imaginário “folky” recuado até aos confins do tempo e uma aguda sensibilidade exploratória que recorre a técnicas extensivas, a preparações e a processamentos electrónicos de sinal para de tudo isso fazer uma invenção do futuro, ou de outro futuro que não o que se anuncia. O que ouvimos pode ser da matéria dos sonhos, mas não nos aliena. Esta é uma música redentora, uma música que salva, que faz com que ainda queiramos resistir e continuar. Há pessoas que têm esta capacidade de nos devolver ao caminho e há que atentar no que nos têm para dizer. Sem palavras, como aqui (como, muito especialmente, na incrível peça que é "Indigo"), porque o mais importante não tem palavras suficientemente explicantes. Obrigado, Angélica.
Rui Eduardo Paes / jazz.pt

Smoke ‎– Everything (1973)

Style: Space-Age, Fusion
Format: Vinyl
Label: MPS Records, BASF, Q-Tape Records

Tracklist:
A1.   Shelda
A2.   Lobotomy
A3.   Everything
B1.   Griffo
B2.   Nite Song
B3.   Miss Shirley
B4.   Curtis

Credits:
Drums – Akira Tana
Conga Drums– Garry Griffieth
Bass Guitar– Bobb Bragg
Harp – Hakim Ali Muhammad
Organ – Danny Daniels
Piano – Curtis Clark
Vibraphone, Leader – Woodi Webb
Bass Violin – Kenny Jenkins
Alto Saxophone, Bass Clarinet, Vocals – Hardy Dedmann
Vocals – Lani Wilson, Shirley Puckett
Producer – Baldhard G. Falk

Zelwer ‎– La Fiancée Aux Yeux De Bois / MTM VOL. 24 (1990)

Style: Modern Classical, Contemporary Jazz
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Made To Measure, Crammed Discs

Tracklist:
01.   Foire À Kamenka
02.   J'Ai Vu Un Ange
03.   La Rêve De La Fiancée
04.   Les Montreurs D'ours Sont Partis
05.  Grand-Père Klonimus
06.   Le Soldat Tufaiev Se Marie
07.   Roulette Russe - Russian Roulette
08.   Igor-L'Innocent-Mort-En-Poche
09.  Dikanka (Le Soupirant)
10.   Le Tourment De Vassilissa-La-Belle
11.   "Repose-Toi Un Moment"

Credits:
Viola – Wiet Van De Leest
Doudouk – Gérard Madilian
Cello – Claudine Steenackers
Double Bass – André Klenes
Violin – Maurice Delaistier, Jeannot Gillis
Voice – Francesca Lattuada
Accordion, Clarinet, Piano, Percussion, Computer, Composed By, Producer – Jean-Marc Zelwer