As a teaser for her upcoming album, the divine Zara McFarlane has released a 4-track EP revisiting Jamaican dub and rockers wizard Augustus Pablo's canonical 1977 single "East Of The River Nile." McFarlane's disc, on which her wordless vocals stay close to Pablo's original melodica topline, showcases her signature blend of jazz and Caribbean music to transporting and trippy effect (pass the chalice, folks). The track is produced by McFarlane's longtime drummer and collaborator Moses Boyd and arranged by trombonist Nathaniel Cross, brother of Theon Cross, whose album Fyah (Gearbox, 2019) is in the top drawer of those releases to come out of London's new jazz scene so far in 2019. Another luminary of the scene who is present is saxophonist Binker Golding, one half of the ferocious semi-free duo Binker and Moses with Boyd. Golding's recent album with keyboard player Elliot Galvin, Ex Nihilo (Byrd Out, 2019), is another 2019 first among equals. British dub master and lovers-rock auteur Dennis Bovell mixed the EP.
Anticipation surrounding McFarlane's 2019 album, which is the follow-up to Arise (Brownswood, 2017), is already high. For one listener, the wait is now becoming almost unbearable.
Track Listing: East Of The River Nile; East Of The River Nile (Dub Mix); East Of The River Nile Alt. Take; East Of The River Nile Alt. Take (Dub Mix).
Personnel: Zara McFarlane: vocals; Nathaniel Cross: trombone; Moses Boyd: drums; Jay Darwish: electric bass; Ashley Henry: keys; Junior Alli-Balogun: percussion; Binker Golding: tenor saxophone.
Rhythm Abstraction: Azure is the first volume of new compositions created as a follow up to 2018’s
release Rhythm Kaleidoscope. As with that release, Brock Avery improvised drum and percussion
solos. Frank Macchia then composed music for woodwinds and orchestra to Brock’s creations. Azure
is the first of three extended play albums of 6-7 compositions which will be released starting in
January and followed up in April and July. In Azure we have a created a group of pieces that continue
our quest for honoring the art of improvisation with a “stream-of-consciousness” sense of
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