Northern Iraq, remembering Robin Williams, and examining Ebola

Tuesday Reviewsday: Laura Mvula, Muhsinah, Ed Motta, The Underachievers and more

Tim Rice - A Life In Song

Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 08: Laura Mvula performs at 'Tim Rice - A Life In Song' at the Royal Festival Hall on July 8, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)

It's time for Tuesday Reviewsday, our weekly new music segment. Joining us this week are Oliver Wang from Soul-Sides.com and music supervisor Morgan Rhodes.

Oliver Wang

Artist: Laura Mvula and the Metropole Orkest
Album: Laura Mvula with Metropole Orkest
Songs: Morning Dew, Green Garden

Summary: Laura Mvula recently re-recorded her fantastic album - that Morgan put me up on - with the Metrpole Orkest, at Abbey Road Studios.

It’s pretty perfect considering how orchestral her “Sing to the Moon” was already but this adds depth and nuance and is so perfectly lovely. 

Artist: The Underachievers
Album: Cellar Door: Terminus Ut Exordium
Songs: Metropolis, The Mahdi

Summary: Originally from Flatbush BK, the Underachievers release their debut full length on LA’s Brainfeeder records. There’s a contingent of NY rappers who are all about “bringing NY back” and I think when the Underachievers first started dropping mix tapes a couple of years back, people assumed they were on that tip too because they were remaking and reusing classic NY hip-hop beats but as it turns out, they’re far more worldly in their taste and mission.

I think this new album might surprise some of their fans if only because the production here is less melodic and more…ambient. But the lyricism is as forceful and playful as ever. If you want to hear what some of their older stuff is like, we can peep “Mahdi” which is from their 2013 mixtape, Indigoism

Album: Eccentric City Soul: Capital City Soul
Songs: Endlessly by Four Mints, Funky Disposition by Dean Francis and the Soul Rockers

Summary: Ten years ago, Chicago’s Numero Group released their first compilation, dedicated to the Capsoul label out of Columbus, Ohio. That began Numero’s quick rise to become the anthology producers for obscure and forgotten R&B and funk music.

For their 51st release, Numero went back to their roots by revisiting Capsoul-related recordings. If nothing else, it reenforces the idea that per capita, Ohio might have been the soul center of America, at least for a moment in the late 60s and early 70s. It’s just astounding how much great material was being created there, including that fantastic slow burner by the doo-wop group, the Four Mints. The new Capital City Soul also features a rare funk cut from Dean Francis, also of Columbus, who I had the honor to meet back in 2002 during a record shopping trip. He passed away a few years ago and it’s nicely to hear his music being made available to a wider audience now. 

Morgan Rhodes

Artist: Muhsinah
Album: M
Song: Luv w Luv

Summary: After a three year hiatus, Grammy Nominated singer/songwriter releases this four track EP as a free download, the follow to her GONE EP. While not credited as one of the trailblazers of electronic soul, she has made her mark on the genre as a producer as well as an artist, having collaborated with the likes of Flying Lotus, The Foreign Exchange as well as appearing on tracks with Common.

Artist: Ed Motta
Album: AOR (English Version)
Song: 1978, SimpleGuy

Summary: This 13th studio album finds him returning and paying homage to his influences:  70's Adult Oriented Rock. Reminiscent of Steely Dan's AJA, it is soulful with elements of funk, jazz and world. 

Artist: Cory Henry
Album: First Steps
Song: Miss Purty

Summary: Well known in gospel circles as a musician and producer, Cory Henry has become a viral sensation of late, in large part to his Youtube video of his tribute to late gospel organist Melvin Crispell in the spring of this year.  This new album showcases his impressive jazz leanings, which blend fusion and gospel all courtesy of the Hammond organ. To call him a prodigy doesn't seem sufficient enough to describe this massive talent.  


blog comments powered by Disqus