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Jazz - Paru le 30 novembre 2021 | International Anthem

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Jazz - Paru le 19 novembre 2021 | International Anthem

Ben LaMar Gay's primary instrument is the cornet and hails from Chicago's historically vibrant scene of daring musical improvisers. These two facts alone have put him in the same conversation as several other "new American jazz saviors" who are blazing trails in the genre. And while Gay is certainly doing that, the depth, breadth, and reach of his work has pushed him far beyond any traditional notions of jazz or what its practitioners can accomplish. Gay is steeped in the possibilities of improvisation and instrumental interplay, but also interested in storytelling via his music, giving his works a philosophical and compositional solidity that's more akin to contemporary classical music than anything else. Heck, he plays cornet on fewer than half of the tracks here, opting instead for percussion instruments, synthesizers, and even a zither. With Open Arms to Open Us, Gay is even more daring in his approach and uncompromising in his vision than on his previous releases, but also profoundly more focused from a thematic and compositional aspect; it is an ambitious album, by an ambitious artist at the peak of their powers and it absolutely should be his breakout moment. Opener "Sometimes I Forget How Summer Looks On You," is a richly melodic slice of lyrically beautiful cosmic funk featuring vocals by Ohmme's Macie Stewart and Sima Cunningham and dizzying drumwork by drummer Tommaso Moretti. It's followed by "Hood Rich Happy," a loping, groove-oriented interlude that's half distortion, half smooth jazz, and then the griot-esque "Bang Melodically Bang." The relatively straightforward nature of this opening salvo soon unfolds into a much more expansive universe of rhythm-forward exploration starting with "Aunt Lola and the Quail," which evokes a pastoral trance that's part cultural imprint, part universal truth. Whether the sounds of rope skipping, looping drum programs, or jazz percussion, rhythm drives everything forward, acting as a cultural throughline from Gay’s family roots into the present and on toward the future. "Lean Back. Try Igbo" and "S'Phsticated Lady (featuring Gira Dahnee and Angel Bat Dawid)," both under two minutes, are astonishingly fully formed ideas built upon innovative rhythms; they are integral to the work, even if they don't feel like "proper" songs. "In Tongues and In Droves" is a dense, immersive clash between psychedelic loops and spiritual improvisation. Even on a cut like the lovely and intense "Nyuzura," where rhythm isn't the focal point, Gay unmoors the piece from place and time by coupling a singer of African origin (Rwandan vocalist Dorothée Munyaneza) with his own zither-playing and a bass synth. So yes, Gay moves through many different modalities and atmospheres throughout the album, but it is still remarkably consistent and deeply considered, showing that he's gone fully beyond being even jazz-adjacent and into a new realm of emotionally rich musical storytelling built upon thoughtful composition and inventive improvisation. © Jason Ferguson/Qobuz

Jazz - Paru le 16 novembre 2021 | International Anthem

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Jazz - Paru le 12 novembre 2021 | International Anthem

Hip-Hop/Rap - Paru le 11 novembre 2021 | International Anthem

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Jazz - Paru le 9 novembre 2021 | International Anthem

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Jazz - Paru le 26 octobre 2021 | International Anthem

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Jazz - Paru le 21 octobre 2021 | International Anthem

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Ambient - Paru le 19 octobre 2021 | International Anthem

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Musiques du monde - Paru le 15 octobre 2021 | International Anthem

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With City of Mirrors, Chicago group Dos Santos have hit upon a sound that is intimate and expansive, organic and electric, and, most notably, pan-cultural and uniquely American. With members originally hailing from Texas, Panama, and the American midwest, the group is a consummate representation of the laid-back "from here, from there, from everywhere" vibe of Chicago, but they have also very much defined their sound as one that is Latin in origins, but cosmic in breadth. Departing from the more jazzy proceedings of their previous album, 2017's Logos, City of Mirrors finds Dos Santos still thriving on improvisation and organic collaboration throughout, but with a considerable expansion of their electronic production palette. While many of the cuts here are rooted in Latin rhythms, the cumbia, merengue, and bossa nova beats are chopped, mixed, and recontextualized into something nearly unrecognizable. By incorporating traditional and modern Latin sounds that are reconfigured through the members' varied experiences and boundary-pushing experimentation, the result is not rock en Español in the usual sense; instead of standard alt-rock songs sung in Spanish, these are big ideas daringly executed. Opening with "A Shot in the Dark," a dynamic and challenging statement of intent, the wide open and exploratory nature of City of Mirrors is established quickly, melding organic, improvisational finesse with experimental electronics and traditional Mexican music. And while some tracks like "Alma Cósmica" and "Cages and Palaces" may strut and twang, the majority resides in a less direct, more liminal space, with dreamy and insistent moments like "Jaguar de Rosas" and the poetic "Soledad" giving both the group and the listener plenty of room to stretch out. The gentle and soulful "Lejos de Ti" is a perfect way to wind out the album, a reflective ballad undergirded by an insistent beat. Like the rest of City of Mirrors, it is emotional, heartbeat-familiar, and dreamily daring. © Jason Ferguson/Qobuz

Jazz - Paru le 6 octobre 2021 | International Anthem

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Musiques du monde - Paru le 4 octobre 2021 | International Anthem

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Paru le 29 septembre 2021 | International Anthem

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Jazz - Paru le 28 septembre 2021 | International Anthem

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Jazz - Paru le 22 septembre 2021 | International Anthem

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Musiques du monde - Paru le 15 septembre 2021 | International Anthem

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Paru le 7 septembre 2021 | International Anthem

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Jazz - Paru le 24 août 2021 | International Anthem

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Musiques du monde - Paru le 4 août 2021 | International Anthem

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Musiques du monde - Paru le 7 juillet 2021 | International Anthem

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