With “If You Knew Her”, London Jazz singer Zara McFarlane publishes her second album in Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood label. The songs are transcendent and mystical, at times come with the warmth of 70’s Stevie Wonder songs, at times are striped to the bare essentials of a great talented Jazz Singer’s voice. Her singing style leaves a lot of room for the melodies to develop and opens space for imagination. And the band supports the voice to develop the ambinet and melancholic spirit of the songs. “If You Knew Her” moves away from the classical jazz singer’s genree. It is an album ahead of times. Listen to Zara McFarlane’s new album now on contemporaryjazzclub.com
Jazz and avant-garde guitarist Nels Cline released “Macroscope”, the fifth album with the Nels Cline Singers in April this year. Each track on is a story by itself, evolving from simple chords into stunning melodies, massive guitar riffs and distortions. Now to be heard on contemporaryjazzclub.com
London based pianist and producer Bill Laurance, founding member of the much acclaimed Snarky Puppy, released with “Flint” his first solo album in May this year. It is stylistically very expansive and genre-crossing, bringing in influences of electronic music while its roots stick with Jazz. Laurance creates wide and fascinating soundscapes with his piano playing, often accompanied with synthesized strings that add an effect of space and openness, as it can be heard on opening track “Neverending City”. The bassline is very concise, leaving space to the piano melodies to develop. Often, as on “The Good Things” or on “Ready Wednesday”, very decently played break beat drums complete the picture. Flint from Bill Laurance is definitely a new 2014 release to consider.