Caribbean migrations have birthed new generations of creatives, challenging definitions of music in their new homelands. Nubya Garcia is the daughter of Trinidadian and Guyanese parents, and with this heritage the UK-born and -based jazz saxophonist has marked her musical space there with equal parts nature, nurture, and nostalgia. Her new record Source, her first full-length album, plays between the innovative soundscapes of the contemporary British jazz scene and a look back to influences that echo the Caribbean and transplanted African music, as captured by children of the diaspora. The controlled tone of her tenor sax dances through dub on “Source”, and splashes up against Afro-Columbian rhythmic elements on “La cumbia me está llamando” without ever being discordant. On “Before Us: In Demerara & Cuara”, one hears that calypso bass modernised and influencing a new jazz exploration beyond boundaries. Garcia is finding the centre in a world of influences.
Vini Bien Raise
(3M-Mizik Moun Matinik)
Martniquan singer Tony Chasseur calls his music kréyol djaz (creole jazz in its native form): “jazz coming from creole lands in all parts of the globe using the rhythms endemic to each land as a rhythmic base, whatever the level of harmonic elaboration and improvisation.” This reorientation of the jazz aesthetic away from the US is heartening in our Caribbean space. Raise is the new supergroup of Antillean music stars: along with Chasseur are Ronald Tulle on piano, Michel Alibo on bass, Thomas Belon on drums, and Alain Dracius on percussion. Sublime musicianship by all five guides the listener to places where the primacy of zouk and other Caribbean rhythms creates an elegant counterpoint to modern soul-jazz music. There are songs to make you dance on this album, and there are songs to make you sing along, even if kréyol is not your primary language. Tulle’s playing shines here on tracks like “Dous O Péyi”, while Chasseur’s voice has the tone that keeps listeners attached to the sound.