USA, 2008, avant-garde jazz

Matana RobertsThe Chicago Project: I feel like Roberts, here on her debut, is trying to figure out what kind of music she wants to make. Being the genius she is, she’s got a lot going on this album. It hardly compares to her Coin Coin epics later on, but this is an interesting and varied jazz effort. I like almost everything Roberts has put her hand to, and this is no different. One thing Roberts does well is create an atmosphere and encourage her players to join her, teasing the listener as she leaves you hanging in anticipation, wrapping you in the textures woven by her alto sax and that sometimes bright sometimes groaning guitar. Are the horns supposed to be two birds carrying on a conversation in their house? Like, are they roommates? siblings? a married couple?

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