Music News 11/13/2019


Sudan Archives, ATHENA (Stones Throw, $10.99) – Singer, songwriter, violinist Brittney Parks records as Sudan Archives, and with Athena, she has “already earned a place among boundary-defying R&B innovators” (New York Times). Her voice plus plucked and bowed violin combine with string arrangements and beats, and bring to life her autobiographical lyrics.

CONGO REVOLUTION: Revolutionary and Evolutionary Sounds from the Two Congos 1955 – 62 (Soul Jazz, $23.99) – Charting the rise of Congolese music in the years leading up to independence, with the influential mix of African, Jazz, and Latin sound. The compilation includes tracks by OK Jazz, Wendo Kolosoy, Beguen Band, African Jazz, Essous et Orchestre Bantou, Dewayon et Conga Jazz, and Rock-A-Mambo.The 48-page booklet has extensive notes plus period photographs by Jean Depara.

Leslie Odom, Jr., MR (S-Curve, $13.98) – A set of new songs by the Tony-award-winning star of Hamilton, and the co-star of Harriet, currently on screens in town.



Nat King Cole, HITTIN' THE RAMP: THE EARLY YEARS 1936 – 1943 (Resonance, 7 CDs, $99.98) – A new compilation focusing on Nat King Cole’s formative years, with an emphasis on his brilliant piano playing, most often in trio format. Hittin’ the Ramp features rare, never-before-released tracks from transcription discs and sources from private collections and public archives from UC Santa Barbara, Rutgers’s Institute for Jazz Studies, CU-Boulder’s American Music Research Center, and the Library of Congress.

The 60-plus-page booklet has rare photographs; essays by Will Friedwald and guitarist Nick Rossi (with a special focus on Oscar Moore); plus interviews and testimonials from Johnny Mathis, Tony Bennett, Quincy Jones, Harry Belafonte, John Pizzarelli, Freddy Cole, Michael Feinstein and many others.