Thursday, January 11, 2018

Album Review: Nubya Garcia- Nubya's 5ive

Nubya Garcia
Nubya's 5ive
***and1/2 out of *****

The London based saxophonist and composer Nubya Garcia has released a stunning easy flowing debut album that captures the ear right away. Nubya's 5ive is actually a six track (one alternate take) effort that catapults the artist onto the scene in a big way as each track is expansive, groovy and enjoyable.

The smooth jazz of "Lost Kingdoms" opens things as her sax mixes with Sheila Maurice-Grey's trumpet all around the warm electro keyboards of Joe Armon-Jones. The theme is established by the stand up bass of Daniel Casimir for "Fly Free" Garcia's warm tone soothes the ear as she effortlessly displays an aloof coolness, almost drifting into avant garde land but pulling back to continue the groove.

That groove takes center stage on "Hold On" as the bass along Moses Boyd and Femi Koloeso drumming get the head bopping before Garcia comes on with skittering energy in a hip hop manner. A deep track that works well with Theon Cross's tuba and a drum duet, never relenting over the seven minute roll time. While the added condensed "Alternate Take" is nice to have we will stick with the original.

"Contemplation" is starts out creeping and deliberate in its pacing, smooth jazz which while effective, seems just a touch off on the piano and drum work when compared with the slow burn of Garcia's horn. "Red Sun" is more alive with a Latin tinged drum beat and matching sounds that propel the tune forward, locked in the group can push and pull using Garcia as a lead while contributing dynamically all around her.

While not as adventurous as some of the other albums we have covered this month, it is an engaging disk that takes it's time and works with atmospherics to deliver a pleasant journey in a more conventional jazz way. As a debut album it is sure fire success, as Garcia soars into the future.     
Continuing our Jazz January with another bandcamp gem. Support the artist, buy the album/stream it on bandcamp or below and peep some video:

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