A rush of Philadelphia-based artists and new Philly music jump the fence in October.
Sandwiched between Meek Mill’s fifth solo album, Expensive Pain, released last week, and The War on Drugs’ I Don’t Live Here Anymore coming out next week, is an October filled with Philly-based artists with new music and actions primed for maximum drama and diverse musicality. Makes you proud, dunnit?
Tom Cohen’s “My Take”
Cohen isn’t just one of Philly’s most preeminent drummers, whether as a band member (the local kings of Braziliana, Minas) or as a leader (his first solo album “Diggin’ in, Digging Out”). Cohen is a label-owning, self-producing monster who can pound the skins with the rock heft of a John Bonham and the funk kick of Tony Williams with whom Tom studied as a teen.
For his newest organ jazz power trio-filled album, “My Take”, Cohen uses a nearly-all Philly all-star outfit of B3 Hammond players Joey DeFrancesco and Dave Posmonteir, tenor sax man Tim Warfield and more finding their own vivid new way into a traditionally Philadelphia jazz genre.
Moor Mother’s “Black Encyclopedia of the Air”
For her first ANTI label album, Moor Mother, aka Camae Ayewa, sticks to her usual bedroom recording vibe, her attack at protest poetry and her noisy experimental soundscapes for something that reaches into the echelons of “the proximity of violence. Thinking about violence in the home. Violence in communities” on tracks such as “Obsidian”, and “Zami”. As always, passionate poetic stuff.
Imani!’s “Plant Song”
Yes, Philly artist imani! has an exclamation point as part of her name and it is way well deserved. Yes, the riveting, humanist rock jam “Plant Song”, is kinetic for any singer-songwriter let alone a 17-year-old. And, yes, if you go to her Bandcamp page you can hear a cute-not-cute version of The Muppets Movie’s legendary “Rainbow Connection” as well as her take on Phoebe Bridgers’ “Kyoto” cover. Clever stuff.
Shamir’s “Gay Agenda”
Also empowered and humanist, this fresh drum machine-beaten track makes a nice follow up to their recently-released first book, But I’m A Painter, and, as an entrée to a first live local gig in ages, opening for Philly-based singer-songwriter Lucy Dacus at her sold-out Philly show on October 20 at Union Transfer.
Pieces of a Dream’s “Fired Up”
Originally mentored by the later Grover Washington Jr. and begun as the toast of the mellow blue Fender Rhodes-filled sound of Mt. Airy, the contempo-jazzy Pieces Of A Dream release their 25th new album to celebrate their 45th Anniversary and still maintain their funky fusion of R&B, bop, Latin music and blues to go with their jamming jive jazz-soul riffs.
Chynna’s “drug opera”
The late great West Philly rapper surely had a life worth of bold emotional musicality and mature incendiary lyrics inside of her if the radical drug opera album is any solid show. Here’s hoping that this new posthumous release is just the start of Chynna’s release slate.