On our Lists this week: The Carters, Ornette Coleman, and Dr John

Body Meta is the sound of limbs pulling in different directions but with a singularity of purpose

Body Meta is the sound of limbs pulling in different directions but with a singularity of purpose


Body Meta by Ornette Coleman: Released in 1978 on his new imprint titled Artists House, this album is among the first credited to a collective known as Prime Time. Body Meta came at a seminal time, when jazz was widely considered to be in the doldrums, with Coleman shredding the ways harmony, rhythm and melody were known to work. As its title suggests, it is the sound of limbs pulling in different directions but with a singularity of purpose. (KS)

Everything is Love by The Carters (Beyoncé and Jay-Z): Sorry, friends, I have been influenced by the King Yoncé.
The Tidal boycott is over. You can be mad or you can join the winning team as we listen to the completion of the Carters’ couples therapy (followed by their respective solo albums, Lemonade and 4:44). Can you believe this is their first joint album? And it’s just in time for me to memorise each and every lyric by my birthday. It’s too early for an informed critique from me. Right now, I’m visiting the Beyhive and I ain’t sorry. (ZH)

Homage to Cuba by the Idris Ackamoor Ensemble: Once, on a trip, desperate to get the show on the road, I absently grabbed at a clutch of CDs, knowing it would be a long haul. As luck would have it, one of the discs turned out to be the Idris Ackamoor Ensemble’s Homage to Cuba. Released in 2004, the disc was nonetheless steeped in the aesthetics of the Seventies, with free-wheeling saxophones and percussion mixing with cascading drums. Guanabo became a firm favourite, an ode to a town that has weathered many colonial and tropical storms. (KS)

Dr John: Going back to the New Orleans great’s 1973 album Right Place, Wrong Time inspired me to look into the rest of Dr John’s oeuvre, or those bits of it I didn’t know. Right Place, Wrong Time is Dr John’s funkiest album, backed as he is on it by The Meters, but others of his have more of the voodoo hoodoo he conjured up as part of his persona. He returns once more to that schtick on Locked Down, the album he made with the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach and released in 2012, and it cycles throughout his work. In a song responding to the New Orleans floods of 2005, he brings to bear all the Caribbean polyrhythms, rolling piano and moaning backing vocalists of his classic voodoo numbers to plead for the preservation of Lousiana’s wetlands. It’s gotta be the weirdest eco song ever. (SdW)

Compiled by Kwanele Sosibo, Zaza Hlalethwa and Shaun de Waal

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