Mitchell: Jamaican music flavours Kreesha Turner’s music

Kreesha Turner; Tropic/Electric [EMI]

This is the second album from Kreesha Turner who calls Edmonton home. However, Turner spent a year in her father’s native Jamaica singing in church and absorbing island music in her mid-teens and that experience has flavoured her music ever since.

Turner has won a couple of local singing contests in Alberta which led to her indie EP that enjoyed a hit but this new major label release is bound to really grow her career.

Tuner has enjoyed a hit with the sultry techno pop hit I Could Stay, while other songs on this album such as the club-oriented Love Again and R&B original Wherever You Are, promise to get some air time too.

Turner has attracted high profile producers for this disc with the capable help of The Wizard, Shawn Desman, Greg Organ and Bei Maejor who have made for a uniformly strong album of club music, techno pop and elctro R&B. Turner even experiments with a little dub music from her childhood experiences with the handsome I Feel My Darling, a duet with Courtney John, and I would not mind hearing some more dub style next time out.

Tropic/Electric is a fine showing, making Kreesha Turner a talent to watch.



Wynton Marsalis;

Selections From

Swinging Into The 21st [Columbia]


Wynton Marsalis is almost insanely productive. In 1999 he released a whopping eight albums and his back catalogue just seems to keep growing at a tremendous rate.

Luckily for him he has a dedicated recording label that strongly supports him—so much so that they hired special assistants to help Marsalis when he is in a particularly creative frame of mind so that he can document all the music that is happening in is head.

Anyway, Marsalis has just turned 50 years old and to celebrate, Columbia records has asked him to assemble a one-CD collection of favourites which resulted in this very eclectic and generous 14-track collection.

The record features mostly Marsalis originals along with a couple of tracks each from the venerable vaults of Thelonious Monk and Jelly Roll Morton.

Marsalis can be found here with a small combo as on the breezy Awakening that features a gorgeous flute solo as well as in large swinging orchestras as on the jazz extrvaganza Northbound-Southbound that features a huge ensemble.

Marsalis’ trumpet is not always at the forefront here as he features himself as a composer where you might want to check out the string quartet performing rag style on Rampart St. Row Rag.

My fave pick here has vintage New Orleans references on The Pearls that offers both tuba and banjo in the mix.

Wynton Marsalis has a very large back catalogue for someone only aged 50 and this compilation is a superb place to start.


Mastodon; The Hunter [Reprise]

This heavy metal band from Atlanta has started to see its fortunes rise with The Hunter, their fourth studio album in a decade. This is their highest charting disc to date.

They also scored a coveted spot on a late night talk show (Letterman, I think) and for the first time ever, they have scored a rock hit with Curl of The Burl and the frank lyric “I killed a man because he killed my goat”—lyrics aren’t as important to metal heads as the cathartic blast of noise.

Hence, Mastodon try a little metal screamo on Blasteroid, some speed thrash on Spectrelight and some surprising orchestral metal on the progressive-styled Creature Lives.

The title track is a monster/epic ballad but the killer track for me was the closing song The Sparrow that recalled a little Pink Floyd with its space rock and comfortably numb sensibilities.

Mastodon also easily has the hardest working drummer in all of metal with stick man Brann Drailor who approaches his brand of metal syncopation with the ear of a jazz player which is also the main reason that the group has always had such a large cult following.

That seems to be changing now with a charting album, TV exposure and a hit single.

Metal head bangers will rejoice.




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