The Inspirational Leader Of The Underground Sound

7 Dec

Song of the week: Lizz Wright’s ‘Afro Blue’

Throwback to 2003

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This week’s song is Lizz Wright’s rendition of ‘Afro Blue’ from her first album ‘Salt’. This album is a perennial favourite of mine. ‘Afro Blue’ is my pick of the week because lately I cannot get this song out of my head. It is not just your basic soothing contemporary jazz song, yet it is perfect for an evening after work with a glass of wine……

 

Afro Blue is a Jazz standard written by Mongo Santamaria and Oscar Brown Jr., made popular by John Coltrane and Abbey Lincoln. This song is made unique by Lizz Wright’s sultry deep alto voice lingering just above its unique and syncopated rhythm. There is a gentle drum beat coupled with a piano that makes this piece elegant and sultry. It is off center time signature also makes it perfect for a slow dance with a loved one on a romatic evening.

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If you enjoy this song, check out Lizz’s 2003 debut album, ‘Salt’ or even her newer releases, Dreaming Wide Awake, The Orchard and Fellowship. Her sound is not what one would call typical. I appreciate that she has that smoky voice reminiscent of old classic jazz singers, like Ella Fitzgerald, yet also embraces the more contemporary, eclectic sound of the new age.

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You can check out the more classic renditions of ‘Afro Blue’ by Coltrane or even the original release by Mongo Santamaria on the album Mongo. The original sound has more of an Afro-Cuban feel, which is much more high energy and fast paced, but just as beautiful and eclectic.

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