Natasha Agrama – Black Narcissus

I want to be a doorway future generations can point to as one they reached elevated promised lands through. This is what I feel jazz music has been doing since the beginning; this is why I’ve made my home in jazz.” – Natasha Agrama

I was introduced to Natasha with her interpretation of Robert Glasper’s 2009 collaboration with Bilal, All Matter. I tracked down this treat on her compilation of inspirations & covers, The Heart of Infinite Change. The album includes ageless compositions by Charles Mingus, Duke Ellington, and Joe Henderson amongst others, fantastically reworked by the more than capable hands of  brothers Stephen “Thundercat” Bruner and Ronald Bruner Jr., George Duke and her stepfather Stanley Clarke. Little did I know this was just the tip of this collection’s iceberg.

I’m forever indebted to Love Jones for turning me on to Ellington’s In a Sentimental Mood and Agrama wonderfully captures The Duke’s jazzy vibe while adding bluesy funk to the mix for a magnificent rework. The treat on the album though is her transformation of Henderson’s 1976 Black Narcissus. Powered by the preternatural keys of deceased phenom Austin Peralta, tremendous showings from the brothers Bruner, and her melodic scats, Agrama places this tune squarely in the 21st century. With this track and album, Agrama presents a fine example of the reports of Jazz’s death being premature and grossly exaggerated. Trust me, you need this one in your life

Natasha Agrama – Black Narcissus

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Posted by DJRahdu