It’s been mulled over again and again: jazz has been experiencing a revival for some time now. Around the world, musician researchers have been busy creating the vaccine that should immunize the blue note against its predicted obsolescence. In Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York, remarkable work has been done, but the elixir of youth made in London seems to be one of the most effective yet found. Music lovers interested in recent developments in the field of jazz can only be familiar with the name Nubya Garcia.
Ms. Garcia is a 28-year-old saxophonist noted for her participation in the Maisha and Nerija formations as well as in the acclaimed projects of Joe Armon-Jones, Theon Cross, and, on this side of the Atlantic, Makaya McCraven. Source is her first album for an American label. As the title indicates, what the musician wants to present is the sources of her art. In her energizing and colourful playing, we hear the influence of her masters: John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon, and Charlie Parker.
Source also celebrates the artist’s other musical roots – the Latin and Caribbean music that has accompanied her since her youth. It’s the songs most imbued with these styles that charm at first glance, whether it is the warm breeze of “La Cumbia Me Está Llamando” or the strong jazz-reggae fusion on the title track. Surrounded by a young but experienced team – Joe Armon-Jones (piano), Daniel Casmir (double bass), Sam Jones (drums), and Kwes (producer) – as well as a few guests, including trumpet player Ms. MAURICE and singer Akenya, Garcia has concocted the ideal antidote to the prevailing gloom.