Stories » 'Joey Alexander' & 'Shabaka And The Ancestors' swap top spots on this week's Play MPE Top 10 - Jazz Downloads & Streams

Top 10 for Feb

'Joey Alexander' & 'Shabaka And The Ancestors' swap top spots on this week's Play MPE Top 10 - Jazz Downloads & Streams

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Joey Alexander, the Grammy-nominated jazz pianist, composer and bandleader has released his major label debut album, WARNA on Verve Records. The album is primarily a collection of reflective, moving new and original music by an experienced and confident musician. Translating as "color" from Alexander's native language of Bahasa, WARNA follows four Motéma Music albums that garnered the pianist three Grammy nominations and such honors as historic critics' and readers' poll victories in DownBeat and JazzTimes. Joining Alexander on the new album are bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Kendrick Scott, who comprise the core piano trio. On select tracks, Venezuelan-born percussion Luisito Quintero, and flautist Anne Drummond, join on to stunning aural effect. 

On March 13, Shabaka & The Ancestors will make their Impulse! debut with the band's sophomore album We Are Sent Here By History. Their breakout 2016 album, Wisdom of Elders, established Shabaka & The Ancestors as a sudden force in spiritual jazz. But where that record warned of impending societal collapse, this one unfolds within it. Shabaka refers to the album as a "meditation on the fact of our coming extinction as a species. It is a reflection from the ruins, from the burning." On the lead single "Go My Heart, Go To Heaven," Siyabonga pays homage to his father's favorite church song. The word "hamba" (or "go") is repeated, and within the context of this track, it's "about the point where one gives in and wants out of this world," Siyabonga says. "But in times of darkness is a call to the light and the heart."

'Joey Alexander' & 'Shabaka And The Ancestors' swap top spots on this week's Play MPE Top 10 - Jazz Downloads & Streams