Slicing pop n’lock-friendly funk with gospel and gracious soul Georgia Anne Muldrow is shining as a true West Coast original. The seeds of early experimental releases are now blossoming as her trademark scattershot beats and adventurous deep jazz melodies have grown to become the backbone for fully crafted songs.
With aspirations to be a modern-day Quincy Jones, Muldrow is truly a renaissance musician. She is always looking to take her craft to a higher ground. She channels her unstoppable creativity into music that is commercially viable but does not lose sight of her essence as an artist who challenges the norm. She bears the enviably ability to play all her own instruments, and write and perform her own songs. Everything you hear on Kings Ballad is handcrafted and non-sample-based. She has been called a modern day Nina Simone, and fans of Chaka Khan and Betty Davies would feel at home with Kings Ballad, too.
In the midst of amazingly fruitful studio time, she cranked out several albums and compilations in 2009, on the back of recent collaborations with the mighty Mos Def (on his Ecstatic album), and Erykah Badu (on her New Amerykah album). Kings Ballad is the latest work and is all original and exclusive. On most Muldrow sings, on other she raps, sometimes both, always effortlessly. Perkins joins in on a couple of tracks, Medaphor lays down a quick rhyme, her son Nokware throws down the occasional rattle, but otherwise it’s pretty much Muldrow all the way.
This freeform collection of brand new joints is oozing with confidence and vision, it's obvious that Muldrow is more comfortable than ever and is pushing forwards as an artist. Jumping across boundaries from songs to raps, the album follows no rules with instrumental beat-driven sketches jumping-out between a barrage of vocals, and bouncing summer jams butting up next to lush ballads. Explaining her evolution from debut releases to present day she says, "My sound is more mature, more sure, more relevant and definitely much mo' fonky!"
Written and produced during transitional times, Kings Ballad was crafted against the backdrop of the early days of the Obama administration, the last days of the life of Michael Jackson (a family friend and big inspiration) and while her son grows towards his first birthday. She even moved studio spaces at the outset of recording. But distractions are not disruptive to the Muldrow music-making machine. In fact, motivation comes easily. "The driving force within me is my need for freedom of cultural expression," she explains. "And in my culture music always serves a divine purpose. Mine in particular is of a healing nature, so I get over my down days by being true to my warrior soul."
Only recently discovered this and am asking myself why I had never heard of Yussef Dayes in particular... live this whole album. Such musicianship and a fresh/modern take on classic jazz forms. Massive respect to the musicians Pilot Fish