Nubya Garcia: Source review – a virtuoso's generous solo debut

(Concord Jazz)
The sax star delivers a multi-mood, guest-rich celebration of the music of the African diaspora, from reggae to cumbia

Sometimes, saxophonists seem like the rock stars of the jazz world. Alongside Shabaka Hutchings, Nubya Garcia is the soloist with whom the eclectic, danceable, political London jazz renaissance is now synonymous. But both this cohort and this album celebrate the power of the collective and the heritage of the African diaspora. Although this is technically her first solo LP, Garcia has shaped previous outings by her other bands, Maisha and Nérija; myriad guest spots feature heavily on her CV, and Source gives voice to half a dozen-plus other talents: trumpeter Ms Maurice (Kokoroko, Nérija) is just one.

It also finds Garcia in many moods: fraught with notes on the pell-mell Pace; languorous and melodic, or outright emotional, keen to honour ancestors on Before Us: In Demerara and Caura (her parents’ respective home villages in Guyana and Trinidad). Garcia is as comfortable unspooling over reggae on the title track as she is foregrounding Colombian rhythms on La Cumbia Me Está Llamando. Restraint and generosity go hand in hand with virtuosity here.

Listen to Source by Nubya Garcia


Kitty Empire

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