June is traditionally one of the best months of the year in terms of releases and this year was no exception with a bunch of amazing records. Let’s start with the liveliest album of them all from a man who passed away fifty-one years ago…Album of the month: John Coltrane – “Both Directions At Once” – Jazz – Stating that John Coltrane plays jazz music is a bit like saying Roger Federer plays tennis or Zinedine Zidane football; we all know this is more than this. John Coltrane is probably the best musician ever and I can only see Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis or again John Bonham to potentially compete with such an incredible talent…but same thing here, the maestro’s aficionados know that his musical skills were just a means to reach out something greater, for lack of a better word. This “new” album is a lost session from March 1963 at a moment when the jazz master was leading his legendary quartet: Jim Garrison on bass, McToy Tyner on piano and the amazing Elvin Jones on drums. This session had weirdly disappeared for ages and it was actually securely held at John Coltrane’s ex-wife and descendants’ house. I was just expecting another not-very-interesting lost session..but not such a shock and emotion. The quality of the music is incredible and I must say being overwhelmed while listening to it with the headphones. You will not find a more lively album… from a guy who actually died the year before I was born. Buy in vinyl and cherish!
- Runner-up: Kanye West – “Ye” – Hip Hop – Ok, I admit mentioning to a friend of mine that Kanye’s best days were behind him after first listening to this 7-track album. How wrong I was… The more I listened to it, the more I felt the presence of an old-school suffering man and artist showing his wounds to the world…in a beautiful musical context. I will repeat it again and again for those who like shortcuts: Kanye the public figure does not equal Kanye the artist. A fantastic record which would have been record of the month anytime…but for the month when a new John Coltrane record is released. Kanye West also recently played and/or produced four other mini-albums from Pusha-T, Kid Cudi, Nas and Teyana Taylor. They are all excellent and I suggest you create THE playlist of the summer with all these tracks.
- Also recommended:
- Father John Misty – “God’s Favourite Customer” – Pop Rock – Another indispensable album from our favourite bearded American singer. Another album of the year for 2018? Only time will tell…
- Damso – “Lithopédion” – Belgian Rap – A new step ahead for today’s most talented French-speaking rapper. Crude and tough lyrics but isn’t it what life is today?
- Nine Inch Nails– “Bad Witch” – Pop Rock – Another excellent mini-album from Trent Renznor and associates.
- Kamasi Washington – “Heaven And Earth” – Jazz Odyssey – The title says it all; 2hours 30minutes of space travel.
- Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – “Hope Downs” – Pop Rock – Debut album from thid young Aussie band, perpetuating musical excellence down under
- Lest we forget: album of the previous month – Gaz Coombes – “World’s Strongest Man“