Review: He's perhaps best known as a member of Tedeschi Trucks Band, with whom he won the 2011 Grammy for Best Blues Album, but trumpeter, composer and producer Maurice Brown is also a successful artist in his own right, and here he presents his fourth solo album. Soul-jazz and hip-hop influences predominate, with the album moving inexorably into smoother territory as it progresses, and Talib Kweli making a guest appearance on 'Stand Up'. Bound to be big with support from the likes of Gilles Peterson and Snowboy, 'The Mood' is never less than an engaging listen.
Memories Of Home (feat BJ The Chicago Kid & Samora Pinderhuges)
Show Me That You Love (feat Jill Scott & Samora Pinderhuges)
My Fancy Free Future Love
God Is Love (feat Leon Bridges & Jonathan McReynolds)
Review: Hip hop giant Common remains hugely prolific despite a career spanning the best part of thirty years. Let Love is his 12th studio album and third in three years. It pulls in collaborators like Jill Scott, Swizz Beatz and A-Trak, but retains his trademark sense of storytelling. As the title suggests, it's a lovestruck affair with golden production and gently lilting beats that make for a touching listen. Shouting out his respect to Cardi B, ASAP Rocky, and Tyler The Creator along the way, this is an album of pure positivity, a place of light in these dark times, and another winner from this legendary artist.
Review: The unstoppable force of Czarface is back yet again with another heavyweight hip hop assault. This time around the super group of Wu Tang's Inspectah Deck and 7L & Esoteric are joined by the mighty Ghostface Killah - as you'd expect the results are big. The beats are wild, with the sample sources veering from Hammer horror dread to cosmic synth wobbles and dubbed out bass, as hard rocking as it is trippy and loose. Meanwhile the lyrical flows are razor sharp, with Esoteric, Inspectah and Ghostface all sparring at the top of their game. This is deadly modern hip hop that recognises what made the golden era special without cashing in on old tricks.
Review: Is there a more exciting musical movement than grime right now? With his debut album Psychodrama, the dainty Dave certainly stands out from the crowd thanks to his emotionally deep lyrics, confessions of mental health problems and epic tales of domestic violence. He is not the archetypal rapper with big chains, gun chat and a love of hating women, instead his masterful album is presented as a series of discussions with his therapist, recorded over a year of treatment. It will suck you into his world with genius lyrical depth and intricacy and moving explanations of life as a young black person living in the UK. It's utterly prescient and insightful.