Music News 2/7/24




Brittany Howard, WHAT NOW (Island, $13.98) – Brittany Howard, formerly of the Alabama Shakes, unveils her second solo album. What Now is full of (to quote the New York Times) “wailing soul, jittery funk and buzzing grooves.” Ms. Howard’s very personal lyrics—as she says, “a series of journal entries”—was written in large part during the pandemic.




Joel Ross, NUBLUES (Blue Note, $14.98) – Vibraphonist Joel Ross releases a new album focused on blues and ballads. His quintet includes Immanuel Wilkins on alto saxophone, Jeremy Corren on piano, Kanoa Mendenhall on bass, and Jeremy Dutton on drums, with special guest Gabrielle Garo on flute. There are seven originals as well as re-workings of tunes by John Coltrane (“Equinox” and “Central Park West”) and Thelonious Monk (“Evidence”). R


NOTE: Joel Ross will be part of Makaya McCraven’s In These Times large ensemble, coming to the Strathmore on Friday, January 23. Highly recommended.




Maria Rita Stumpf, BRASILEIRA (Mr. Bongo, $16.98) – Maria Rita Stump released Brasileira in 1988, and it was the proverbial album “ahead of its time.” Brasilia “fuses new-age electronics with indigenous vocals and Amazonian rhythms


(Ms. Stumpf is not to be confused with another artist who records as Maria Rita—that is the younger Maria Rita Camargo Mariano, the daughter Brazilian singing legend Elis Regina and pianist/arranger César Camargo Mariano.)