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2015 Top Albums

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Cécile McLorin Salvant, WomanChild

2013 | Label: Mack Avenue Records / The Orchard

Few modern jazz debuts have been as audacious and confident as 23-year-old singer Cécile McLorin Salvant’s WomanChild. The climactic “What a Little Moonlight Can Do” builds, recedes and then builds some more, heading for the most dramatic high-note finish since Sir Richard Harris’s “MacArthur Park.” There are moments when it sounds like there are four or five singers trapped inside, fighting to come out at once. It’s thrilling, and a little over the top. It’d be too much if she couldn’t be subtle too, as on “I Didn’t Know… more »

Dumpstaphunk, Dirty Word

2013 | Label: Louisiana Red Hot Records / Entertainment One Distribution

Dumpstaphunk started 10 years ago backing local hero and keyboard player Ivan Neville at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage festival, caught a breeze and never stopped. Though boasting two members of New Orleans first family (Art Neville’s son and Ivan’s cousin Ian plays guitar), Dirty Word has little in common with the elastic sound of the Neville family brand. It’s full-on homage to the funk and soul bands of the 1970s, the big bold bass lines and wily chants of arena acts like Parliament-Funkadelic, the Ohio Players, Cameo, and… more »