Music News


If "world jazz" were a legitimate genre (which it should be), then South Florida-based musician Macarldie Nibbs' newest release, Moving On, would be the perfect album to bear its name. Too often, more popular forms of global jazz, such as Latin jazz, African jazz, and Brazilian jazz, get dumped into the "world jazz" category by default. Here, Nibbs takes a style rooted in his native Tortola, Virgin Islands, lathers it with the polyphonic sound of Miami, and sautés it with keys, saxophone, and percussion work that sounds like Senegalese bossa nova. As improbable as that may seem, those are the styles that Moving On displays from one track to the next. And while the steel-drum set might seem like a strange jazz instrument, Nibbs is at his best when he's on it, banging away beautiful melodies that make you long for the BVIs. Something about the vocals on this album, however, do little to complement the solid instrumentation behind them, and at times you'll wish the 14 tracks here were purely instrumental. The musicians are communicating just fine without singing, and the lyrics only throw things off-kilter. There are a few exceptions to this, as "Just Another" is one of the stronger tunes here that features singing. Still, the jazzier instrumental cuts like "Beautiful Sadness" and "Ocean Drive" come off as the best. Bottom-line, Moving On deserves to be looked at as a welcome addition not just to the jazz community in South Florida but in the developing genre of world jazz as a whole.

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Jonathan Cunningham