Jasmine Myra / Horizons / Gondwana Records – By Cal Gibson 

Super review by Cal Gibson, of The Secret Soul Society and Scruffy Soul Recordings.

Some albums weave a special magic: they dip and dive beneath your subconscious, wrapping themselves around your synapses, imprinting their codes sharply into your heart. Before you know it you’re in too deep, lost in music (caught in a trap), no turning back…And so for the last couple of months Jasmine Myra‘s enchanting debut album has been burrowing its way into this jaded heart – slipping and sliding away, easing aching bones into early mornings, soothing frazzled nerves late in the night. It has been a go-to aural comforter, a balm for a soul made weary by war and no peace.

This album is a triumph of youth and hope and love: musical talent transmogrified into a beacon of what humanity might yet come to be – the yin of the bombs dropping against the blissful yang of the young leader’s compositional skills and instrumental mastery. Jasmine and her ultra-honed band softly demanding your ears, your time, your appreciation and, most of all, your love.

Thankfully this is no Faustian bargain – there is no downside to music-making this accomplished, this burnished, this beautiful. Prologue opens proceedings: a stately theme announcing itself calmly – here we are, it calls, sailing serenely through troubled waters – put your faith in us and love will see you through.

In an interview the composer has noted how the pieces began as fragments, ideas formed alone then sketched out and thrown over to the band to breathe life into – as on the title cut with its bass pulse underpinning gentle melodic lines: clickety clack percussion spinning off Grant Green-esque guitar lines, warm horns billowing gently, electric keys sashaying onto an imaginary dancefloor. It`s a wonderful piece.

Morningtide welcomes in the day with a smile and a tune hewn from the memories of long lost summers. A simple chiming of the wonderment each new day brings, if only we allow ourselves the time and the space to feel it. This is life’s essence caught mid-pirouette: we may all be stuck in chronicles of death foretold, but all the more reason then to step up and enjoy the moment – we truly are not here for long, after all. This is another beautiful, life-affirming composition.

New Beginnings comes paradoxically enough at the end – a typically svelte and flowing curtain-closer. The band again intertwined, close-listening to each other, subtle and probing – gently pushing the melodies this way and that, trying out phrases and accents, nodding to past greats, while asserting the eternal promise of the young.

The young tyros of the Leeds jazz scene have announced themselves boldly and beautifully: Horizons is a complete joy, another high-flying string in Gondwana‘s ever-multiplying musical bow. Jasmine Myra has created a wonderful work of art that will burrow its way into your heart and take root contentedly – music to heal a broken world. Bravo all round.

Jasmine Myra`s magical debut, Horizons, is out now, on Gondwana Records. 

You can hear some fine soulful musical selections from Cal Gibson, on the first Tuesday of every month, between 4 – 6PM UK time, on his Holy Rollers Radio Show, for Universal Rhythms. If you can’t catch it live, you`ll can find it archived here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s