When the legendary Alice Coltrane christens you with a new name, you'd be wise to use it. Such is the case with Georgia Anne Muldrow who regularly records under the name Coltrane bestowed on her, Jyoti, which means "light" in Sanskrit. With two jazz-influenced albums under the moniker under her belt, Muldrow returns with her third Jyoti-recording entitled Mama, You Can Bet!, due out August 28th via eOne Music and SomeOthaShip Connect. And what better way to announce a new project than with not one, but two new singles, "This Walk" and "Cowrie Waltz."
On "This Walk," Muldrow's haunting vocals take center stage over the tinkling piano and harp. "Don't wanna talk so much no more / Always painting the picture twice to be sure," she intones, sounding more akin to chanting than singing. The result is a hypnotic experience she describes as being about how "violence can both ignite and snuff out a voice," proving the song to be timely given today's climate.
The second single, "Cowrie Waltz," is more closely aligned to traditional jazz while still staying true to Muldrow's multifaceted influences. Midway through the song, an electric guitar comes in, taking the song from a languid and lounge jazz tune to another level. "'The Cowrie Waltz' is me taking some magic scalpel I found, slicing up a hard bop feel, and exposing its ribs and gut-meat to say 'This is where the blues are,'" she explains about the instrumental composition.
As usual, the supertalented artist handles all of the production and instrumentation on Mama, You Can Bet!, only featuring one guest musician in saxophonist Lakeica Benjamin on "Ra's Noise." While the majority of the album consists of original material, Muldrow also pays homage to the legendary Charles Mingus by remixing two of his songs, "Bemonable Lady Geemix" and "Fabus Foo Geemix." Both songs were originally commissioned by Jason Moran and The Kennedy Center for her 2017 "Muldrow Meets Mingus" show held at both The Kennedy Center and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, which was also broadcast on NPR.
Check out the album's tracklisting below before diving into "This Walk" and "Cowrie Waltz." Both singles are currently available on all streaming platforms, in addition to being available to purchase on vinyl via her Bandcamp page.
Georgia Anne Muldrow Mama, You Can Bet! tracklist:
‘Mama, You Can Bet!’
‘Bop For Aneho’
‘Zane, The Scribe’
‘Our Joy (Mercedes)’
‘Ra’s Noise (Thukubad)’
‘Bemoanable Lady Geemix’
‘Skippin And Trippin’
‘Swing Kirikou, Swing’
‘Hard Bap Duke’
‘Fabus Foo Geemix’
‘The Cowrie Waltz’