STREAM: Jamsara "Self-Titled"

After four years of existence, purveyors of groove Jamsara have taken their sound to the studio and given us an album. Despite a track list of only six songs, the album delivers 30 minutes and 54 seconds of tight grooves. Fans of Lettuce, Snarky Puppy, Galactic, and Dumpstaphunk (or really anyone who enjoys a good groove) should take time to give the album a listen or two.

Kicking things off with introductory track “Memento Mori,” Jamsara’s self-titled album bares all right away, showing you exactly what’s in store for the duration of the album: a drummer and a bassist who are very nearly a single entity holding everything down with surety beneath leads from the sax and guitar that manage to go “out” while still keeping the groove fresh. The level of listener engagement established here in the first track is phenomenal, and sticks around for the entire album. The following track introduces the vocals, which hint at their New Orleans-based brethren with bluesy melismas and descriptive lyrics throughout the four vocal tracks.

For those who live for tight rhythm sections, this album is a must-hear. The absolute unity between the bass and drums is relentless, funky, and ever-changing. The track "Mirror Eyes" is where this stands out, where the duo is further accentuated by some pocket guitar playing throughout. The sax playing on this track (as well as throughout the album) is essential to the textures created, with wide, slow vibrato that contrasts quite notably against the straight tones of the rest of the band — excluding the moments where the guitar uses modulation effects in a similar manner — effectively replacing the wildly modulating organ typically found in many of their New Orleans-based counterparts at times. Jamsara has managed to give us an album that is engaging and well-executed, with instrumental and vocal tracks that complement each other perfectly and are treated with equal importance.

Header courtesy of Jamsara
Header image design courtesy of Christopher Rodgers



John Cleere