With only a couple of albums under their belt –2012’s Be Free and 2014’s Please Rewind – horn/reed players Andris Mattson, Max Bryk, and Amber Navran of the jazz and soul trio Moonchild have built a considerable following among both the neo-soul-hungover crowd and traditional jazz lovers who don’t mind the genre’s evolution. For much of this, we have lead singer Amber Navran to thank, whose voice whistles and whooshes in and outof the band’s soul claps, horn melodies, and synth shades. This is most evident on Please Rewind’s “Don’t Wake Me,”“Just A Minute,”and“Nobody,”on which Navran’s voice evokes Erykah Badu-esque charm, but with a vocal-defying soprano that’s almost too cool for jazz and too controlled for soul. An arresting voice like hers knows no boundaries, and her bandmates Max and Andris create lush templates toadapttoany genre while still maintaining a jazz aesthetic. The end result isan infallible cross-breed of lush boom bap and soul power, aligning with Moonchild’s orbit. It’s no wonder artists like Stevie Wonder, Jill Scott, Robert Glasper, James Poyser, Jazzy Jeff, 9th Wonder, Giles Peterson, and Leela James have been singing their praises.
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