The love I have for Georgia Anne Muldrow’s music is endless. The LA-based musical polymath has created some of the most memorable, experimental and soulful albums since the mid- 2000s. Her contributions with her soulmate Dudley Perkins, Sa-Ra, Mos Def and Erykah Badu among many others has led her to create some of my favourite music of all time. She’s always pushing the boundaries, releasing genre-defying bodies of work that are just incredible to me. She released the stellar collab album with Declaime titled Black Love & War and an incredible beat tape VWETO II just last year. Both incredible projects and both that continue to showcase her versatility as a producer. She has landed again with an incredible new project as part of her one-woman jazz ensemble Jyoti. It’s titled Mama, You Can Bet! and features 15 of the grooviest, funkiest, eclectic and colourful tracks I’ve heard this year, and I can’t get enough of it.
The opener “Mama, You Can Bet!” is an energetic opener, with a dominant bass and ethereal vocals that perfectly capture her aura as a singer and producer. The instrumentation sounds organic and raw, with incredible textured compositions throughout. The synths and heavy basslines on “Bop for Aneho” and especially “Beemoanable Lady Geemix” (one of two Charlie Mingus remixes on the album) are stunning, with the latter track having the funkiest and grooviest beat of them all. It’s vintage Georgia, who is able to create a thick, bass-heavy sound that sounds so incredibly funky and infectious. The subtle piano keys and synths on this track are phenomenal. The slapping, incredibly groovy bassline on “Hard Bap Duke” is another highlight for me, and the synths throughout are infectious. The groovy composition on “Fabus Foo Geemix” (the other great Charlie Mingus remix) is another highlight for me, with its hard-hitting beat and incredible percussion that brings incredible energy. The off-kilter rhythms and frantic piano keys on “Swing, Kirikou, Swing!” are phenomenal too. What’s fascinating and so great about this album in general is how sonically diverse and eclectic this project is. The more dynamic and melodic moments on the album are complemented by simple and subtle piano-led compositions like on the emotive and potent “Quarrys, Queries” or the incredibly angelic “Ancestral Duckets”. Her voice is as sweet and soulful as honey, but it brings so much power and emotion as well. Her ability to transcend music altogether makes her such an important voice in music, and the more I listen to this mesmeric project, the more I’m enthralled by her aura and the compositions throughout. The hypnotic “This Walk” is an example of this, with a powerful, piano-led piece that complements her incredibly powerful aura. “Orgone” similarly feels heavy and so powerful. The closer “Cowrie Waltz” is genius. The closer starts off with a playful piano and bass-led composition that brings a great groove to it. But then the track turns absolutely freakish with incredible a stunning electric guitar composition that seemed to come out of nowhere but completely took the track by storm. The unique sequencing of this album makes it such a dynamic and interesting listen, and that closer especially was the biggest surprise of them all.
As Jyoti, Georgia Anne Muldrow was able to create a moody, eclectic and dynamic body of work that proves exactly why she’s one of the best musicians of the last 15 years or so. Mama, You Can Bet! is just incredible and that’s all I want to say about that. Go support it!