That cheeky old man, Inter Claus, has a sense of humor. Perfect timing, too. For this year’s festivities, since I’ve been a good boy for all of 2022 (don’t get me wrong, guys), I asked the red-red band for something special, something I took I can take it to check it out. on my terms. And you never know, that’s what I have. He sent me GRIEF by American pianist/singer Samora Pinderhughes, a record I’ve been wanting to check out since it was released in April but never got around to it for a number of reasons. Well, Inter Claus, you helped me there. I think I can listen to this if you insist.
Grief, a powerful and expressive blend of soulful vocals and instrumentals drawn from soul, jazz, hip hop and other diverse sources does what Pinderhughes does best as a versatile artist: check it out in and around him to separate what he sees. brutal honesty. His work combines the sociopolitical with the intimate, and this album is no different. On Instagram, he described his plans as:
This album is my attempt to speak to the times we live in. Image, of my thoughts & my questions & maybe even some announcements or statements of purpose.’
It is called HUBOHLOKO because it has been on the mind & my heart in many ways over the past few years, and I know it is the same for many of you. These songs are my attempt to explain how grief is in all its complexity, there are many sources, the ways in which this country causes grief and makes it worse, and the ways in which we can support each other together.’
Through years of training, work, and collaboration with other artists, Pinderhughes has developed his creative voice into the perfect tool for (self-expression), allowing GRIEF to touch and affect as much as possible. possible. He talks about serious issues, often poignantly, but never without compassion. Politics, intimacy, masculinity, and yes, sadness are some of the themes that shaped his idea for this album, and he treats them with care, attention and consideration. So, it is not surprising that the music reflects this feeling perfectly.
“The Cry” is a short piano-led gospel number, followed by “Kingly” (featuring saxophonist Lucas Pino). Criticizing a relationship in which one person bets his whole life on the other side of the receiver as unfaithful and selfish, “Royal” can be interpreted from several angles and stands to analyze that when simple. It’s a beautifully crafted song that deliberately deviates from a simple dichotomy to elevate its lyrical sensibilities. Coming shortly after “Election Day”, “Holding Cell” could equally refer to a personal relationship or an actual prison cell; musically, it seems to mix classical music with jazz and ’90s r’n’b, and it does so brilliantly.
As a preview of this 15-song album, these first four songs do a good job, although they fall short in representing the full range of Pinderhughes expected for GRIEF. Interspersed between numbers are these short but thoughtful pieces that encapsulate the record’s ideas. A full review would have been in order, but unfortunately, that would be beyond the scope of this article; I’m not the only one who wants to play the game and tell about their gift from Inter Claus, after all. But take my word for it: this is a record you don’t want to miss. As a singer, as a pianist, as a songwriter but most of all as a collaborative soul, Samora Pinderhughes is an incredibly gifted individual, and GRIEF is a multifaceted gem of an album.