Nubya Garcia’s ‘Source’ is the reason why we need jazz in our world
By Jonathan Pabico, Senior Columnist
Nubya Garcia made milestones as a British saxophonist whose roots extend from her musical family to the jazz legends she looked up to in her early life. Since then, Garcia’s new jazz album Source is a remarkable collection of songs that brings comfort to anyone willing to listen. The playlist deals with resonating subjects, while immersing people in its thrilling tracks.
Garcia’s flawless mastery over the saxophone lends the album an unrivalled charisma and enveloping soundscapes. Every note she plays bursts with a lively energy that any music intellectual can enjoy at their local club.
Some of the tracks provide rollicking moods that would be fitting for the lavish parties from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. The song “Before Us: In Demerara & Caura”—a personal favorite from the album—features an astounding saxophone and trumpet combo that engulfs the listener with its sophisticated vitality. The piece becomes a jazz playground with its frenetic beats that are layered with the stylish intro from the piano and drum set.
Another refreshing aspect is that the collection is not afraid of being experimental to please their listeners. The track “La cumbia me está llamando” mixes the saxophone’s swing tempo with the vocals, maracas, and conga drums that convey the passionate wonders of Spanish culture. The album provides ethnically diverse music to evoke how important it is to always welcome new voices and perspectives.
Beyond her enriching style choices, Garcia has used the album to promote good mental health by inspiring people to reach out and support others. The track “Boundless Beings” arguably encapsulates this relatable theme the most. It uses beautiful and simple vocals accompanied by quiet piano keystrokes to elevate lyrics like “We’re timeless creatures, you and me.” These elements provide a thoughtful subtext about positive thinking, while creating a fantastical motif that makes the song ideal for a concert hall in a jazz utopia.
“Boundless Beings” also blends its calm tones with highly controlled saxophone sounds and hi-hat cymbal hits to illustrate the immense depths of human well-being. They provide the listener with an emotional balance that quickly becomes a pleasing remedy for their stress, troubles, and anxieties.
As for flaws, the album could have given the other instruments from the ensemble more time for solos and allow the saxophone to provide undertones for some of the tracks. There is no doubt that Garcia offers the best music to ever be heard in a modern-day jazz collection. However, the album could have made the piano, drum set, and other parts of the band be the main instrument for some tracks rather than the saxophone during most of the playlist.
Nubya Garcia’s Source is a commanding jazz album worth listening to for the start of autumn. The tracks immediately settle you in as you’re transported to her own personal world that makes you look forward to her future work. Relaxing yet fearless, the collection emphasizes the need to always find hope and resilience during difficult times.