Some of you may be familiar with the extraordinary voice of Malawi-born singer Malia – especially her debut album “Yellow Daffodils” from 2002 and her fourth album, “Black Orchid” (dedicated to Nina Simone) ten years later, established her status of one of the most intriguing voices at the borders of jazz and advanced pop. In her work, she combines elements of so-called “cool jazz” with a wide range of influences, mostly inspired by her role models Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan and, of course, Nina Simone, but also bringing new elements into the mix. But her new album, “Convergence”, takes up a complete new and captivating approach, mostly due to her famous collaborator Boris Blank.
The swiss sound-wizard Boris Blank is one of the true pioneers of experimental electronic pop, working together with Dieter Meier as YELLO for more than three decades now – a career that spawned a multitude of highly influential and successful singles and albums. If the most unlikely case applies, that you have never heard of YELLO, it is strongly recommended to put your ears immediately to the album “The New Mix In One Go” from 1986. The whole of the album “Convergence” is a bit remindful of a collaboration YELLO once did with Shirley Bassey, resulting in the world-wide smash-hit “The Rhythm Divine” as he lays out a shimmering, elegant and subtly groovy canvas for Malias impressive vocal skills.
Convergence is one of the most sensual and elegant album we have heard in a long time. Its almost timeless aesthetics avoid clichés mostly associated with electronic soul music and seamlessly bring together two artists with a unique approach to their work – but most important of all: it’s got soul and sensuality, both in a very elegant and airy way but still has enough artistic weight to carry the promise of becoming a long term companion.
Buy the album from amazon here.