Notable recordings from the world of pop music.
The most thrilling young voice in D.C.’s growing rap scene belongs to Shy Glizzy, a 20-year-old from Southeast who’s never sounded more captivating than he does on his new mixtape, “Law 2.” Like Eazy-E and Lil Boosie before him, he rhymes in a pinched timbre that can signal an unlikely breadth of feelings – empathy, levity, pride and petulance. This is rap music that comes straight from the heart, the gut, the sinuses.
“Live Today” is the solo debut from this Philly-rooted jazz bassist, but he’s no rookie. Hodge has helped puncture the line between jazz and hip-hop as a member of the Robert Glasper Experiment and has worked as musical director for R&B alchemist Maxwell.
Yet, as sparkly as Hodge’s resume might be, “Live Today” still packs an unexpected amount of poise. As a composer, he surrounds his bass lines with a vast vocabulary of tactile sounds – pianos glimmer like metal flakes and percussion clatters like a magical silverware drawer. Hodge’s music can feel so immersive, when the human voices arrive – rapper Common and singer Alan Hampton make cameos – it’s as startling as running into a stranger in the deep wilderness.
Two summers ago, this Adams Morgan-born funk band rounded up its early 1970s recordings in a collection called “Who’s Gonna Save the World,” a cluster of future-fretting songs written in post-riot blight. Forty-odd years later, the group has gone full circle with the release of its reflective new album, “Love & Life Stories,” blending new-school gospel, old-school soul and an outpouring of optimistic wisdom that only comes with age.
Shy Glizzy performs at the Trillectro Festival on Aug. 17. Derrick Hodge performs at Liv on Aug. 8. Father’s Children performs at THEARC on Aug. 10.