Jah9 - Note to Self
by Kevin Wierzbicki
Considering that this third release from "jazz on dub" reggae artist Jah9 features four cuts that were hit singles prior to their release as part of this album, the Jamaican singer is well on her way to having her biggest record to date. "Heaven (Ready Fi Di Feeling)" is one of those hits, and with its positive message set to a classic reggae lilt, it sets the tone for the 15-track offering. Jah9 has the voice of a soul singer and she doesn't dip into Jamaican patois that often, and songs like "Ma'at (Each Man)" demonstrates her ability to pour on seductive soul sounds while also breaking into a bit of toasting and using dub effects, with the end result being an irresistible reggae/soul/hip-hop hybrid. The "jazz on dub" label fits "Mindstorm" perfectly; the cut is a slinky vocal number that opens with spoken word before floating along on a sublime bed of reggae-tinged jazz where sax parts lurk amid chimes and dub effects. "Field Trip" sounds inspired by the work of George Clinton; no doubt the Parliament/Funkadelic mastermind would flip out over the track. Clearly Jah9 is not an artist to be pigeonholed; her musical vision takes the listener to places where the possibilities are as limitless as the ether they live in.