Jam Friendly Edition Part 2: Here Lies Man, Yazz Ahmed & Big Mean Sound Machine


Here Lies Man: Here Lies Man

OK, looks like this will end up being a three-parter, so here’s the second installment of the jam-friendly RecommNeds, this time going a little bit funky. And if you like your funky dark and psychedelic, you should get you some Here Lies Man, whose self-titled debut is high on the 2017 must-listen list. Frankly, I’m surprised this one hasn’t been getting more buzz, with its heavy-duty, fuzzed-out grooves, everyone should be listening to this. If you’re a fan of bands like Antibalas but wish they went even deeper and dirtier, look no further.


Yazz Ahmed: La Saboteuse

Next up in the groove-a-tron is Yazz Ahmed. Technically, this would have been a good fit for my horn-centric column from a couple weeks ago, as Ahmed is a killer trumpet player. But her new album, La Saboteuse, transcends and upends the genre with a wealth of sound. With its zig-zags of complex composition and freewheeling improvisation, it feels just as much vibraphone-pocked Frank Zappa as it does Miles Davis. Ahmed is Bahraini-British and blends in Arabic motifs as well as funked-out passages to give it the full jam-ready feel. La Saboteuse was released in four separate chapters, a tale slowly unfolding, but is now available in full and worth devouring as a whole.


Big Mean Sound Machine: Runnin’ For The Ghost

Just when you think there’s nothing more that can be done to spice up the Afrobeat sound, you catch wind of a band like Big Mean Sound Machine. I mean, if you’re going to give your band a name like that, you better deliver and on their newest, Runnin’ For The Ghost, they do deliver. Big fat funky rhythms and enough brain candy to match the grooves and keep the whole thing fully engaged. I guess that makes the sound mean, not the machine, necessarily. Seems pretty (jam) friendly to me. Enjoy!