During the new-year season of best-of-the-year lists, I find myself looking backward—even at a year as difficult as 2020. Time was dilated—I thought I had too much of it but, as usual, there was too little for all the great music.
In this time of political unrest, racial strife, and pandemic, soul and R&B walked tall and carried a big stick, while also being a much needed balm and source of warmth in 2020.
Jyoti's Mama, You Can Bet! is a revelation -- of time, of rhythm, of sound. It takes the free-ranging jazz sensibilities of Georgia Anne Muldrow's previous outings under the Jyoti moniker and gives them a next-level boost.
It's tempting to proclaim this moment in black pop as something akin to 2018's political Year of the Woman -- Year of the Sista, if you will. But today's unapologetically progressive female black pop artists stand on the shoulders of a most impressive cohort from the '90s and early '00s.