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Natalia Mateo Covers "Strange Fruit" (Video)

Sebastien Helary
Co-Founder
s.helary@nextbop.com / @helaryous

Thirty-one year old vocalist Natalia Mateo is set to make her ACT debut on March 27th with Heart of Darkness an album comprised of originals but also several covers including Lou Reed’s “Take A Walk On The Wild Side”, Jay Hawkins’ “I Put A Spell On You” and Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi”. The album hasn’t reached us yet, but as we wait impatiently check out Mateo’s first single below, a competent and heartfelt cover of Lewis Allan’s “Strange Fruit”, performed as a duo with pianist Simon Grote.

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Lauren Desberg Covers The Whispers "Rock Steady" (Stream)

Sebastien Helary
Co-Founder
s.helary@nextbop.com / @helaryous

Vocalist Lauren Desberg is back at it having recently released the first single off her debut album Twenty-First Century Problems, out April 28. It’s a cover of The Whispers 1987 hit “Rock Steady” reimagined in a jazz pop neo soul kind of way. The track features powerhouses Walter Smith III on tenor sax, Taylor Eigsti on piano, Chris Smith on bass and Corey Fonville on drums. Check it out below the jump.

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Portico Set to Release 'Living Fields' (Stream)

Sebastien Helary
Co-Founder
s.helary@nextbop.com / @helaryous

Sadly the Portico Quartet is no more. The band has dropped a member yet Duncan Bellamy, Milo Fitzpatrick and Jack Wyllie are continuing their musical adventures under the moniker Portico. Like a phoenix reborn from its ashes, Portico is now exploring new and foreign territories with a foray into electronic music. The band is set to release their debut as a trio, entitled Living Fields, under the famed Ninja Tune label March 30th. The album features singers Jono McCleery, Joe Newman (Alt-J) and Jamie Woon which bring depth to the spacey and trippy sounds of Portico. Even though the Portico Quartet was never truly a jazz band, Portico has even further distanced itself from the genre, which is not necessarily a bad thing, just a new direction for the band. Albeit electronic music, Living Fields is seriously good electronic music made by real musicians and talented ones at that. Stream 5 tracks from the 9 track album below the jump and see for yourself.

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Austin Peralta Memorial Concert - "Nothing Personal" (Video)

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

This past November marked the second anniversary of the passing of pianist/keyboardist Austin Peralta. The young musician who was very much coming into his own with a style remembered quite fondly to this day. So to celebrate his life, a bunch of his friends had a memorial concert at Los Angeles' Blue Whale (where Peralta had his last performance before passing away in his sleep). Now video from that night has appeared with a group of Ruslan Sirota on piano, Ben Shepherd on bass, Virgil Donati on drums, and Zane Musa on saxophone who just died early last month. In fact, this was the last time Ruslan ever played with Musa, giving this performance even more poignancy to match its power. Watch this quartet play a fiery take on the Don Grolnick composition, "Nothing Personal" after the jump.

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Chris Schlarb's 'Psychic Temple II' Free This Week at Bandcamp

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

Guitarist/composer/arranger/bandleader/cult leader Chris Schlarb is one of our favorite weirdos. His work over the years has exhibited jazzy, folky, experimental depth that hits all the right spots if your mind and ears are open enough. While he's worked for years, particularly through numerous releases on the Asthmatic Kitty label, his sound is best depicted with his various configurations of his group Psychic Temple. The second Psychic Temple album, 2013's II, was one of our favorite albums of that year and is available for free this week at Bandcamp. Cop it for yourself if you haven't yet. It's awesome and just after the jump.