Deeply Personal and Moving, AZA the Messenger's 'Go Slowly EP' a Masterclass in Contemporary Jazz
It is such a treat to have something as good as AZA the Messenger's Go Slowly EP come across my desk, it opens with 'Flying Leaves', an instrumental that really sets the tone for the entire 5 track EP perfectly. This gives way to the title track 'Go Slowly', a soulful invitation to be moved, lyrically AZA the Messenger has captured the angst of young African Americans and offers a mindful response to this external world, set to one of the catchiest piano riffs in modern music. The mix of Jazz, HipHop and R&B gives 'Go Slowly' a timeless feel and the message really resonates long after each instrument fades out one by one.
'Battlegrounds', the third track on the EP feels like a call to action, a battle cry to the people to elevate themselves, simple and evocative, like good art should be. Again, the marriage of Jazz elements with modern urban beats makes the music feel classic, yet totally fresh. There is a really powerful sense of heritage and homage to the music of his forbears which feeds into this feeling of determined self respect, a theme which ties the entire album together. The fourth offering of the album, 'March On' keeps to the simplicity that has made this work so devastatingly effective, the track is filled with purpose and intent. The EP closes out with with the instrumental outro 'Falling Leaves', another exquisitely constructed piece of music.
The verdict at MusikZombie is unanimous, AZA the Messenger has made something that feels very special with 'Go Slowly', like a prophetic dream, it feels like another conduit for black excellence. Every track feels well thought out and considered, there is a distinct lack of ego that makes the entire album feel accessible and empowering, as if the universe had written it just for you. You can literally feel the love for his people woven into every line, every note. Engaging, beautiful, and moving. AZA the Messenger knows exactly who he is and what he wants to say and he delivers us this sermon, a masterpiece, and for that he has our gratitude in abundance.
There is no official video for any of the tracks on the EP yet, but we have got an earlier release 'Taking Off' which we have included below. Keep up with AZA on his Instagram here