The neo-soul/jazz movement continues to yield some rather brilliant new hybrids, as a whole generation of young musicians schooled in jazz harmony and seasoned by exposure to the finest R&B and hip-hop set about blending these supposedly disparate elements like mad scientists run amok in the lab. Names like Robert Glasper, Cory Henry and Thunder Cat stand at the top of the list. Now, a new name can be added – that of Moonchild, a Los Angeles-born trio comprised of Amber Navran, Max Bryk and Andris Mattson.
Like most of its neo-soul peers, Moonchild is taking the improvisation acumen of jazz, and marrying it to the sort of grooves commonly associated with funk, soul and hip-hop. In the form of singer Navran, Moonchild has an ace up its sleeve. Like a hybrid of Eryka Badu and Bjork, Navran dazzles and charms, weaving her way between funky horns, shimmering synths and salacious grooves. You might not know what to call Moonchild’s music on first listen, so genre-bending is its focus and intent. But that’s part of the point.
Moonchild makes its Buffalo debut on a bill headlined by mind-bending hip-hop duo the Internet, and also featuring performances by St. Beauty and the Huemans, at 7 p.m. Sept. 28 in the Waiting Room (334 Delaware Ave.). Tickets are $15 (Ticketfly.com).
– Jeff Miers