Isrea Butler Presents ‘Congo Lament’ Out June 1, 2024

A midcentury splendor adorns Isrea Butler’s stylish lounge luxury of “Congo Lament.” The arrangements go for a classy, sophisticated air. The interplay among the band is spirited. Beyond the apparent jazz influences, they utilize popcraft within the pieces to add to that infectious, giddy energy. Lots of happiness radiates from the songs, for they have this celebratory style, a true embrace of the world around them. Isrea pays homage to the jazz greats, and this sense of timelessness adorns the atmosphere. Layer upon layer gets brought into the mix, adding to the fascinating quality.

Percussion sprawls out into the infinite on the highly tactile opener “Congo Lament.” It has might and a sense of delicacy at the same time. Isrea’s trombone work is phenomenal, with a lyrical aspect. Gracious grooves roll out as “I.Q. Shuffle” features a gorgeous upright bass. A conversational tenor adds to the captivating quality. Rolling the rhythms back is the light, bright, and airy scope of “Easy Living.” “B.G.’s Groove” stuns, featuring a tropical cadence, as the song references some of Bossa Nova’s sense of fun. The swing of “Pennies from Heaven” has a graceful glide, with the whole band pouring their heart into the sound. Limber low-end runs through the heavy-set style of “Que’s Pills.” Ending the album on a high note is the bluesy swing of “See See Rider,” where the tempo is set way back, and a dreamy quality ties it together.

Isrea Butler does the classics tremendous justice with flair and fantastic flourishes in “Congo Lament.”