Nori

Bruise Blood

Texas Platters

Three-note motifs reverberate like loose, wooden foot boards as Akina Adderley's haunting tenor invokes a sparkling overture that crescendos into a brass maelstrom of unresolved tension on opener "The Dream." When "dreams lay in the casket," there's pain and uncertainty, both feelings that metastasize in Nori's political jazz manifesto Bruise Blood. While 2016 debut World Anew spun Afro-Cuban and Korean transcendence, the locals' sophomore album peers inward. Behind their frontwoman, the group contemplates our country's bruised history by attempting to untangle decaying bedlam. Flickering tom-toms catch fire alongside Erik Telford's trumpet bursts in "Wildfire," which smolders like Nick Litterski's Fender Rhodes plumes on "Crash and Burn." In protest song "The Walk," bassist Aaron Allen and drummer Andy Beaudoin march like a funeral procession and perfectly complement the sprawled, free-jazz dissonance of "The Star Spangled Banner" contextualizing a national quagmire thanks to the added lyrics of Civil War poet Oliver Wendell Holmes. Ethereal string instrumentation glides in a sweeping lilt on "Prelude," which carries over into "Ballad," wherein Adderley laments, "I'll decay, if you take away my dream."

****

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