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Sly5thAve and Roberto Verástegui's 'Agua de Jamaica' is one of the jazz-fusion highlights of 2022

Sly5thAve (Sylvester Uzoma Onyejiaka II) and Roberto Verástegui have dropped an album that needs the ears of any jazz fusion fan.

Released on Brighton-based Tru Thoughts, this is a release that harnesses the international nature of the genre. Agua de Jamaica is named after a drink the two artists had on Sly's first visit to Mexico City, one place vital to the conception of the record.

 

Latin elements, Sly5thAve's West African influence and even a trip to a London pub by Roberto (in which he watched tennis on TV) have informed the music and themes of Agua de Jamaica, with all of the above culminating in one cohesive project that was a couple years in the making.

It's tied together with a Hip Hop element that many would expect of a Tru Thoughts release, with the label's foundations going back to the early days of Hip Hop in the UK. 

But with piano riffs and horn solos like those on Ensencialmente and Past Thoughts, along with a very free and fluid feel to the 13-track release, this is jazz and jazz that pushes borders both sonically and geographically. 

Sly5thAve & Roberto Verástegui's Agua de Jamaica is available on all streaming sites and is out on vinyl, too. 


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