5. Sly5thAve & Roberto Verastegui – Agua de Jamaica

Sly5thAve is the project of multi-instrumentalist, producer, arranger and composer Sylvester Uzoma Onyejiaka II, whosesophisticated compositions are shaped by his faith in hip hop, and deep understanding of soul, R&B and jazz.- bandcamp Bio

Sly5thAvenue playing sax and arranging the music is joined by pianist, Roberto Verastegui. This album just camped in my top five all year long. It has been the most consistent listen all along the way and it became the soundtrack to my vacations this year to Puerto Rico and Outer Banks.

Contemporary jazz used to be bread and butter. Maybe not so much anymore. I tend to lean toward albums like this one. Funk/Jazz/R&B/Beats. Now, there is some stuff on here that’s not my vibe when it comes to jazz style. Some of it leans toward fusion and that doesn’t usually work for me. (If you want to talk modern urban jazz with me hit me up!) But, the compositions and collaborations on this record are so good it moves me past any things I would normally skip. This is most certainly my pick for jazz album of the year. It is the kind of album that could crossover to people who are willing to give it a listen. You probably are not going to discover it anywhere else other than the fact you just read this. So dig in. (feel like I say that a lot)

Sly5thAve & Roberto Verastegui: Agua de Jamaica album review @ All About Jazz

Album Review Despite its title, this genre-busting album has nothing to do with reggae or Jamaican dancehall. In fact, it’s a fresh-as-paint melange of jazz, electro-pop and hip-hop. Agua de Jamaica is the work of a Texan and a Mexican: (real name Sylvester Uzoma Onyejiaka II) and originally met as jazz students in Texas, and the album came together in Mexico City during the first Covid-19 lockdown.

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