Coin Coin Chapter Two: Mississippi Moonchile – Matana Roberts

The second chapter in Matana Roberts Coin Coin series titled ‘Mississippi Moonchile’ sees the avante-garde jazz artist taking different directions than her first Coin Coin album. With the introduction to her story starting with ‘Coin Coin Chapter One: Gens De Couleur Libres’, Matana Roberts showcases a phenomenal style of avant-garde jazz music incorporating elements of classical music, improvisation and general experimentation. The whole effort was a phenomenal piece of artistic work, that set the groundwork for the rest of the Coin Coin series. On ‘Coin Coin Chapter Two: Mississippi Moonchile’, we see Matana Roberts introducing a phenomenal new chapter that is every bit as experimental as the first chapter, though one that is different in many ways.

On ‘Coin Coin Chapter Two: Mississippi Moonchile’, Matana Roberts continues her story with new material, offering a somehow, more accessible jazz album. Roberts weaves together experimental ideas with conventional jazz techniques to create an album that is somehow very avant-garde though at the same time, accessible. Unlike Chapter One, Roberts opts for a much more gentle style, with more mellow melodies forming the basis for many of the songs. Also, unlike Chapter One, many of the songs on ‘Coin Coin Chapter Two: Mississippi Moonchile’ are split up into shorter tracks, ranging from one minute in length to four minutes in length. Spanning across 18 tracks, Roberts offers a nice range of various tracks, sometimes accompanied by scat vocals, operatic styled vocals, or Matana Robert’s spoken word style. Everything flows incredibly well, with each track offering well to the album’s shape, all of which presents Roberts’ continuing story in fine style.

There’s very little that’s wrong with ‘Coin Coin Chapter Two: Mississippi Moonchile’, which simply shows more of Roberts ever expanding creativity and style. One might find fault in how elements that were enjoyable on Chapter one are somewhat absent on Chapter two. Considering much of Robert’s style is about doing whatever works for the album, it makes sense that Chapter two should be different in some ways, but it would still have been enjoyable to have more elements, for instance, Robert’s spoken-word vocal style, in more of the songs. Unlike Chapter One, the album has to progress past seven or so tracks before we get to hear this wonderful style, and even when we do, it is in short supply. Considering there’s most likely more chapters in the Coin Coin series to come, we can easily dismiss this as being the main fault in the album, though it does mean there is one minor element of disappointment.

‘Coin Coin Chapter Two: Mississippi Moonchile’ is still a wonderful album, and a brilliant follow up to an incredibly exciting and enjoyable series of albums. Matana Roberts has a wonderful style of album presentation under her belt, and a wonderful talent in terms of musicianship. Much of what Roberts present is simply enjoyable, with ‘Coin Coin Chapter Two: Mississippi Moonchile’ being an incredibly enjoyable album experience. Whether or not it surpasses the previous chapter is up to fans of Roberts, though ‘Coin Coin Chapter Two: Mississippi Moonchile’ is at the very least on par. Considering how experimental, yet different, the latest chapter is in Robert’s Coin Coin series, it will certainly be interesting to see what directions Roberts’ takes her series in future.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★☆  4/5

Selected Songs:

  • Amma Jerusalem School
  • Was The Sacred Day
  • Thanks Be You
  • Benediction

Matana Robert’s latest album ‘Coin Coin Chapter Two: Mississippi Moonchile’ is out now and can be purchased at: http://cstrecords.com/cst098/

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