Music Reviews: December 2016

The latest from Nico Sarbanes and Bond St. District.

By Lydia Woolever - December 2016

Music Reviews: December 2016

The latest from Nico Sarbanes and Bond St. District.

By Lydia Woolever - December 2016

Nico Sarbanes

Nico Sarbanes: Live in Baltimore (self-released)

When we think of Baltimore jazz, we think of a bygone era, filled with small nightclubs, three-piece suits, and plenty of cigarette smoke. But local jazz is alive and well, thanks to a number of surviving legends, as well as the next generation of stars, like the Dunbar Alumni Jazz Band and Nico Sarbanes. Professionally trained, Sarbanes is one of the city’s most talented (and under-the-radar) performers, playing a mean trumpet and confidently crooning in a style associated with the Great American Songbook. At 23 years old, the Baltimore native has just released his debut album, a set of live recordings from the acclaimed Mount Vernon music venue, An die Musik, that features some of his hometown heroes, including saxophonists Antonio Hart and Tim Green, vibraphonist Warren Wolf, and drummer Winard Harper. Across five accomplished jazz jams and standardslike a feel-good Baltimore original dedicated to a local Union Square barber, or an up-tempo, twinkling rendition of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn’s smoky “Ishafan”Sarbanes connects and celebrates our city’s vibrant jazz community, and honors its rich history.

Bond St. District

A Church On Vulcan (Friends Records)

In the summer of 2014, a young black rapper from West Baltimore met a young white percussionist from Montgomery County. In an unlikely twist of fate, the two instantly clicked, and by fall had released their first EP as the hip-hop duo Bond St. District, one of the city’s most animated, vivacious acts. MC DDm spits fire with his sharp, confident lyricsat times clever and humorous, at others candid and poignant. Like a pastor pushing the gospel, DDm engages crowds with bona fide swagger, and his bodacious presence is only amplified by his right-hand man, producer Paul Hutson, who mixes in his masterful, multi-layered beats. Together, these distinct halves make a seamless whole, founded in a mutual respect for each other’s talent, and at live shows, their genuine chemistry is clear as soon as they hit the stage. But the strength of their bond is never more apparent than now, on their first full-length album, out exactly two years after their debut. From the rattling, energetic knocks of “Show Me Your Hands” to the lush, dreamy melodies of “How Come” and the sunny funk of “Yesterdays,” their infectious songsand synergymake you a forever fan.

See our full interview with DDm and Paul Hutson from Bond St. District.

You May Also Like

Arts District

What Pennsylvania Avenue’s Official Arts District Designation Means for the Community

The black arts and entertainment district brings tax incentives and the potential for further revitalization.

Arts & Culture

Music Reviews: August 2019

The latest from Ami Dang and Patrick McAvinue.

Arts District

Endowment Establishes BMA Center Studying Works of Henri Matisse

BMA director Christopher Bedford shares vision for incubation space to be unveiled by 2021.


Movie Review: Toy Story 4

Yup, they've done it again.

The Chatter

A Month Before Woodstock, Led Zeppelin and The Guess Who Rocked the Laurel Pop Festival

Fifty years ago, music’s biggest names shared a stage in Laurel.

Arts & Culture

For The ‘Gram

Selfie Fantasy brings an Instagram-worthy experience to Ocean City.

Connect With Us

Most Read

Severe Flooding Plagues Neighborhoods Surrounding the Inner Harbor: Stark images of Harbor East and Fells Point arise on social media as area reckons with heavy rainfall.

Developers Hope to Unveil Greektown’s Yard 56 by 2020: The mixed-use project will be anchored by Streets Market and LA Fitness.

Oletha DeVane Showcases Sculptural Works in 'Traces of Spirit' at the BMA: Local multidisciplinary artist explores religion, nature, and humanity in exhibit on view through October 20.

What is the Likelihood of President Trump Coming to Baltimore?: With a House Republican conference and an invitation from Elijah Cummings, a presidential visit might be imminent.