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Jennifer Salisbury & James Mustafa : Unspoken Rule

9.5

Unspoken Rule is the latest album by Jennifer Salisbury and James Mustafa. Opening with Mr Fix It, the seven-piece band effortlessly transition between time signatures and sounds, creating a little bossa nova feel on the outro. The personnel that Salisbury has got backing her on these tracks is one of the factors, making Unspoken Rule one of the best local jazz releases this year.
 
Headed by Mustafa who has worked alongside the Horns of Leroy and the Melbourne Composers Big Band, the arrangements of these tracks is sublime. The lyrics explore themes such as romance, desire, heartbreak and love. The instrumental breaks and sections really compliment Salisbury’s sweet and unique vocal delivery.
 
Some of these tracks are arrangements of songs by jazz luminaries such as Benny Goodman, Carl Fischer and Bill Carey, yet the originals penned by Mustafa and Salisbury shine through. Highlights include Washing Line and There Was A Time.
 
Capturing such emotion and story in song is a hard task, yet over ten tracks, you’re taken on a journey from the start to the end of a relationship. Featuring some of the best local jazz musicians, Unspoken Rule shines through with strong song structure, in addition to punchy and vibrant vocals. This is an album for jazz enthusiasts and the perfect soundtrack to a smooth Sunday afternoon.  
 
By Tex Miller