After winning two (yes, two) Grammy awards, Kalantari is flexing her lyrical muscle. There’s no filler among the five tracks on What Kind of World? and plenty of guest stars to move the band’s messages. The first track, “Friendship Party,” features Jazzy Ash and Joelle Lurie (JoJo and the Pinecones) and touts the pre- and post-pandemic fun in seeing (and being with) friends. COVID has affected all of us and the Jazz Cats were not exempted. Trombone player Ron Wilkins suffered the virus, but required a tracheotomy and spent a month in a coma. “Round and Round” celebrates the flexibility and courage it takes for get through a crisis, individually and collectively.
The title track, “What Kind of World?” is a power ballad about – wait for it – international building. SaulPaul guests on vocals with a kindie choir including Little Miss Ann, Flor Bromley, Joanie Leeds, Julie Be, Snooknuk, Sonia de los Santos, and Lachi, an electronic music star and disability advocate. Wait, there’s more – a string section composed of Elena Moon Park, son Darius, Erich Schoen Rene, Charisa the ViolinDiva, and Paul Laraia: