This Just In: Lakecia Benjamin’s Phoenix

Lakecia Benjamin's new CD Phoenix pictured next to a window

This Just In is Jazz88’s weekly celebration of new releases. It hits the airwaves every Friday at noon and this week, we are diving into Lakecia Benjamin‘s latest release, Phoenix. It is worth mentioning that the producer of this new release is none other than Terri Lyne Carrington, whose own album was featured last week on This Just In. Back to Lakecia Benjamin. . .wow, simply wow. After garnering incredible pre-release press, including a huge New York Times spread, the story is coming out–Benjamin has transformed the experience of breaking her jaw in a car crash into the thesis statement of her new release, Phoenix. 

After police sirens and the poetry of the icon Angela Davis welcome us into the fold, we start to feel the phoenix-like energy of the record coalesce around the song “New Mornings”. Throughout the record, Benjamin’s saxophone soars above athletic four-wheel drive grooves full of suspense and energy. In her playing I hear an urgency in the message–not from the speed of her notes, but from the intensity with which they’re delivered. In her interview with the New York Times, Benjamin said that she “feels like a phoenix”. I’m here to attest that Ms. Benjamin also sounds like a phoenix, with the ability to speak to the times with her writing and her saxophone in a way that the world needs. . .NOW.

During Friday’s This Just In we’ll listen to a couple of tracks from the album while also covering new releases from Out To Dinner, Hey Rim Jeon, The Ostara Project and more. Check the show out at noon or on-demand here.

Thanks for checking this new release out, and if you have music suggestions, contact me at

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