Jazz-tinged folk from prolific, political US singer-songwriter

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Ani DiFranco – Evolve

Recently heard opening for Bob Dylan, Ani DiFranco says Evolve is her last album with the jazz-lite backing band that has accompanied her in recent years before she returns to “solo folk guitar”. If so, make the most of these subtly funked-up arrangements with their horns and clarinets and bebop percussion. Then turn to the lyrically dazzling 10-minute “Serpentine”, which snakes its way into the maggot-ridden apple that is contemporary America (“Uncle Sam is rigging cockfights in the promised land”). Solo and acoustic but still full of fireworks, if it points to what she intends next, a treat is in store.