THE FUTURE-JAZZ DIGEST | 3 APRIL 2020

CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE | YVES TUMOR | YAEJI | JACOB COLLIER + KIMBRA + TANK AND THE BANGAS | CHILDISH GAMBINO

Hello again friends, freaks and fans of future-jazz.

Week two of quarantine and I think we’ve all realised a few things: 1.) that we don’t actually use as much toilet paper as we thought, 2.) that 95% of male friendships are based purely on sport and break down in its absence, and 3.) even when you have ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD there are still things on your Netflix watchlist that you simply can’t be arsed with.

Nevermind, I’ve got five fresh new tracks to share with you and like an infinitely binge-able series it’s got absolutely everything.

Some over-the-top drama (Yves Tumor), some understated cool (Yaeji), a little bit of seriousness (Christian McBride) with a whole load of sheer, wonderful stupidity (Jacob Collier) and, at its denouement, a plot twist that may make you question everything you know to be true (Childish Gambino).

And so, without further ado, hear more here…

– 1 –
THE CHARM OFFENSIVE

CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE: OVERTURE / THE MOVEMENT REVISITED

Philadelphia-born bassist, “Lord of the Lower Frequencies”, James Brown/Wynton Marsalis/Sting/The Roots (amongst many others) collaborator and established bandleader in his own right, Christian Mc Bride returns with his 16th solo album.

This one, entitled The Movement Revisited, is surely his most ambitious, written for 18-piece big band, chorus and narrators while documenting the lives and work of four key figures of the Civil Rights Movement: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Rosa Parks and Muhammad Ali.

And in this – the album’s opening salvo – you really get two tracks in one. The first a moody, atmospheric tone-setter in which we hear our narrators talk evocatively over little more than piano chords. But the second half, the track blossoms into life with samba and swing rhythms underpinning Kamasi Washington-sized epicness.

Further watching: this unreal performance on Jazz Night in America.

***

– 2 –
THE MILITARY COUP

YVES TUMOR: KEROSENE!

Legendary shrinking violet Yves Tumor (known to his Mum as Sean Bowie) releases fourth album Heaven to a Tortured Mind today. In his promo material for the tour that (in the fullness of time) will follow its release, the Italy-based electronic producer has promised “a night that will change where you draw the line.” And I, for one, will not be calling bullshit.

Lead-off single for the album, Kerosene! is like a pole-dance from your barely 18-year old niece; obscenely decadent, completely inappropriate but abso-fucking-lutely divine, it’s all just wailing guitar solos and butter-wouldn’t melt, Sinead O’Connor melodies from Diana Gordon. Look but don’t touch you dirty, dirty bastard.

Further viewing: images of Yves Tumor on Google (but not if you already have trouble sleeping).

***

– 3 –
THE PEACEFUL PROTEST

YAEJI : WAKING UP DOWN

Korean-American musician Yaeji first started building a buzz around her when she played a Boiler Room session in 2017, famously remixing Drake’s Passionfruit. Now, following two EPs and the monster single raingurl she released her first full length (which she’s determined to classify as a mixtape) WHAT WE DREW 우리가 그려왔던 on XL yesterday.

Ironically, I imagine Waking Up Down is the sort of music that’s listened to people who, completely unironically, describe themselves as ‘woke’. I mainly say that because she talks about ‘hydrating’ several times which is also the sort of thing I imagine woke people do. Instead of simply drinking plenty of water.

The track itself is probably the coolest thing you’ll hear all year with her trademarked half-whispered vocals and sparse production centred around 808 kicks. Music for chilling too.

Further watching: Yaeji x Boiler Room – September 2017

***

– 4 –
GUERRILLA WARFARE

JACOB COLLIER + KIMBRA + TANK AND THE BANGAS: IN MY BONES

25-year-old London jazz polymath Jacob Collier will release the third and penultimate album in his Djesse series later this year and as if the a cappella-loving, mega-talented multi-instrumentalist needed any more creativity thrown into his flavoursome melting pot, he’s only gone and got Kimbra and Tarriona ‘Tank’ Ball (from New Orleans funk killers Tank and the Bangas) in on his first release from it.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m a massive fan of both Jacob Collier and the aforementioned Bangas. And yet, mixing them both together makes them even greater than the sum of their parts.

Part With the Love In My Heart,part Quick but with added Prince and more jerk than a Jamaican chicken seasoning, In My Bones is as typically bonkers as you’d expect from any of the above.

Further watching: Tarriona Ball’s amazing Quarantined Tiny Desk Concert from last week.

***

– 5 –
THE QUIET RIOT

CHILDISH GAMBINO: 42.26

Donald Glover dropped his fourth record – 3.15.20 – under the Childish Gambino name just a couple of weeks ago. He had previously said he would retire the Gambino moniker but, as even a cursory listen though the new LP will reveal, names are pretty superfluous to Glover. After all, this track 42.26 was originally released a couple of years back under the name Feels Like Summer.

But it turns out not only are names changeable when it comes to Donald Glover’s music; so are meanings. New context – both in terms of the album and the state of the world – have helped me to hear the song with new ears. What previously sounded like a breezy, laid back ode to warmer months has revealed references to global warming (“Every day gets hotter than the one before / Running out of water, it’s about to go down”) and our high-pressure, hectic way of life (“Seven billion souls that move around the sun / Rolling faster, faster, not a chance to slow down.”) And, in this new normal, where we’ve had no choice but to “slow down” now seems as good a time as any to closely examine the way things are but also to look for the light in even the darkest matter.

Further watching: this perspective-changing video on coronavirus.

***

THE OUTRO

You can find all of the tracks reviewed above in the 45 Revolutions per Minute playlist below or click to access the Future Jazz Playlist on Spotify itself.

If you like what you hear (or even if you don’t), please engage in dialogue with me @45rpm_Reviews on Twitter. And, if you’d like to receive updates weekly, please subscribe to the email list to get these recommendations sent to your inbox weekly.

– SV –

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