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Makaya McCraven

In These Times

    In These Times is a collection of polytemporal compositions inspired as much by broader cultural struggles as McCraven’s personal experience as a product of a multinational, working class musician community. With contributions from over a dozen musicians and creative partners from his tight-knit circle of collaborators – including Jeff Parker, Junius Paul, Brandee Younger, Joel Ross, and Marquis Hill – the music was recorded in five different studios and four live performance spaces while McCraven engaged in extensive post-production work at home. Featuring orchestral, large ensemble arrangements interwoven with the signature “organic beat music” sound that’s become his signature, the album is an evolution and a milestone for McCraven, the producer. But moreover, it’s the strongest and clearest statement we’ve yet to hear from McCraven, the composer.


    In These Times
    The Fours
    High Fives
    Dream Another
    This Place That Place
    The Calling
    Seventh String
    So Ubuji
    The Knew Untitled
    The Title

    A new project by Chicago-based drummer/producer Makaya McCraven. An addendum to his critically-acclaimed 2018 release Universal Beings, which The New York Times said "affirms the drummer and beatsmith's position as a major figure in creative music," Universal Beings E&F Sides presents fourteen new pieces of organic beat music cut from the original sessions, prepared and produced by Makaya as a soundtrack to the Universal Beings documentary film.

    Directed by Mark Pallman, the Universal Beings documentary follows Makaya to Los Angeles, Chicago, London and New York City for a behind the scenes look into the making of the artists breakthrough album, taking the viewer through the story of Makaya's life, his process and the community of musicians that helped bring this project to life. The Universal Beings documentary and Universal Beings E&F Sides album will be released on International Anthem.

    Named one of the best jazz albums of 2018 by The New York Times, Rolling Stone, NPR, Stereogum, Billboard, SPIN, The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, and more, Universal Beings was recorded at four sessions in New York, Chicago, London and Los Angeles, and features some of the best "new" jazz players from those hot bed cities: Brandee Younger, Tomeka Reid, Dezron Douglas, Joel Ross, Shabaka Hutchings, Junius Paul, Nubya Garcia, Daniel Casimir, Ashley Henry, Josh Johnson, Jeff Parker, Anna Butters, Carlos Niño and Miguel-Atwood Ferguson - all of whom are on the forthcoming Universal Beings E&F Sides.


    A1. Everybody Cool
    A2. Half Steppin'
    A3. Mak Attack
    A4. The Hunt
    A5. Beat Science
    A6. Dadada
    A7. Isms
    B8. Traveling Space
    B9. Kings And Queens
    B10. The Loneliness
    B11. Her Name
    B12. Universal Beings Pt 2
    B13. Butterss Fly
    B14. The Way Home

    Gil Scott-Heron

    We're New Again - A Re-imagining By Makaya McCraven

    To mark the tenth anniversary of the release of "I’m New Here", the thirteenth - and last - studio album from the legendary US musician, poet and author Gil Scott-Heron, XL Recordings release a unique reinterpretation of the album by acclaimed US jazz musician Makaya McCraven. Titled "We’re New Again", the album's release comes exactly a decade after the release of Scott-Heron’s original Richard Russell-produced recording. Following in the footsteps of Jamie xx’s highly acclaimed 2011 remix album "We’re New Here", this is McCraven’s first release of 2020, following the huge global acclaim heaped upon his 2018 album "Universal Beings". One of the most vital new voices in modern jazz, McCraven is described by the New York Times as a "Chicago-based drummer, producer and beat maker, [who] has quietly become one of the best arguments for jazz’s vitality".


    Special Tribute (Broken Home Pt. 1)
    I'm New Here
    Blessed Parents
    New York Is Killing Me
    The Patch (Broken Home Pt. 2)
    People Of The Light
    Being Blessed
    Where Did The Night Go
    Lily Scott (Broken Home Pt. 3)
    I'll Take Care Of You
    I've Been Me
    This Can't Be Real
    Piano Player
    The Crutch
    Guided (Broken Home Pt. 4)
    Certain Bad Things
    Me And The Devil

    Makaya McCraven

    Universal Beings

      Drummer/producer Makaya McCraven’s epic 2018 album Universal Beings was a breakthrough release – both for Makaya as an artist and also for an entire class of “new jazz” artists who in recent years have been making waves from Chicago to New York to London and Los Angeles. Featuring an all-star cast of genreredefining players (incl. Shabaka Hutchings, Nubya Garcia, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Tomeka Reid, Joel Ross, Brandee Younger, Jeff Parker…) recorded in the four aforementioned cities, the music of Universal Beings was composed in collective improvisational sessions before being post-produced by McCraven into twenty-two lyrical instrumental pieces of “organic beat music.”


      Millie says: If you missed this the first time around then you’re in luck, the Universal Beings re-release is here to save the day. Filled to the brim with beautiful jazz and featuring lots of inspirational names in the New Jazz era such as Nubya Garcia & Shabaka Hutchings and many more talented contributors. Delve into the four sections to guide you away to different parts of the world and float away on a jazzy-cloud.


      New York Side:
      A1. A Queen's Intro
      A2. Holy Land
      A3. Young Genius
      A4. Black Lion
      A5. Tall Tales
      A6. Mantra

      Chicago Side:
      B1. Pharaoh's Intro
      B2. Atlantic Black
      B3. Inner Flight
      B4. Wise Man, Wiser Woman
      B5. Prosperity's Fear

      London Side:
      C1. Flipped Out
      C2. Voila
      C3. Suite Haus
      C4. The Newbies Lift Off
      C5. The Royal Outro

      Los Angeles Side:
      D1. The Count Off
      D2. Butterss's
      D3. Turtle Tricks
      D4. The Fifth Monk 

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