Yussef Kamaal may have disbanded, but Henry Wu continues to fly the flag as Kamaal Williams. For the first LP released under his given name we see Williams behind the keys in a jazz fusion trio that brings together the visionary aesthetic of the YK output with the sounds of new London jazz and the shuffling grooves of the Wu project. Out via the new Black Focus records, a label named after YK’s sole full-length.
Vinyl LP £15.75 BFR001LP
180g black vinyl LP on Black Focus.
- Includes download code
- Only 1 copy left
CD £4.99 BFR001CD
Digipak CD on Black Focus.
Limited Vinyl LP £16.50 BFR001LPD
Clear vinyl LP on Black Focus.
- Limited edition
- Includes download code
As a fat forty something it's hard to get on board with the young people in the office's love of difficult jazz. At my time of life you need some smooth sounds and despite a press release that described this as 'experimental fusion', those of you with soft baby lamb-like ears like mine please don't feel put off as this is a gorgeous album full of beautiful playing that will sound good on a summer afternoon on the veranda.
On initial listens a case for comparison to the likes of the jazzy side of Prefuse 73 and Taylor McFerrin could be made. It's all these soft summer sounds that will make Giles Peterson explode with delight. Delicious vibes seemingly from some kind of other universe where music is as soft as an eiderdown. The general style of the upbeat tracks such as 'High Roller' make me think of an instrumental Stevie Wonder, lots of intricate drumming, complicated bass runs and squeaky synth solos. Also fans of Badbadnotgood will enjoy the drifted out improvised feel of these jams - many are rife for sampling or to have some laid back rapper spit rhymes over. Sometimes as on 'Catch the Loop' it has the feel of those Squarepusher tracks where he brings out his jazz bass chops. It should therefore be the most muso thing on the planet but it is saved by a series of gorgeous downbeat moments which showcase glorious atmospheres over intricate twiddling.
I decided yesterday once and for all yesterday that I don't like Thundercat's 'Drunk' LP - the tracks still sound too much like novelty vignettes with daft jokey lyrics. I want something deeper and more meaningful with my gin and tonic. This sprawls and is unashamedly noodly but what a pleasant trip.
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