Reimagining Jazz: New releases by Jeremy Cunningham, Moses Boyd & Makaya Mc Craven

The free jazz music scene over the last months has been amazing with almost weekly fresh & eclectic tunes from South London, Chicago or Helsinki, by labels like, We Jazz, Gondwana, International Anthem and artists like Makaya Mc Craven or Jaimie Branch.

So let´s start this blog post with another fresh gem from from Chicago´s vibrant jazz scene,  that releases the 28th february 2020 by Northern Spy, “The Weather up there” by Chicago´s drummer Jeremy Cunningham.

It´s a tribute and an homage to his brother, who has been assassinated in a robbery in 2008, so we hear some collages from his family. talking about this incident.  Although sometimes the narration of these fragments of the family interrupts the flow of the album, on the same time you´ll feel the tension and the irreality of this tragedy.

Accompanied by Jaimie Branch (trumpet) and Jeff Parker (guitar), this is another great example of innovative jazz music these days.

Northern Spy:

“Chicago drummer and composer Jeremy Cunningham wrote The Weather Up There in response to the loss of his brother Andrew, who died in a home invasion robbery in 2008. Co-produced by Jeff Parker and Paul Bryan, and engineered by Paul Bryan and John McEntire, this new work confronts the tragedy of violence and examines the acute ripple effect on several people’s lives through the lens of memory, response, and collage. Further deepening the textural and emotive impact, Cunningham formed a “drum choir” for these recordings, comprised of close mentors and colleagues Mike Reed, Makaya McCraven, and Mikel Patrick Avery. Cunningham also taps regular collaborators Ben LaMar Gay, Jaimie Branch, Tomeka Reid, Dustin Laurenzi, Matt Ulery, and Josh Johnson ”


Another thrilling, more club and dancefloor orientated jazz LP is called Dark Matter by Moses Boyd,  released a few weeks ago. Moses Boyd, who is playing tonight in sold out Privatclub, is a drummer and has released an EP and  few collaborations and mixes with more dancfloor related artists and this is his debut release.

Here you´ll find everything, that makes this new hybrid “jazz” releases so unpredictable and fresh: Afrobeat, Clubsounds, spiritual jazz, r & b sounds with female guest singer Poppy Ajudha, conscious soul-jazz, breakbeats – sometimes almost in its eclecticism a bit too much even.


At last, listen to the fascinating re-interpretation of Gil – Scott Heron´s 2009 Masterpiece “I´m new here” by Makaya Mc Craven, called “We´re new again – a reimagination” (XL). Makaya Mc Craven who has been released since around 5 years or so an incredible output of records called mixtapes and he is is maybe together with the more classical orientated Kamasi Washington one of the leading figures of the new US free Jazz Scene. And this record is in no way disappointing, moreover he manages to celebrate and reinvent Gil Scott Heron to the new decade.

So here´s a new wave of reimagining Jazz.  Can´t wait for the next release!

This entry was posted in berlin to go, playlists / mixes / compilations, reviews, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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