Music Reviews

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Universal Beings E&F / Makaya McCraven

Makaya McCraven - Universal Beings E&F

International Anthem

"Universal Beings E&F Sides" presents fourteen new tracks from the critcally acclaimed 2018 release from drummer Makaya McCraven. One of the reasons these sessions were so special was the collaboration of emerging UK musicians playing alongside US musicians from the Chicago based label International Anthem. The roster resembles an all star lineup with Saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings, bassist Tomeka Reid, guitarist Jeff Parker, harpist Brandee Younger and others. "E&F" is a mixture of live recordings and studio sessions arranged by McCraven. "Half Steppin" is a searing tune highlighted by Soweto Kinch's alto sax rhythms and Kamaal Williams on keys. In addition McCraven's infectious broken beats make this track enjoyable either on the dance floor or any other setting. "Kings and Queens" features the dynamic interplay between McCraven and Hutchings while Junius Paul's funky double bass takes the track to greater heights. "Universal Beings E&F Sides" showcases a community of like minded musicians creating genre bending music with strands of hip-hop, jazz and much more. Their talents are in the capable hands of McCraven who weaves it all together into a marvelous artistic gem.

Reg Dancy, 08/20