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Program 612: New Chicago Jazz

KALW Broadcast Date: August 7, 2020 | Host: Mark Abramson

In this episode of Music From Other Minds, we’ll take a look at some of the music coming from some of the younger experimental jazz artists based mainly, with a few exceptions, in Chicago. We’ll feature a number of pieces from Makaya McCraven, who has made a number of albums with techniques normally used to build hip-hop music. He will record live improvisations, sometimes to cassette tape, then digitize the tapes, cut out the interesting bits, then re-assemble them into new arrangements and more structured compositions than normally associated with improvised music. It doesn’t hurt that McCraven and his collaborators are some of the best players around. We’ll also play some work by Chicago-based experimentalist Ben LaMar Gay, whose unorthodox approach to both jazz and hip hop has made his work stand out for it’s eccentricity and creativity. He also channels Tom Ze in an uncanny way on one of the tracks we’ll play. Probably not an accident, as he’s spent some time living in Brazil. We start the program off with a track from ex-Chicagoan, trumpeter Jaimie Branch, whose work stands out for it’s spunk, attitude and the unusual combination of instruments in her ensemble – trumpet, cello, double bass and drums. We’ll also hear a couple tracks from her newest album on which she gets overtly political, communicating her message very effectively with both trumpet and voice. And speaking of political, we’ll end the show with some work from a couple of ensemble projects featuring Moor Mother, the poet, musician and activist Camae Ayewa, from Philadelphia.

Program Audio

30-Second Spot

Track Info & Links
fly-or-die-cover

Title: Theme Nothing (2017)
Composer: Jaimie Branch
Performers: Jaimie Branch, trumpet; Tomeka Reid, cello; Jason Ajemian, bass; Chad Taylor, drums
Recording Title: Fly or Die (2017)
Record Label: International Anthem
Catalog Number: IARC 0011

cover_highly-rare

Title: Above & Beyond & Left Fields (2017)
Composer: Makaya McCraven
Performers: Makaya McCraven, drums, producer, arranger; Junius Paul, bass guitar; Nick Mazzarella, alto saxophone; Ben LaMar Gay, cornet, diddley bow, voice
Recording Title: Highly Rare (2017)
Record Label: International Anthem
Catalog Number: IARC 0013

cover_clepsydra

Title: Looking Up At Down & True Lies of History (2020)
Composer: Moor Mother
Performers: Moor Mother, soundscapes
Recording Title: Clepsydra (2020)
Record Label:
Catalog Number:

cover_downtown-castles

Title: Music For 18 Hairdressers, Jubilee & Swim Swim (2018)
Composer: Ben LaMar Gay
Performers: Ben LaMar Gay, instruments and voices
Recording Title: Downtown Castles Can Never Block The Sun (2018)
Record Label: International Anthem
Catalog Number: IARC 0017

cover_ism

Title: Baker’s Dozen (2019)
Composer: Junius Paul
Performers: Junius Paul, bass, with Isaiah Spencer, Jim Baker & Rajiv Halim
Recording Title: Ism (2019)
Record Label: International Anthem
Catalog Number: IARC 0028

cover_where-we-come-from

Title: Ox Tails, Suite for Artis Gilmore (2018)
Composer: Makaya McCraven
Performers: Makaya McCraven, drums, producer, arranger; Joe Armon-Jones, keyboards; Theon Cross, tuba; Nubya Garcia, sax
Recording Title: Where We Come From (2018)
Record Label: International Anthem
Catalog Number: IARC 0020

cover_universal-beings

Title: Wise Man, Wiser Woman (2018)
Composer: Makaya McCraven
Performers: Makaya McCraven, drums, producer, arranger; Shabaka Hutchings, tenor saxophone; Tomeka Reid, cello; Junius Paul, double bass
Recording Title: Universal Beings (2018)
Record Label: International Anthem
Catalog Number: IARC 0022

cover_were-new-again

Title: Me and the Devil (2020)
Composer: Robert Johnson
Performers: Gil Scott-Heron, Makaya McCraven
Recording Title: Gil Scott-Heron, We’re New Again (2020)
Record Label: XL Recordings
Catalog Number: N/A

cover_fly-or-die-ii

Title: Prayer For Amerikkka Pt. 1 & 2, Nuevo Roquero Estéreo (2019)
Composers: Jaimie Branch
Performers: Jaimie Branch, trumpet, voice, synths; Lester St. Louis, cello, percussion; Jason Ajemian, double bass, percussion, vocals; Chad Taylor, drums, mbira, xylophone; Ben LaMar Gay, voice; Marvin Tate, voice; Matt Schneider, 12-string guitar
Recording Title: Fly Or Die II (2019)
Record Label: International Anthem
Catalog Number: IARC 0027

cover_kudu

Title: Fossil Record (2018)
Composers: Jaimie Branch & Jason Nazary
Performers: Jaimie Branch, trumpet, electronics; Jason Nazary, drums and electronics
Recording Title: Kudu (2018)
Record Label: International Anthem
Catalog Number: IARC 0018

cover_irreversible-entanglements

Title: Chicago To Texas (2017)
Composers: Irreversible Entanglements
Performers: Camae Ayewa, voice, texts; Keir Neuringer, saxophone, percussion; Aquiles Navarro, trumpet, percussion; Luke Stewart, double Bass, percussion; Tcheser Holmes, drums, congas
Recording Title: Irreversible Entanglements (2017)
Record Label: International Anthem
Catalog Number: IARC 0014

cover_offering-live-at-le-guess-who

Title: Up Out Of The Ugly (2020)
Composers: Nicole Mitchell & Moor Mother
Performers: Camae Ayewa, voice, texts, electronics; Nicole Mitchell, flutes, electronics
Recording Title: Offering – Live At Le Guess Who (2020)
Record Label:
Catalog Number:

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