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Kamasi Washington|Final Floor

Final Floor

Throttle Elevator Music

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Throttle Elevator Music was never a conventional band. From 2011 to 2017 they existed as a studio cooperative assembled by Wide Hive Records' founder, producer, engineer, and composer Gregory Howe (who is also a brilliant guitarist). The lineup included saxophonist Kamasi Washington, pianist/bassist Matt Montgomery, and guitarist/drummer Mike Hughes. Between 2012 and 2017 their core membership expanded to include trumpeter and flugelhornist Erik Jekabson, guitarist Ross Howe, saxophonist Kasey Knudsen, and organist/keyboardist Mike Blankenship. They released five riveting albums that collided at the intersection of modern jazz, garage rock, funk, dub reggae, and soundtrack music. Six months after the issue of 2020's Emergency Exit -- assembled from ten years of previously unissued sessions -- they released Final Floor, a second helping of studio extras, alternates, outtakes, and demos. Howe claims that this is the collective's final will and testament. Because of his dogged restlessness, aesthetic vision, and capable ear, Howe is adament that Final Floor is not an inferior, kitchen sink collection of castoffs. Instead it's a set of inspired ideas that could easily have found a place on any of the group's releases carefully sequenced into an aesthetic whole. Opener "Supraliminal Space" uses the first 30 bars of Deodato's "Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001)" in weaving a spectral yet pulsing exploratory frame that expands on their inspiration. Ticking ride cymbals, channel-shifting guitars, rumbling tom-toms, and an exchange of spacy piano and organ lines underscore the frontline of Jekabson, Knudsen, and Washington. They play in striated harmonies before descending -- with the use of reverb and other effects -- into a musical no man's land akin Miles Davis, Lalo Schifrin, and Brian Eno. "Daggerboard" emerges at a languid pace from an undulating rhythm section that slowly increases the dramatic tension around Jekabson's lyric flow. When Washington and Knudsen enter, the harmony spirals and the rhythms surrender. "Ice Windows" is a bubbling dubwise rocker that weds funky guitars to bluesy, swaggering horns before exploding into a maelstrom of color, texture, and dynamic. The gnarly chug and groove of the title track signifies what the Ventures would have sounded like if they'd added horns to their army of guitars. "Heart of Hearing" spirals across reggae, funk, orchestral jazz (thanks to excellent horn overdubs), and nasty garage rock. Jekabson trades fours with the saxophonists individually, as distorted guitars, interlocking keyboard lines, and the rhythm section ratchet up the intensity around them. "Standards Reproached" is a perfect fusion of filthy-sounding punk rock and out jazz. Closer "Rooftop Sunrise" sounds like a lost film cue from a chase scene in Across 110th Street. It commences with a nearly stifling closeness before Jekabson's trumpet breaks out amid nasty-sounding surf guitars, pulsating keys, clattering snares, and grooving saxes. For seven years, Throttle Elevator Music functioned as a perfectly balanced collective that explored ephemeral connections between musical genres, eras, and different individual approaches. Their recordings, including, and perhaps especially, Final Floor, document where they met, explored, and emerged with a creative, multi-faceted, singularly expressive voice.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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Final Floor

Kamasi Washington

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1
Supraliminal Space
Throttle Elevator Music
00:04:41

Erik Jekabson, FeaturedArtist - Jimmy Fontana, AdditionalEngineer - Matt Montgomery, Composer - Kamasi Washington, FeaturedArtist - Sly Spread Music BMI, MusicPublisher - Throttle Elevator Music, MainArtist - Gregory Howe, Composer, Producer, FeaturedArtist, RecordingEngineer, ProductionCoordinator - Justin Weis, MasteringEngineer - Alberto Hernendez, MixingEngineer - Qualcummolineeausestepulens BMI, MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Wide Hive Records (P) 2021 Wide Hive Records

2
Caste Off
Throttle Elevator Music
00:02:52

Erik Jekabson, FeaturedArtist - Jimmy Fontana, AdditionalEngineer - Matt Montgomery, Composer - Kamasi Washington, FeaturedArtist - Sly Spread Music BMI, MusicPublisher - Throttle Elevator Music, MainArtist - Gregory Howe, Composer, Producer, FeaturedArtist, RecordingEngineer, ProductionCoordinator - Justin Weis, MasteringEngineer - Alberto Hernendez, MixingEngineer - Qualcummolineeausestepulens BMI, MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Wide Hive Records (P) 2021 Wide Hive Records

3
Daggerboard
Throttle Elevator Music
00:04:38

Erik Jekabson, Composer, FeaturedArtist - Jimmy Fontana, AdditionalEngineer - Matt Montgomery, Composer - Kamasi Washington, FeaturedArtist - Sly Spread Music BMI, MusicPublisher - Throttle Elevator Music, MainArtist - Gregory Howe, Composer, Producer, FeaturedArtist, RecordingEngineer, ProductionCoordinator - Justin Weis, MasteringEngineer - Alberto Hernendez, MixingEngineer - Qualcummolineeausestepulens BMI, MusicPublisher - Jekabs Music BMI, MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Wide Hive Records (P) 2021 Wide Hive Records

4
Ice Windows
Throttle Elevator Music
00:03:52

Erik Jekabson, FeaturedArtist - Jimmy Fontana, AdditionalEngineer - Matt Montgomery, Composer - Kamasi Washington, FeaturedArtist - Sly Spread Music BMI, MusicPublisher - Throttle Elevator Music, MainArtist - Gregory Howe, Composer, Producer, FeaturedArtist, RecordingEngineer, ProductionCoordinator - Justin Weis, MasteringEngineer - Alberto Hernendez, MixingEngineer - Qualcummolineeausestepulens BMI, MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Wide Hive Records (P) 2021 Wide Hive Records

5
Recirculate
Throttle Elevator Music
00:03:03

Erik Jekabson, FeaturedArtist - Jimmy Fontana, AdditionalEngineer - Matt Montgomery, Composer - Kamasi Washington, FeaturedArtist - Sly Spread Music BMI, MusicPublisher - Throttle Elevator Music, MainArtist - Gregory Howe, Composer, Producer, FeaturedArtist, RecordingEngineer, ProductionCoordinator - Justin Weis, MasteringEngineer - Alberto Hernendez, MixingEngineer - Qualcummolineeausestepulens BMI, MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Wide Hive Records (P) 2021 Wide Hive Records

6
Final Floor
Throttle Elevator Music
00:04:30

Erik Jekabson, Composer, FeaturedArtist - Jimmy Fontana, AdditionalEngineer - Matt Montgomery, Composer - Kamasi Washington, FeaturedArtist - Sly Spread Music BMI, MusicPublisher - Throttle Elevator Music, MainArtist - Gregory Howe, Composer, Producer, FeaturedArtist, RecordingEngineer, ProductionCoordinator - Justin Weis, MasteringEngineer - Alberto Hernendez, MixingEngineer - Qualcummolineeausestepulens BMI, MusicPublisher - Jekabs Music BMI, MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Wide Hive Records (P) 2021 Wide Hive Records

7
Heart of Hearing
Throttle Elevator Music
00:04:03

Erik Jekabson, Composer, FeaturedArtist - Jimmy Fontana, AdditionalEngineer - Matt Montgomery, Composer - Kamasi Washington, FeaturedArtist - Sly Spread Music BMI, MusicPublisher - Throttle Elevator Music, MainArtist - Gregory Howe, Composer, Producer, FeaturedArtist, RecordingEngineer, ProductionCoordinator - Justin Weis, MasteringEngineer - Alberto Hernendez, MixingEngineer - Qualcummolineeausestepulens BMI, MusicPublisher - Jekabs Music BMI, MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Wide Hive Records (P) 2021 Wide Hive Records

8
Return to Form
Throttle Elevator Music
00:02:21

Erik Jekabson, FeaturedArtist - Jimmy Fontana, AdditionalEngineer - Matt Montgomery, Composer - Kamasi Washington, FeaturedArtist - Sly Spread Music BMI, MusicPublisher - Throttle Elevator Music, MainArtist - Gregory Howe, Composer, Producer, FeaturedArtist, RecordingEngineer, ProductionCoordinator - Justin Weis, MasteringEngineer - Alberto Hernendez, MixingEngineer - Qualcummolineeausestepulens BMI, MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Wide Hive Records (P) 2021 Wide Hive Records

9
Standards Reproached
Throttle Elevator Music
00:00:45

Erik Jekabson, FeaturedArtist - Jimmy Fontana, AdditionalEngineer - Matt Montgomery, Composer - Kamasi Washington, FeaturedArtist - Sly Spread Music BMI, MusicPublisher - Throttle Elevator Music, MainArtist - Gregory Howe, Composer, Producer, FeaturedArtist, RecordingEngineer, ProductionCoordinator - Justin Weis, MasteringEngineer - Alberto Hernendez, MixingEngineer - Qualcummolineeausestepulens BMI, MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Wide Hive Records (P) 2021 Wide Hive Records

10
Fast Remorse
Throttle Elevator Music
00:03:43

Erik Jekabson, FeaturedArtist - Jimmy Fontana, AdditionalEngineer - Matt Montgomery, Composer - Kamasi Washington, FeaturedArtist - Sly Spread Music BMI, MusicPublisher - Throttle Elevator Music, MainArtist - Gregory Howe, Composer, Producer, FeaturedArtist, RecordingEngineer, ProductionCoordinator - Justin Weis, MasteringEngineer - Alberto Hernendez, MixingEngineer - Qualcummolineeausestepulens BMI, MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Wide Hive Records (P) 2021 Wide Hive Records

11
Rooftop Sunrise
Throttle Elevator Music
00:05:12

Erik Jekabson, Composer, FeaturedArtist - Jimmy Fontana, AdditionalEngineer - Matt Montgomery, Composer - Kamasi Washington, FeaturedArtist - Sly Spread Music BMI, MusicPublisher - Throttle Elevator Music, MainArtist - Gregory Howe, Composer, Producer, FeaturedArtist, RecordingEngineer, ProductionCoordinator - Justin Weis, MasteringEngineer - Alberto Hernendez, MixingEngineer - Qualcummolineeausestepulens BMI, MusicPublisher - Jekabs Music BMI, MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Wide Hive Records (P) 2021 Wide Hive Records

Album Description

Throttle Elevator Music was never a conventional band. From 2011 to 2017 they existed as a studio cooperative assembled by Wide Hive Records' founder, producer, engineer, and composer Gregory Howe (who is also a brilliant guitarist). The lineup included saxophonist Kamasi Washington, pianist/bassist Matt Montgomery, and guitarist/drummer Mike Hughes. Between 2012 and 2017 their core membership expanded to include trumpeter and flugelhornist Erik Jekabson, guitarist Ross Howe, saxophonist Kasey Knudsen, and organist/keyboardist Mike Blankenship. They released five riveting albums that collided at the intersection of modern jazz, garage rock, funk, dub reggae, and soundtrack music. Six months after the issue of 2020's Emergency Exit -- assembled from ten years of previously unissued sessions -- they released Final Floor, a second helping of studio extras, alternates, outtakes, and demos. Howe claims that this is the collective's final will and testament. Because of his dogged restlessness, aesthetic vision, and capable ear, Howe is adament that Final Floor is not an inferior, kitchen sink collection of castoffs. Instead it's a set of inspired ideas that could easily have found a place on any of the group's releases carefully sequenced into an aesthetic whole. Opener "Supraliminal Space" uses the first 30 bars of Deodato's "Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001)" in weaving a spectral yet pulsing exploratory frame that expands on their inspiration. Ticking ride cymbals, channel-shifting guitars, rumbling tom-toms, and an exchange of spacy piano and organ lines underscore the frontline of Jekabson, Knudsen, and Washington. They play in striated harmonies before descending -- with the use of reverb and other effects -- into a musical no man's land akin Miles Davis, Lalo Schifrin, and Brian Eno. "Daggerboard" emerges at a languid pace from an undulating rhythm section that slowly increases the dramatic tension around Jekabson's lyric flow. When Washington and Knudsen enter, the harmony spirals and the rhythms surrender. "Ice Windows" is a bubbling dubwise rocker that weds funky guitars to bluesy, swaggering horns before exploding into a maelstrom of color, texture, and dynamic. The gnarly chug and groove of the title track signifies what the Ventures would have sounded like if they'd added horns to their army of guitars. "Heart of Hearing" spirals across reggae, funk, orchestral jazz (thanks to excellent horn overdubs), and nasty garage rock. Jekabson trades fours with the saxophonists individually, as distorted guitars, interlocking keyboard lines, and the rhythm section ratchet up the intensity around them. "Standards Reproached" is a perfect fusion of filthy-sounding punk rock and out jazz. Closer "Rooftop Sunrise" sounds like a lost film cue from a chase scene in Across 110th Street. It commences with a nearly stifling closeness before Jekabson's trumpet breaks out amid nasty-sounding surf guitars, pulsating keys, clattering snares, and grooving saxes. For seven years, Throttle Elevator Music functioned as a perfectly balanced collective that explored ephemeral connections between musical genres, eras, and different individual approaches. Their recordings, including, and perhaps especially, Final Floor, document where they met, explored, and emerged with a creative, multi-faceted, singularly expressive voice.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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