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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released April 24, 2020 | Brownswood Recordings

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Jazz - Released April 10, 2020 | Brownswood Recordings

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 3, 2020 | Brownswood Recordings

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 11, 2020 | Brownswood Recordings

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Africa - Released March 3, 2020 | Brownswood Recordings

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released February 28, 2020 | Brownswood Recordings

Kassa Overall is not the first musician to address the boundaries between jazz and hip-hop, but he is among the most visionary in trying to erase them. Many younger jazz players (Overall is a fine drummer) have grown up with hip-hop as a, if not the, cultural prime mover in popular music since the early 1990s. Overall tried to synthesize them into a whole on his debut album Go Get Ice Cream and Listen to Jazz in 2019, to create a new genre made of equal parts. I Think I'm Good is Overall's first for Gilles Peterson's Brownswood. It's more confident, as if Overall, the Brooklyn-based MC, singer, drummer, and jazzman, can see the horizon of his aesthetic vision coming into view. With a cast of bright, young up and comers and seasoned players alike, he pushes ahead, rapping and singing about mental illness: nowhere in jazz or pop has it been taken on with such an even-keeled, unflinchingly honest, first-person gaze. Overall uses hip-hop production in service to his lyric and musical M.O. On opener "Visible Walls," harpist Brandee Younger, bass clarinetist Morgan Guerin, and Jay Ghandi on bansuri flute engage with one another as Overall sings almost prayerfully, “I hope they let me go tonight… I pray that you can sleep tonight.” It's laid-back, with Mike King's synth and bass adding pronounced but fluid layers of rhythm. Overall voices his protagonist's desire to be freed from the walls of an imprisoning hospital, but he also addresses the interior voices wreaking havoc on his mind. "Find Me (feat. J. Hoard)" offers twinned samples from Aaron Parks' piano with Julius Rodriguez's live playing and Guerin's EWI, sax, and electric bass. They hover above Overall's syncopated drum kit in a fluid gumbo at once musically adventurous and heartbreakingly soulful. Angela Davis guests alongside Hoard on "Show Me a Prison," with its sinister rhythms and Craig Taborn's doomy, sampled piano as they crisscross neo-soul and jazz cadences with hip-hop and dissolve into one another as Overall adds an elusive croon. "Landline" is a harrowing and explosive autobiographical duet with brother and saxophonist Carlos Overall. "The Best of Life," with Parks, additional drummer Joe Dyson, and guitarist Rafiq Bhatia create a strange, delightful meld of Ramsey Lewis-esque pianistic lyricism (Parks can play anything), Los Angeles-style rhythmic interplay, and slippery yet speedy East Coast rap to carry the poignant lyrics about drug addiction home. The closer, "Was She Happy (For Geri Allen)," is a moody, nearly cinematic tribute duet between Vijay Iyer's Rhodes piano and Overall's drum kit. Ultimately, I Think I'm Good is not merely the work of a fine backpack producer, but that of a master conceptualist and painterly musician compelled by both a rigorous aesthetic sensibility and the weighty importance of his chosen topics to deliver a provocative and genuinely seamless musical fusion for the future. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released February 5, 2020 | Brownswood Recordings

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 15, 2019 | Brownswood Recordings

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 11, 2019 | Brownswood Recordings

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Soul - Released September 20, 2019 | Brownswood Recordings

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Turn to Clear View is the second Brownswood offering from Ezra Collective keyboard wizard and genre-blurring auteur Joe Armon-Jones. It follows his acclaimed Starting Today by nearly 18 months, and features a similar lineup that includes drummers Kwake Bass and Moses Boyd, trumpeter (and fellow EC member) Dylan Jones, saxophonists Nubya Garcia and James Mollison, guitarist Oscar Jerome, and bassists David Mrakpor and Mutale Chashi. The set's vocalists include Asheber, Georgia Anne Muldrow, rapper Jehst, and Afrobeat singer Obongjayar. Longtime collaborator Maxwell Owin is also here assisting Armon-Jones with production. Turn to Clear View is quite similar in sound and feel to its predecessor, perhaps because it was cut almost immediately afterwards. These songs were penned quickly with basic tracks cut over two days. Armon-Jones spent months overdubbing and in post-production. The album is steeped in South London's nearly boundary-less jazz aesthetic, 21st century California-influenced funk and neo-soul, exploratory IDM, dub, sunny hip-hop, and, to a lesser degree, Afrobeat. Opener "Try Walk with Me," featuring Asheber, offers a juxtaposition of a dubwise bassline, simple but spidery Rhodes (that possesses the feel of a RZA mix), bumping snares, and a horn chart that sounds like it came from arranger Gerald Wilson after a baked night of sativic indulgence. Asheber's tenor singing floats through rather than above it, absorbed in the space-jazz mix until he becomes one with it. Muldrow appears on the set's single "Yellow Dandelion." Its horns caress as synths twinkle through a multi-tracked backing vocal chorus, and swaggering, electric piano grooves that recall the spirit of Herbie Hancock's Fat Albert's Rotunda. "Icy Roads (Stacked)" is another highlight; it's an instrumental fusion of dub, skittering IDM, and propulsive jazz-funk. It's followed by another instrumental in "Know Who You’re Followed By," whose groove is set deep in the fissure between South London's nu-fusion school and the spiritual soul-jazz of Kamasi Washington, complete with sprawling vocal choruses and a killer solo from Armon-Jones. "Gnawa Sweet," with its casual loping horn section and Rhodes vamps, slithers through jazz-funk exuding a humid vibe. Garcia is featured on "You Didn’t Care," whose beats sputter, swagger, and kick to the inside from a post-drum 'n' bass universe. Her canny tenor sax solo, saturated in blues and modal post-bop, soars. Closer "Self-Love," featuring Obongjayar, weds Afrobeat, souled-out funk, and hip-hop in a trippy mélange. Its abundant positivity is infectious. Turn to Clear View isn’t as ear-opening as other dates Armon-Jones played a large role in this year -- namely, Ezra Collective's You Can't Steal My Joy, and the unbapologetically straight acoustic jazz that saxophonistr Binker Golding delivered on his completely inspired Abstractions of Reality Past and Incredible Feathers. That said, it's througholy enjoyable, uplifting, and a fitting "part two" addendum to the sound explored on Starting Today. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Latin Jazz - Released September 6, 2019 | Brownswood Recordings

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Latin Jazz - Released September 4, 2019 | Brownswood Recordings

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released July 24, 2019 | Brownswood Recordings

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Jazz - Released July 19, 2019 | Brownswood Recordings

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Jazz - Released July 12, 2019 | Brownswood Recordings

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World - Released July 10, 2019 | Brownswood Recordings

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released June 5, 2019 | Brownswood Recordings

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 24, 2019 | Brownswood Recordings

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"Musically the album is a melting pot and shows Pelembe’s love of trippy folk and hip-hop equally." © TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released April 24, 2019 | Brownswood Recordings

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Jazz - Released April 23, 2019 | Brownswood Recordings

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