In These Times

Submitted by nonesuch on Thu, 06/02/2022 - 17:59
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Release Date
DescriptionExcerpt

In These Times, the new album by percussionist, producer, and composer Makaya McCraven, has been in process since 2015. It’s the album McCraven’s been trying to make since he started making records, an appropriately career-defining body of work. The eleven-song suite was created over seven-plus years, as McCraven strived to fuse odd-meter compositions from his working songbook with orchestral, large-ensemble arrangements and the edit-heavy “organic beat music” he’s honed over the years. With contributions from over a dozen musicians and creative partners from his tight-knit circle of collaborators—including Jeff Parker, Junius Paul, Brandee Younger, Joel Ross, and Marquis Hill—In These Times highlights McCraven’s unique gift for collapsing space, destroying borders, and blending past, present, and future into poly-textural arrangements of post-genre, jazz-rooted 21st-century folk music.

Description

Chicago-based percussionist, composer and producer Makaya McCraven released his new album In These Times, on September 23, 2022, via International Anthem / Nonesuch / XL Recordings. The first offering from the new album is a song tiled “Seventh String,” which encapsulates the various musical dimensions present on McCraven’s new album, a career-defining body of work that is a remarkable new peak for the already-soaring McCraven.

In These Times is a collection of polytemporal compositions inspired as much by broader cultural struggles as McCraven’s personal experience as a product of a multinational, working class musician community. It’s the recording that he’s been trying to create for 7+ years, as it’s been consistently in process in the background while he’s put forth a prolific run of releases including: In The Moment (2015), Highly Rare (2017), Where We Come From (2018), Universal Beings (2018), We’re New Again (2020), Universal Beings E&F Sides (2020), and Deciphering the Message (2021). With contributions from over a dozen musicians and creative partners from his tight-knit circle of collaborators – including Jeff Parker, Junius Paul, Brandee Younger, Joel Ross, and Marquis Hill – the music was recorded in five different studios and four live performance spaces while McCraven engaged in extensive post-production work at home. Featuring orchestral, large ensemble arrangements interwoven with the signature “organic beat music” sound that’s become his signature, the album is an evolution and a milestone for McCraven, the producer. But moreover, it’s the strongest and clearest statement we’ve yet to hear from McCraven, the composer.

Profiled in the New York Times, Vice, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, the Guardian, and NPR, among other publications, Makaya and the music he makes today is what Passion of Weiss explains, “is part of a necessary conversation about the next evolution of the Black improvised music known colloquially as ‘jazz.’ He’s found the threads connecting the past with the present, and is either wrapping them with new colors and textures, or he’s plucking them gleefully like the strings of a grand instrument.”

McCraven, who has been aptly called a “cultural synthesizer” and “beat scientist,” has a unique gift for collapsing space, destroying borders and blending past, present, and future into poly-textural arrangements of post-genre, jazz-rooted 21st century folk music. In These Times encompasses his artistic ethos, his experiences, identity and lineage, while pushing his music to new heights.

ProductionCredits

PRODUCTION CREDITS
Produced by Makaya McCraven
Recorded November 2016—March 2022 at Symphony Center, Chicago (1, 5-7, 10); JAMDEK Studios, Chicago (1, 6); Palisade Studios, Chicago (fka Decade Music Studios) (1-3, 6, 8, 10, 11); Makaya Music Studios (1-4, 6, 8-11); Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis (1); Submerge Studios, Detroit (1, 2, 4, 8, 11); Co-Prosperity Sphere, Chicago (3, 8); Shirk Studios, Chicago (6, 10); Sholo Music Studios, Los Angeles (8); In These Times, Chicago (9)
Engineered by Dave Vettraino (1-3, 5-8, 10, 11), David Allen (1, 6, 9), Najee-Zaid Searcy (1-3, 5-8, 10, 11), De'Sean Jones (1, 2, 8, 11), Akenya Seymour (6), Jeff Parker (8), and Makaya McCraven (1-4, 6, 8-11)
Mixed by Makaya McCraven (1-11), Dave Vettraino (1-3, 5-8, 10, 11), and David Allen (9)
Mastered by Dave Cooley at Elysian Mastering, Los Angeles

Cover Image & Insert Photos Sulyiman Stokes
Art Direction by Caroline Waxse
Design by Jake Simmonds

ns_album_releasedate
Album Status
Artist Name
Makaya McCraven
MusicianDetails

MUSICIANS
Makaya McCraven, drums (1-11), percussions (1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9), tambourine (1), baby sitar (1), synths (1, 3, 8, 10), kalimba (1), handclaps (1, 2), sampler (2, 6, 11), guitar (3), vibraphone (3, 8, 10), Wurlitzer (3), keyboards (9, 11)
Junius Paul, double bass (1, 2, 5-8, 10-11), electric bass guitar (1, 4, 9), small instruments (1), percussion (4), electric bass (6, 10)
Jeff Parker, guitar (1, 3, 6, 8, 9)
Brandee Younger, harp (1, 2, 4-7, 9-11)
Lia Kohl, cello (1-3, 5-8, 10, 11)
Macie Stewart, violin (1-3, 5-8, 10, 11)
Zara Zaharieva, violin (1-3, 5-8, 10, 11)
Marta Sofia Honer, viola (1-3, 5-8, 10, 11)
Greg Ward, alto saxophone (1, 5, 6, 10)
Irvin Pierce, tenor saxophone (1, 2, 5, 6, 10, 11)
Marquis Hill, trumpet (1, 2, 5-6, 10, 11), flugelhorn (7)
Matt Gold, guitar (1, 2, 4-7, 10, 11), baby sitar (1, 4), percussion (4)
Greg Spero, piano (1, 2, 5-7, 10, 11)
Joel Ross, vibraphone (1, 6), marimba (1, 6, 9)
De'Sean Jones, flute (1, 2, 4, 8, 11)
Rob Clearfield, piano (10)

reissues?
new-release
Cover Art
UPC/Price
Label
"Cymbal Sheen" Color LP+MP3
Price
28.00
UPC
075597908503
Label
LP+MP3
Price
23.00
UPC
075597908510
Label
CD+MP3
Price
13.00
UPC
075597908497
Label
44/24 HD FLAC
Price
10.00
UPC
075597906004
Label
MP3
Price
9.00
UPC
075597908541

Track Listing

News & Reviews

  • Makaya McCraven's new album, In These Times, is out now on International Anthem / Nonesuch / XL. It is the album McCraven’s been trying to make since he started making records, an appropriately career-defining body of work. The eleven-song suite was created over seven-plus years, as McCraven strived to fuse odd-meter compositions from his working songbook with orchestral, large-ensemble arrangements and the edit-heavy “organic beat music” he’s honed over the years. With contributions from over a dozen musicians and creative partners from his tight-knit circle of collaborators—including Jeff Parker, Junius Paul, Brandee Younger, Joel Ross, and Marquis Hill—In These Times highlights McCraven’s gift for collapsing space, destroying borders, and blending past, present, and future into poly-textural arrangements of post-genre, jazz-rooted 21st-century folk music.

  • Makaya McCraven has released “The Fours,” the latest single and music visual from his forthcoming new album, In These Times, out September 23. You can watch the video, directed by Ryosuke Tanzawa, here. McCraven will perform music from the album at Public Records in Brooklyn next Monday, September 19, with a special, all-star line-up including Junius Paul, Brandee Younger, De’Sean Jones and the string quartet from the album: Marta Sofia Honer, Macie Stewart, Zara Zaharieva, and Lia Kohl.

  • About This Album

    Chicago-based percussionist, composer and producer Makaya McCraven released his new album In These Times, on September 23, 2022, via International Anthem / Nonesuch / XL Recordings. The first offering from the new album is a song tiled “Seventh String,” which encapsulates the various musical dimensions present on McCraven’s new album, a career-defining body of work that is a remarkable new peak for the already-soaring McCraven.

    In These Times is a collection of polytemporal compositions inspired as much by broader cultural struggles as McCraven’s personal experience as a product of a multinational, working class musician community. It’s the recording that he’s been trying to create for 7+ years, as it’s been consistently in process in the background while he’s put forth a prolific run of releases including: In The Moment (2015), Highly Rare (2017), Where We Come From (2018), Universal Beings (2018), We’re New Again (2020), Universal Beings E&F Sides (2020), and Deciphering the Message (2021). With contributions from over a dozen musicians and creative partners from his tight-knit circle of collaborators – including Jeff Parker, Junius Paul, Brandee Younger, Joel Ross, and Marquis Hill – the music was recorded in five different studios and four live performance spaces while McCraven engaged in extensive post-production work at home. Featuring orchestral, large ensemble arrangements interwoven with the signature “organic beat music” sound that’s become his signature, the album is an evolution and a milestone for McCraven, the producer. But moreover, it’s the strongest and clearest statement we’ve yet to hear from McCraven, the composer.

    Profiled in the New York Times, Vice, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, the Guardian, and NPR, among other publications, Makaya and the music he makes today is what Passion of Weiss explains, “is part of a necessary conversation about the next evolution of the Black improvised music known colloquially as ‘jazz.’ He’s found the threads connecting the past with the present, and is either wrapping them with new colors and textures, or he’s plucking them gleefully like the strings of a grand instrument.”

    McCraven, who has been aptly called a “cultural synthesizer” and “beat scientist,” has a unique gift for collapsing space, destroying borders and blending past, present, and future into poly-textural arrangements of post-genre, jazz-rooted 21st century folk music. In These Times encompasses his artistic ethos, his experiences, identity and lineage, while pushing his music to new heights.

    Credits

    MUSICIANS
    Makaya McCraven, drums (1-11), percussions (1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9), tambourine (1), baby sitar (1), synths (1, 3, 8, 10), kalimba (1), handclaps (1, 2), sampler (2, 6, 11), guitar (3), vibraphone (3, 8, 10), Wurlitzer (3), keyboards (9, 11)
    Junius Paul, double bass (1, 2, 5-8, 10-11), electric bass guitar (1, 4, 9), small instruments (1), percussion (4), electric bass (6, 10)
    Jeff Parker, guitar (1, 3, 6, 8, 9)
    Brandee Younger, harp (1, 2, 4-7, 9-11)
    Lia Kohl, cello (1-3, 5-8, 10, 11)
    Macie Stewart, violin (1-3, 5-8, 10, 11)
    Zara Zaharieva, violin (1-3, 5-8, 10, 11)
    Marta Sofia Honer, viola (1-3, 5-8, 10, 11)
    Greg Ward, alto saxophone (1, 5, 6, 10)
    Irvin Pierce, tenor saxophone (1, 2, 5, 6, 10, 11)
    Marquis Hill, trumpet (1, 2, 5-6, 10, 11), flugelhorn (7)
    Matt Gold, guitar (1, 2, 4-7, 10, 11), baby sitar (1, 4), percussion (4)
    Greg Spero, piano (1, 2, 5-7, 10, 11)
    Joel Ross, vibraphone (1, 6), marimba (1, 6, 9)
    De'Sean Jones, flute (1, 2, 4, 8, 11)
    Rob Clearfield, piano (10)

    PRODUCTION CREDITS
    Produced by Makaya McCraven
    Recorded November 2016—March 2022 at Symphony Center, Chicago (1, 5-7, 10); JAMDEK Studios, Chicago (1, 6); Palisade Studios, Chicago (fka Decade Music Studios) (1-3, 6, 8, 10, 11); Makaya Music Studios (1-4, 6, 8-11); Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis (1); Submerge Studios, Detroit (1, 2, 4, 8, 11); Co-Prosperity Sphere, Chicago (3, 8); Shirk Studios, Chicago (6, 10); Sholo Music Studios, Los Angeles (8); In These Times, Chicago (9)
    Engineered by Dave Vettraino (1-3, 5-8, 10, 11), David Allen (1, 6, 9), Najee-Zaid Searcy (1-3, 5-8, 10, 11), De'Sean Jones (1, 2, 8, 11), Akenya Seymour (6), Jeff Parker (8), and Makaya McCraven (1-4, 6, 8-11)
    Mixed by Makaya McCraven (1-11), Dave Vettraino (1-3, 5-8, 10, 11), and David Allen (9)
    Mastered by Dave Cooley at Elysian Mastering, Los Angeles

    Cover Image & Insert Photos Sulyiman Stokes
    Art Direction by Caroline Waxse
    Design by Jake Simmonds