Makaya McCraven's New Album, 'In These Times,' Out Now

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Submitted by nonesuch on Fri, 09/23/2022 - 06:00
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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.

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Chicago-based percussionist, composer, and producer Makaya McCraven’s new album, In These Times, is out now via International Anthem / Nonesuch / XL Recordings. Also out today is a music visualizer for “So Ubuji,” the third in a series (“Seventh String,” “Dream Another”) directed by Nik Arthur, featuring hand-drawn, digital and photographic animations composed and laser-etched into stone in the style of a zoopraxiscope. You can watch the video for “So Ubuji” below and purchase and listen to In These Times here.

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 seven plus 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.

You can take a look inside the album here:

McCraven spent the summer touring the global jazz-festival circuit, with Paste magazine noting that his “boundary-pushing free improvisations” have categorized him as one of the “new generation of jazz masters.” He headlined performances at NYC’s Central Park Summerstage and the opening of Chicago’s Salt Shed and played to some of the largest crowds at Newport Jazz Festival and Montreal Jazzfest, with WBGO noting of his recent appearance at Montreal: “(McCraven) showcased the many sides of his music, from hip-hop to the avant-garde. Whatever you call it, it’s music you can dance to, and definitely connects with the audience.”

Profiled in the New York Times, Vice, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, the Guardian, and NPR, among other publications, 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. While In These Times is McCraven’s eighth album, in some sense, he’s only just arrived.

MAKAYA MCCRAVEN ON TOUR

Oct 15 Chan Centre for the Performing Arts Vancouver, BC
Oct 17 Bluebird Theater Denver, CO
Oct 18 Lulu's Downstairs Manitou Springs, CO
Oct 19 Fox Theatre Boulder, CO
Oct 21 Revolution Hall Portland, OR
Oct 23 The Independent San Francisco, CA
Oct 25 Earshot Jazz at Nectar Lounge Seattle, WA
Oct 27 Kuumbwa Jazz Center Santa Cruz, CA
Oct 28 The Outpost Albuquerque, NM
Oct 29 Musical Instrument Museum Phoenix, AZ
Oct 30 Jazz Is Dead at The Lodge Room Los Angeles, CA
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Makaya McCraven: 'In These Times' [cover]
  • Friday, September 23, 2022
    Makaya McCraven's New Album, 'In These Times,' Out Now

    Chicago-based percussionist, composer, and producer Makaya McCraven’s new album, In These Times, is out now via International Anthem / Nonesuch / XL Recordings. Also out today is a music visualizer for “So Ubuji,” the third in a series (“Seventh String,” “Dream Another”) directed by Nik Arthur, featuring hand-drawn, digital and photographic animations composed and laser-etched into stone in the style of a zoopraxiscope. You can watch the video for “So Ubuji” below and purchase and listen to In These Times here.

    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 seven plus 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.

    You can take a look inside the album here:

    McCraven spent the summer touring the global jazz-festival circuit, with Paste magazine noting that his “boundary-pushing free improvisations” have categorized him as one of the “new generation of jazz masters.” He headlined performances at NYC’s Central Park Summerstage and the opening of Chicago’s Salt Shed and played to some of the largest crowds at Newport Jazz Festival and Montreal Jazzfest, with WBGO noting of his recent appearance at Montreal: “(McCraven) showcased the many sides of his music, from hip-hop to the avant-garde. Whatever you call it, it’s music you can dance to, and definitely connects with the audience.”

    Profiled in the New York Times, Vice, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, the Guardian, and NPR, among other publications, 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. While In These Times is McCraven’s eighth album, in some sense, he’s only just arrived.

    MAKAYA MCCRAVEN ON TOUR

    Oct 15 Chan Centre for the Performing Arts Vancouver, BC
    Oct 17 Bluebird Theater Denver, CO
    Oct 18 Lulu's Downstairs Manitou Springs, CO
    Oct 19 Fox Theatre Boulder, CO
    Oct 21 Revolution Hall Portland, OR
    Oct 23 The Independent San Francisco, CA
    Oct 25 Earshot Jazz at Nectar Lounge Seattle, WA
    Oct 27 Kuumbwa Jazz Center Santa Cruz, CA
    Oct 28 The Outpost Albuquerque, NM
    Oct 29 Musical Instrument Museum Phoenix, AZ
    Oct 30 Jazz Is Dead at The Lodge Room Los Angeles, CA
    Journal Articles:Album ReleaseArtist News

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