SHABAKA — Perceive Its Beauty, Acknowledge Its Grace

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3.50 | 1 rating | 1 review
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Album · 2024

Filed under Nu Jazz
By SHABAKA

Tracklist

1 End of Innocence
2 As the Planets and the Stars Collapse
3 Insecurities feat. Moses Sumney
4 Managing My Breath, What Fear Had Become feat. Saul Williams
5 The Wounded Need to Be Replenished
6 Body to Inhabit feat. Elucid
7 I’ll Do Whatever You Want feat. Floating Points & Laraaji
8 Living feat. Eska Mtungwazi
9 Breathing
10 Kiss Me Before I Forget feat. Lianne La Havas
11 Song of the Motherland feat. Anum Lyapo

Line-up/Musicians

Bass – Esperanza Spalding, Tom Herbert
Saxophone, Clarinet, Shakuhachi, Flute [Bamboo], Quena, Flute [Svirel] – Shabaka Hutchings
Drums – Marcus Gilmore, Nasheet Waits
Electronics – Chris Sholar
Electric Piano [Rhodes Chroma] – Floating Points
Flute [Teotihuacan Drone Flute] – André 3000
Guitar – Dave Okumu
Percussion – Carlos Niño
Piano – Jason Moran, Nduduzo Makhathini
Synthesizer – Surya Botofasina
Harp – Brandee Younger, Charles Overton
Violin, Viola, Cello, Written-By [Violin, Viola, Cello Writing & Performance] – Miguel Atwood-Ferguson
Vocals – Moses Sumney, Saul Williams, Elucid, Laraaji, Eska, Lianne La Havas, Anum Iyapo
Violin, Viola, Cello, Written-By [Violin, Viola, Cello Writing & Performance] – Miguel Atwood-Ferguson

About this release

Impulse! – 00602465050356 (Europe)

Recorded At Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey; The Church, London; RAK Studios; Dock Street Studios

Thanks to snobb for the addition

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SHABAKA ACKNOWLEDGE ITS GRACE PERCEIVE ITS BEAUTY reviews

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snobb
I spent last week almost locked in by cold windy and rainy weather in a small apartment in "Dear old Stockholm" (which didn't look all that dear under occasional snowflakes falling around in the second half of April). Under lead-heavy clouds, the only things that brightened my mood there were seagulls' screams flying over the town and a few CDs I took with me for the trip. Shabaka's "Perceive Its Beauty, Acknowledge Its Grace" was one of them.

Band leader and reeds player Shabaka Hutchings is with no doubt the most significant figure of a new generation of the London jazz scene. For a decade he dictates musical fashions with his projects, Sons of Kemet, The Comet is Coming and Shabaka & the Ancestors covering the wide range of genres from space-jazz to Afro-beat and avant-garde jazz. Still, till now his music was always very rhythmic, energetic and often explosive.

On "Perceive Its Beauty, Acknowledge Its Grace", Shabaka's first real solo album, he plays predominantly flute (not saxophones or bass clarinet, as he usually did before). As a result, we got a very much flute-jazz album, which can be an acquired taste.

Shabaka, quite predictably for such kind of music, starts somewhere between new age and world fusion here on his new album, fortunately he develops it towards more sophisticated and tasteful contemporary jazz with melodic songs and touch of electronics. There is a list of renown musicians participating here, but still it is obvious that Shabaka is an obvious leader. Even playing the music which doesn't associates with him a lot (predominantly Far Eastern, Eastern European and Latin American flutes), Shabaka sounds a bit like Shabaka from Comet... or Shabaka from Sons of Kemet.

Among the guests, there are participating pianist Jason Moran (on two songs) and rising South African star Nduduzo Makhathini, Floating Points on Rhodes electric piano, renown bassist Esperanza Spalding (on two songs), respectable New York drummer Nasheet Waits and even freshly established flutist André 3000. Still there are vocalists/rapers who's participation is probably most influential.

Differently from all of Shabaka's previous music, "Perceive Its Beauty..." is a heavily meditative and quite relaxed work, fortunately it doesn't slip into esoteric sleepy listening. Arrangements are all tasteful and quite original, rhythm changes are presented too, each of the songs included has it own face.

Never a big jazz flute fan, I chose this album because of my interest in Shabaka's music. Still, this music really made my day brighter, more comfortable and harmonic, even under dark Nordic sky. I believe those appreciating flute in jazz will find much more to enjoy.

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