SXSW Wednesday Record Reviews

Yussef Kamaal

Black Focus (Brownswood)

SXSW Wednesday Record Reviews

Following in the paths of American jazz counterparts Robert Glasper and Kamasi Washington, UK jazz savants Yussef Kamaal weave a fabric of the genre steering free of up-nosed traditionalist conventions in pursuit of exploratory grooves and improvisation on Black Focus. In frenetic finale "Joint 17," Kamaal Williams' keys float like smoke over drummer Yussef Dayes' frantic stick work sweeping through a ballast of rumbling bass buzz. Coalescing the bass-rich sounds of European club culture and Afrobeat rhythmic percussions, the duo swims through a wash of Seventies fusion epics. (Wed. 15, the Main II, 1am)

****

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