Laggy drumbeats + an unspecified, but tipsy time of day x all the Groove in the Jazzman’s shoes = Makaya McCraven
Makaya McCraven is a self-titled Beat Scientist. Nine times out of ten this type of proclamation would leave the recipient cringing in their seat. In this case however, we have the lion who named himself Roar.
McCraven’s work is influenced by the smooth combination of Hip Hop and Groove, although it tightly centres itself in the world of Jazz. Highly regarded in the genre (check out the reviews!), Makaya, made his first splash with his debut album, Split Decision, in 2012. A Huge presence on drums, his track 'Shades of Grey' shows us exactly what’s up this guy’s lab coat sleeve.
Even though this debut album is an absolute goldmine (perfect for fast-paced work sprints), it was McCraven’s second album that edged the drummer into the spotlight. Due to its peculiar creation, In the Moment whipped up a deserving buzz around its release. The album was carved from 48 hours of live, improvisational music recorded over 28 gigs. All the gigs took place during the artist’s residency at The Bedford, Chicago.
Having gathered a mass of free-flowing jazz grooves, McCraven stuck on his well worn producer cap and went to work whittling a single album from this enviable collection of experiences. As you’d expect, the album is varied, percussive, and tireless (although not as restless as it’s predecessor). This beat scientist’s monster was certainly made in the image of its creator. Take a listen to 'Gnawa'. It emits a vibe similar to that of a shamanic ritual in fast-forward - pure magic:
Most of the album’s tracks exist in the hustle and bustle of a keen audience taking their seats, but later we’re given some slower jams to sit with. Take Dimmer for example; its meter tells the story of a hollow can brought to life by a lazy wind