Next Collective: Cover Art
Label: CONCORD JAZZ INC.
1 Twice - 2 No Church In The Wild - 3 Africa - 4:23 4 Fly Or Die - 5 Oceans - 6 Refractions In The Plastic Pulse - 7 Marvins Room - 4:35 8 Come Smoke My Herb - 9 Perth - 10 Thank You - 3:49
A jazz supergroup comprised of some of the biggest up-and-coming names in forward-thinking jazz, Next Collective features saxophonists Logan Richardson and Walter Smith, guitarist Matthew Stevens, pianist Gerald Clayton, keyboardist Kris Bowers, bassist Ben Williams and drummer Jamire Williams. Also joining in on the group's 2013 debut album, Cover Art, is acclaimed New Orleans trumpeter Christian Scott. Straddling the line between contemporary jazz, R&B, hip-hop and harmonically advanced post-bop, Cover Art showcases Next Collective performing a variety of cover songs by contemporary artists like Jay-Z, D'Angelo, Pearl Jam, Drake, and others. In many ways, the album seems like an inspired attempt at developing body of "new standards" for jazz musicians much in the same way that previous generations cover pop songs and Broadway hits of the day. In that sense, Cover Art brings to mind such similar efforts by artists like Brad Mehldau and the Bad Plus who've both recorded albums of covers by artists from the '70s and onward. The difference is that Next Collective is neither strictly a modern creative jazz band, nor a smooth jazz outfit, but more a group of like-minded, jazz-trained musicians who regularly improvise for means of artistic expression. Ultimately, with songs that cross the line between edgy, atmospheric alt-rock, groove-oriented R&B and exploratory modal jazz, Cover Art feels less like a side-project, and more the work of a unified ensemble. ~ Matt Collar, Rovi