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Jahari Massamba Unit

Law Of Rhythm

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$55.00 SGD
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$55.00 SGD


YHWH Is Love is the second long-player from the team of Madlib (Otis Jackson) and Karriem Riggins as Jahari Massamba Unit. Their first, 2020's Pardon My French, got high marks from journos and punters. Album credits put Riggins on drums and Madlib on everything else (though, in typical fashion, what he played versus what he sampled is unclear). Riggins sent his partner a veritable truckload of loops and beats. Madlib, in inimitable fashion, grafted on his playing and an abundance of samples. The musical vibe is laid-back, grooving contemporary jazz-funk.

Opener "Rubato Love" is a brief intro filled with airy glittering synths, pianos, and keyboard bass; Riggins' ringing cymbals add dimension and grace. His snare break initiates "Stomping Gamay" as layered flute samples erect a motif while the bassline and syncopated drums carry a finger-popping groove. The electric piano frames overdubbed flutes and a sonically altered alto saxophone. "All Things" is almost a straight-ahead ballad save for the dubby rhythm effects, out-of-phase trumpet, and languishing vibes. That said, it makes the case for an Afrofuturist take on West Coast jazz.

Much of the utterly groove-oriented YHWH Is Love is a fitting companion to Madlib's 2021 solo outing, Sound Ancestors, which showcased the artist over the producer. Check "Anointed Soul" for an indirect homage to J Dilla's neo-soul beat language. "Karriem's Bolero" is a restrained but wildly colorful showcase for Riggins' expert application of multivalently layered polyrhythms alongside Madlib's abstract piano machinations, before electric guitar and flute waft in, adding a Brazilian jazz touch à la João Donato's '70s recordings. "JMU's Voyage" exemplifies 21st century jazz-funk. As an alto saxophone references Grover Washington, Jr.'s "Mister Magic" in its vamp, Riggins stitches in snares and hi-hats in arresting cadences that stagger and invert the time signature to sound, in places, like three different tunes. "Massamba Afundance" is an Afro-Brazilian percussion orgy with drum kits, myriad hand drums, whistles, shakers, handclaps, and voices. A lilting piano vamp employs a ghostly motif, but it is subsumed by the polyrhythmic attack. By contrast, "With YHWH Love" is almost straight-ahead - but not really. Fans of Yussef Dayes and John Carroll Kirby will find delight in this puzzling, uplifting track. Further, the track "Boppin'" has more in common with Ezra Collective than Dizzy Gillespie, and it walks a loose, loopy line between spidery jazz-funk, EDM, and hip-hop. — (via AllMusic)

Label: Law Of Rhythm
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: UK & US
Released: Mar 1, 2024
Genre: Jazz

File under: Soul-Jazz / Jazz-Funk