Makaya McCraven's 'Universal Beings' Named Among "Best Albums of the Year"
December 23, 2018
As 2018 comes to an end Makaya McCraven's Universal Beings receives high recognition from many publications, being ranked among the top albums of the year over and over again. Congratulations, Makaya! Check it out:
Rolling Stone Reviews Makaya McCraven's Recent Show at Le Poisson Rouge
December 03, 2018
"Beyond its contemporary rhythmic language, McCraven’s ensemble delivered timeless jazz clout. The band’s themes and arrangements were as rich as those you’d hear on a vintage Blue Note date, and every soloist commanded attention with an individual approach, from Garcia’s robust, gradually building tenor lines to Hutchings’ darting, agile work on bass clarinet, Younger’s elegant glissandi, Ross’ hard-swinging, laser-focus turns and Tortoise guitarist Jeff Parker’s tasteful shredding. Bassists Junius Paul and Dezron Douglas traded off in adding texture and a deep foundation, while percussionist Carlo Niño brought subtle color and alto saxist Josh Johnson held his own with his better-known partners in the front line. (That the ensemble onstage was so diverse, with women prominently featured and musicians representing various international scenes, and so obviously shared real camaraderie, with smiles shooting among the members all night, only intensified the band’s appeal.) McCraven, meanwhile, demonstrated enormous range, excelling at both chill-out backbeats and pulverizing rapid-fire climaxes."
The New York times interviews Makaya McCraven and speaks on his accomplishments a few days before his upcoming show in NYC. In a collaboration with the RedBull Music Festival, McCraven will perform at (Le) Poisson Rouge Sunday, Dec 2 at 8pm for the NY debut of his new album Universal Beings.
*The show at (Le) Poisson Rouge is sold out! Follow @makayamccraven and @davidpassick to find out about future shows, or check back under the "shows" tab above.
Makaya McCraven Writes for 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' on 'A Day in the Life'
November 30, 2018
Makaya McCraven contributed an instrumental version of 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' to a full album cover of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club" featuring 12 contemporary jazz artists. Here's what Rolling Stone had to say!
"...drummer Makaya McCraven, who turns up here with a lovely instrumental version of “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” which channels the dreamy psych-pop drift of the original into an immersive funk/R&B mood piece. Vibraphonist Joel Ross plays John Lennon’s verse vocal melody, while McCraven and bassist Junius Paul lay down a loping groove. Midway through, the rhythm opens up, with McCraven switching from a cool backbeat to driving postbop swing. Greg Spero’s piano comes to the fore, followed by Matt Gold’s guitar, and the piece builds into a spacey fusion-like jam."
"He [Paul Simon] is touring with 16 backup musicians, mingling the six-member chamber music ensemble yMusic with the rest of his own slowly gathered rock-pop-folk-jazz-world-music band. Their numbers and flexibility give Mr. Simon an instrumental arsenal that can include, as needed, a button accordion, a piccolo, a clay drum, a French horn, a prepared piano (with assorted objects placed on and between its strings) or a penny whistle. There’s a big video screen, but the tour’s real special effects are its arrangements and orchestrations. Mr. Simon gathered yMusic on its own to back him in radically reworked, brilliantly realized chamber-pop versions of “Rene and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After the War” and “Can’t Run, But,” two deep-catalog songs."