Makaya McCraven "In These Times"
MOJO - The 50 Best Albums Of 2022 - #19
“Another of International Anthem’s Chicago stable of virtuoso insurgents, drummer and bandleader McCraven was first sighted outside jazz circles with his 2020 album-length remix of Gil Scott-Heron. In These Times, though, was McCraven’s boldest statement yet, a sumptuous chamber jazz suite powered by his jittery beats and well-connected community activism. One to file alongside David Axelrod’s scores or, more recently, Kamasi Washington’s similarly ambitious epics.”
Uncut - Uncut’s Best New Albums Of 2022 - #44
“Though renowned as an inventive jazz drummer, McCraven is also a talented composer, arranger and programmer. Those skills came to the fore on his sixth album, recorded piecemeal over the course of seven years with a cast of Chicago luminaries but always sounding like a unified work: the lush, sweeping visions of Charles Stepney or David Axelrod allied to the addictive lollop of J Dilla’s beats.”
FADER included In These Times in their “50 Best Albums of 2022” at # 48 saying:
“Even amidst a contemporary revival that has reemphasized Jazz’s groove and status as Black music, In These Times is a singular achievement, one proving that McCraven’s dialog between past and present is a fruitful one, and that he has much more left to say”
NPR published their overall list (Makaya’s album was already mentioned on Nate Chinen and Sheldon Pearce’s year-end lists) and included In These Times at # 7 on their “50 Best Albums of 2022” saying:
In These Times is the album that Makaya McCraven has been wanting to make his whole life: a sonic sock-it-to-me cake that folds in his beatmaking, clever compositions, Hungarian lineage (from his folk singer mother) and free-jazz roots (from his drummer father) alongside symphonic and heavy funk. The scale of the work alone is breathtaking, yet intentionally inclusive. A slice of this album makes the case that today's jazz greats deserve to be included on everybody's plate. —Ayana Contreras, Vocalo
Glide Magazine included In These Times in their Best Jazz Albums of 2022 round-up saying:
It’s often been said that the best players can be quickly identified in just a few notes or beats. Makaya is one of them. He has a singular, readily identifiable style.
Aquarium Drunkard mentioned In Theses Times in their annual Year In Review saying:
The jazz percussionist’s most accomplished work to date, In These Times almost feels like a cathartic soundtrack to the downs of everyday life. Recalling the comforting soundscapes of the likes of Dortohy Ashby, the instrumental suite features a remarkable cast of collaborators including Jeff Parker, harpist Brandee Younger and Blue Note’s Joel Ross on vibraphone/marimba. Handling a multitude of instruments himself, In These Times has proven McCraven a masterful composer of modern jazz and beyond.
Pino Palladino & Blake Mills "Notes With Attachments"
"their willingness to shift directions mid-song doesn’t feel like the work of ADHD minds — that some songs seem like stitched together fragments doesn’t feel haphazard, but more a cosmic patchwork of segments that shouldn’t work together, but that Palladino and Mills have found ways to actually fit together — and make it seem totally effortless." Holly Hazelwood
"The album certainly leaves you with a sense of dislocation and déjà vu, as if hearing musical avenues open, meander deliciously, then abruptly slam shut. It’s disorientating, surprising, at times deeply funky, and often very beautiful." Tim Clarke
Rob Moose & Phoebe Bridgers "Copycat Killer"
“Midnight Crisp shows that Takuya Kuroda is a master of knowing what parts to work with and how to assemble them properly. It's a future classic.” Pop Matters
“Kuroda once again leverages his mastery of sampling, loop and hip-hop beat assembling to form contemporary jazz with present-day sensibilities.” Something Else
“On 'Midnight Crisp' trumpeter Takuya Kuroda truly delivers excellent modern jazz fusion that doesn’t shy away from combining jazz and hip-hop in all its forms and guises.” Living Life Fearless
“Midnight Crisp. Like a soundtrack that switches between scenes of strutting, sensuality, and solitude” KUTX
“If you want to add some soaring majesty to your music in the form of gorgeous, sweeping strings – and have any sense – you’ll go to producer and arranger Rob Moose.”- Will Richards
“Moose’s string rearrangements add a depth that was never missing from Punisher, but is gratefully received.” -Marianne Eloise
“Combined with the soaring strings in the chorus and the silvery, pleading vocals, the Copycat Killer version of ‘Chinese Satellite’ leaves the original for dead.” - Alex Rigotti
“The project was undertaken with Rob Moose, (producer and arranger for some pretty big names, including Bon Iver and Paul Simon), and if anyone was going to inject even more magic into Phoebe’s work, this was the guy. - Verity Vincent
THE HARVARD CRIMSON
“The EP’s first few seconds of sustained, tentative strings suggest a symphony tuning before a great performance — which the ethereal orchestrations that follow absolutely deliver.” - Clara V. Nguyen
THE WASHINGTON POST "22 for ’22: Composers and performers to watch this year"
"The violinist and co-founder of the reliably exciting contemporary sextet yMusic has hit something of a stride recently in the pop lane with such artists as Bon Iver, Taylor Swift, John Legend, Sara Bareilles and Phoebe Bridgers. You may have recently spotted Moose, 39, appearing (in a spacesuit) with Bridgers on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” or as a sextet of himself on “Late Night With James Corden.” Over the pandemic, Moose also created orchestrations for Laura Marling and 12 Ensemble’s BBC Proms performance at Royal Albert Hall.