Finally on vinyl! Thundercat's much anticipated 3rd full length has finally landed, and we couldn't be more stoked about it (we damn near wore out the mp3 of "Them Changes" waiting for it). With The Beyond / Where The Giants Roam, Stephen Bruner ascends to new heights, combining virtuosic bass playing with soulful vocals to bring his unique brand of jazz fusion to the masses. For those unfamiliar with Bruner's work, the aforementioned "Them Changes" (which borrows drums from The Isley Brothers classic "Footsteps") is a great place to start and easily one of his most accessible tracks to date. The bass hits are like fat dollops of funk over the steady grooving rhythm, all topped with his own heartfelt lyrics and a sax solo by Kamasi Washington that will have you coming back for more. The rest of the album finds Bruner not wasting anytime connecting the dots between the outer reaches of jazz fusion ("Where The Giants Roam" / "That Moment") to more beat based grooves ("Lone Wolf And Cub"). An impressive feat, considering the album is only 6 succinct tracks long. Obviously this one is going to warrant many repeat listens. Recommended.
- red vinyl pressing
- digital download included
- music label: Brainfeeder 2015
reviewed by Al Pastor 02/2016