Immaculate modern fusion LP by London jazz outfit Yussef Kamaal. The duo, comprised of Yussef Dayes and Kamaal Williams (aka Henry Wu) and backed by a swath of London jazz players, channel the 1970s jazz-funk and fusion of Herbie Hancock, Jaco Pastorious, Bob James and Chick Corea with uncanny precision. Their unique flavor of jazz is informed by jungle, grime, broken beat, pirate radio and other touchstones of UK youth culture, akin to their stateside nu-school counterparts' own hip-hop-infused approach (Kamasi Washington, Robert Glasper come to mind). The project started when Williams recruited Dayes for a one-off live interpretation of his deep house productions, and the pair decided to take their collaboration further, culminating in this full-length on Gilles Peterson’s Brownwood Recordings. Every single track on Black Focus bangs, but the haunted spiritual elixir of “Yo Chavez” is worth special mention, as is expert jazz-funk stepper “Lowrider”. There is simply no one else making music quite like this in 2017. Recommended.
- black vinyl pressing
- printed inner sleeve
- digital download included
- music label: Brownswood Recordings 2016
reviewed by nick nightingale 05/2017