Canadian ensemble BADBADNOTGOOD made their name by crossing genres. Instead of working within traditional jazz stan-dards, the classically-trained group sidestepped them and drew from hip hop and other contemporary genres to create a unique sound rooted in Black American music. Yet, their latest album and first for XL Recordings, Talk Memory, sees the band take a different tact: paying homage to the musicians, composers, innovators and influences that first informed their work.
With Talk Memory, the trio of Alexander Sowinski (drums), Chester Hansen (bass) and Leland Whitty (guitar/woodwinds), return to their instrumental beginnings. Following years of tour-ing, the band paused to refresh and look at their history and ex-periences. Rather than improvising and developing tracks on the road, this time around that gestation process happened in the studio with a bevy of musicians walking through the doors on equal footing. As a result, the album is an aural odyssey about collective balance and harmony, with all the sense of psychedel-ic narrative that entails. Drawing on the energy of collaboration as it happens, the band demonstrates a sense of emotional and poetic progress, not just technique and virtuosity, all of which they have in spades.
As a whole, Talk Memory emphasizes how music as a conver-sation is innately collaborative and improvisational and, in a way, their album is a giant take on a classic moment from live jazz or soul, where a band’s ‘leader’ would introduce each member of an ensemble and invite applause. With guests that include the iconic Brazilian producer and musician Arthur Verocai alongside Laraaji, Terrace Martin, Karriem Riggins, Brandee the Younger, plus the legendary Russell Elevado (D’Angelo’s Voodoo) at the mixing helm, BADBADNOTGOOD have created an album that is a heartfelt expression of joy for the music and community they feel lucky to inhabit.
Label: XL Recordings – XL1176LPE, Innovative Leisure – none
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Limited Edition, White
Released: Oct 8, 2021
Genre: Hip Hop, Jazz, Funk / Soul
A1 Signal From The Noise
A2 Unfolding (Momentum 73)
B1 City Of Mirrors
B2 Beside April
C1 Love Proceeding
C2 Open Channels
D1 Timid, Intimidating
D2 Beside April (Reprise)
D3 Talk Meaning