Album of the week — Universal Beings by Makaya McCraven
Freer than before, the looseness makes things better and more convincing than In The Moment. What’s changed?
Greater experience, better ideas — answers on a postcard puh-lease. Culled from NY-LON and Chi-town sessions the drummer composer is joined by among others harpist Brandee Younger, Ron Carter-esque bassist Dezron Douglas and Shabaka Hutchings on tenor saxophone. Released on 26 October. Think the 1990s sound of the Steve Coleman drummer Gene Lake as a rough signpost certainly in terms of technique and for the writing there is a gentle 1970s spiritual jazz feel to a lot of the sound moods. **** Stand out track: a cinch: the bass heavy ‘Black Lion’ on an album that on one level is an unstoppably nuanced rhythmical masterclass, by another yardstick an escapist slice of wide screen dreamery. McCraven plays the London Jazz Festival on 24 Nov.