Album Of The Week: Junius Paul – “Ism”

This week’s album of the week is a new album called “Ism” from Chicago-based bassist Junius Paul. He’s a friend and collaborator of Makaya McCraven, another Chicago Jazz Artist who’s revolutionizing the Genre. Paul was a part of the personnel on McCraven’s celebrated double album “Universal Beings” which I gave a nod to in 2018. Paul is running this show this time, and he has a nice blend of swing, hip-hop, new age, African and the like. It’s all well-recorded and super engaging, a nice album to give your hi-fi rig a workout. Check it out and thank me later! (Tidal Stream Below)

From the website:

Paul’s debut album, Ism, is a blend of divergent sounds and eras. Songs like “You Are Free To Choose,” “Collant Denier” and “The One Who Endures” rumble with frenetic energy and feel more like traditional jazz. Others, like “Bowl Hit” and “Twelve Eighteen West” are progressive, the latter just a smattering of whistles, cymbal crashes, and chimes. “Baker’s Dozen” resembles a 20-year-old hip-hop song, the kind you’d hear during a dramatic scene on TV show New York Undercover. With its smooth bass and melodic drums, “Georgia” echoes the work of R&B legends Raphael Saadiq and D’Angelo. Then there’s “Ma and Dad,” a brooding classical cut that arrives near Ism’s end: On an album full of hard-charging intensity, the track’s slow pace and heavy strings bring the LP to a wistful close. That Paul can blend so many ideas into a coherent stream might be his greatest asset. “That’s the -ism, the Junius-ism,” McCraven says. “The -ism speaks to the uniqueness of the cat.”


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