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Trumpeter Aquiles Navarro and drummer Tcheser Holmes demonstrate their powerful synchronicity

Trumpeter Aquiles Navarro and drummer Tcheser Holmes begin their new duo album, Heritage of the Invisible II (International Anthem), with “Initial Meditation,” a red-hot vortex of percussion and electronics whose abrasive, hypnotizing swirls sometimes sound like a helicopter flying overhead. That powerful opening statement makes clear that these musicians—best known from unrepentantly political jazz ensemble […]

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On the new Who Sent You? Irreversible Entanglements are more political and potent than ever

Irreversible Entanglements will leave you shaken. The group make tight, synergistic free jazz anchored by the dynamic spoken-word declarations of poet Moor Mother, aka Camae Ayewa. Their music sometimes sounds chaotic and freewheeling, but it ensnares listeners with arrangements carefully considered to help deliver fiery political messages. The five-piece ensemble—the lineup also includes saxophonist Keir […]

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D.C. progressive jazz duo Blacks’ Myths find the light in harsh noise

Long before drummer Warren G. “Trae” Crudup III and bassist Luke Stewart launched noisy free-jazz duo Blacks’ Myths in 2018, they backed celebrated saxophonist James Brandon Lewis as the rhythm section in his trio. They’ve also enmeshed themselves in D.C.’s jazz scene individually: Crudup performs with a slew of scene fixtures, including saxophonist Brian Settles […]

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Fronted by spoken-word artist Moor Mother, Irreversible Entanglements summon the fire of 60s free jazz

Few spoken-word artists working the posthip-hop landscape can match the intensity, precision, and metaphoric power of Philadelphia’s Moor Mother (aka Camae Ayewa); I’ve seen her twice this year, and both times she had total control of the audience by the end of the set. She’s involved with several collaborative projects, and one of the most […]