Thursday 25 May 2017

'Kinfolk: Postcards From Everywhere' by Nate Smith [Review]

"Amid the loneliness, the isolation, the exhaustion of the road, these sounds keep me company.  They remind me of the distance I've traveled and the miles to ge before I sleep.  They remind me of the dreams made real and the work that remains."
... this is a small excerpt from the inlay card to Nate Smith's 'Kinfolk: Postcards From Everywhere'.  It's taken from a much longer and eloquent description of the nomadic lifestyle touring musicians are faced with, and that feeling of isolation and continual discovery is employed as the core for Smith's incredible release through Ropeadope Records.

Even looking at his current tour dates, at the time of this writing, sees the Virginia-born drummer, writer and producer slated to appear throughout Europe, including The Netherlands, Spain, Slovakia, Germany and Prague.

Nate Smith boasts an extensive list of qualifications and accolades from nearly a lifetime within music: a participant in the Jazz Ahead program while still studying in college, and then years later going on to serve on its faculty in 2013 and 2014, and doing the same for the Thailand International Jazz Conference in 2014 as well.  His resume includes having recorded and performed with artists like Mark de Clive-Lowe, Jose James, NIA, Takuya Kuroda, Chris Potter Underground and Lionel Loueke, naming just a few.

The beauty of 'Kinfolk' - that has already scored the top spot on the iTunes jazz chart - very much lies within its deeply personal nature.  An album dedicated to his father with family appearing on interludes throughout the album, this fully-realised passion project is brought to life with the help of an excellent array of album guests: long-time friend and collaborator, Kris Bowers - another member of Team Jose James - appears on keys throughout the album, Gretchen Parlato delivers as always on 'Pages' and vocalist Amma What sounds luxurious on her two vocal contributions, 'Disenchantment: The Weight' and 'Morning and Allison'.

An incredible album which appears to garner much-deserved acclaim as the days pass and it leaves us to marvel about the experiences Nate Smith will have that will go on to shape his follow-up record.

You can purchase your copy of 'Kinfolk' from Bandcamp:

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