Thursday 8 February 2018

'Chris Dave & The Drumhedz' by Chris Dave & The Drumhedz [Review]

It's with great excitement that 2018 - and Blue Note Records - brings the debut full-length album from drummer Chris "Daddy" Dave and his expansive collective of incredible musicians known as the Drumhedz.

Although this self-titled project marks the official debut album, the name 'Chris Dave' should be new to no one: scoring big with two mixtapes over the last few years, Chris Dave's credentials over nearly 30 years of making music have earned him a legion of die-hard fans.  A former member of the Robert Glasper Trio and the Robert Glasper Experiment, Dave's brilliance can also be heard on projects by Maxwell ('BLACKsummer'snight'), D'Angelo ('Black Messiah'), Adele ('21') and Meshell Ndegeocello ('Comfort Woman') amongst countless others.

Chris Dave's collaborations have always demonstrated his versatility and his ability to flit between genres and styles but he has long confessed to holding jazz as his closest influence; it's his cosmic and otherwordly take on the genre where he is at his most engaging with song titles here like 'Universal Language' and 'Cosmic Intercourse' which again follow on from the themes laid out through the previous mixtapes.

And as regards the new album, many of the aforementioned past collaborators are more than happy to return the favour here with big name guests throughout including Stokley Williams, Casey Benjamin, Anderson .Paak, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Kendra Foster, Bilal and Tweet.  But the musicians comprising The Drumhedz are as much the stars with nearly 50 musicians earning the title: Pino Palladino, who helped shape a lot of the music on the first Drumhedz mixtape, appears on bass on nearly every track along with fellow musicians James Poyser (keys), Isaiah Sharkey (guitar) and Keyon Harrold (trumpet).

'Chris Dave & The Drumhedz' is a very welcome and long overdue official debut release from a true master of his craft and it's with genuine excitement we get to sit back and join in on this cosmic journey.

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