Thursday 16 April 2020

'I THINK I'M GOOD' by Kassa Overall

News of Kassa Overall's signing with the UK's Brownswood Recordings was met with much excitement, particularly from fans enamoured by Kassa's 'Go Get Ice Cream & Listen to Jazz' self-released debut in 2019.  Backed by some incredible guests, including trumpeters Theo Croker and Roy Hargrove, the drummer, rapper, DJ and producer delivered a genuinely stunning effort unveiling his unique concoction of hip-hop inspired jazz music placing his rhyming ability at the forefront.

2019 in general proved to be a very exciting year for Kassa - as well as 'Ice Cream's release and the Brownswood signing, there was his contribution to Theo Croker's 'Star People Nation', which saw him drumming on every one of the album's tracks, and his involvement as a member of Terri Lyne Carrington's Social Science ensemble which featured him as a rapper and on the turntables throughout.

'I THINK I'M GOOD' continues in very much the vein that 'Ice Cream' left off but seems to have expanded in scope incorporating even more musicians and contributors than its predecessor.  The fantastic Brandee Younger appears - harp in hand - on the project's opening two tracks with 'Please Don't Kill Me' in particular featuring the mouth-watering line-up of Kassa's drums, Younger's harp, Theo Croker on trumpet, Sullivan Fortner on piano and Joel Ross on vibraphone.

There's a very distinctive melancholy to Overall's music - it's joyous in its own way as it's characterised by music you can't help but fall in love with: his sometimes dusty drum patterns, rich piano keys, sublime horns, all paint this picture that you can't help but get lost in.  The CD's inlay card features a note from Kassa himself that sees him poignantly confess to times where he's lacked confidence in his own abilities to create but, with this project, finds himself in tune with the best of his creativity, "This is the best I've got for now.  I hope you think it's good."

No, Kassa... it's great!

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