Friday 14 June 2024

'You'll Need This Later' by Alvin Cobb Jr

Alvin Cobb Jr makes his official introduction to audiences by way of his fantastic debut album, 'You'll Need This Later'.

The Atlanta-born and Chicago-based drummer and composer has steadily been amassing his credentials for years - an in-demand collaborator as well as having graced stages across the US and the UK, the stars have finally aligned allowing Cobb himself to assume centre stage presenting his impassioned perspective on jazz.

And it's certainly an impassioned perspective and one that is bolstered by the album's inspired messages throughout of love, hope, loss and identity.  'You'll Need This Later' is beautifully composed and elegantly performed by the Alvin Cobb Jr Trio - further comprised of bassist and vocalist Katie Ernst and pianist Julius Tucker.   

Cobb's music is ultimately the product of his varied make-up as a multi-faceted artist in every sense of the word.  His skills as a photographer and film score composer, notwithstanding his heralded collaborations alongside movement artist Ashwaty Chennat, present Cobb as an encompassing storyteller.  'You'll Need This Later' benefits from this unhindered, sincere and broad perspective on music that ultimately relishes the notion of collaboration across the album's thirteen tracks.

Beyond the tracks that make up the album, Alvin Cobb's YouTube page provides some excellent content most notably showcasing some intimate recordings of Cobb, Ernst and Tucker tackling a range of contemporary classics including Andre 3000's 'Prototype', Little Dragon's 'Twice' and Christian Scott's 'Sunrise in Beijing' each performed with such care and intimacy that would be a genuine treat to be able to witness in person.

While Ernst delivers a sensational performance as the project's chief vocalist, 'You'll Need This Later' does benefit further from appearances by Nola Adé, Nashon Holloway and Manasseh who inject scintillating spirit into already magnificent compositions.  Tracks like 'Before You Go', 'Thought I Wanted', 'Love You With All My Hate' and 'Window' deliver as thrilling standouts for the album's leading highlights.  Additional credit should go to Aaron Day who serves as the trio's floating fourth on tracks throughout thanks to his work on guitars, synths and percussion.

There is clearly a long and fruitful career laying ahead of Alvin Cobb Jr and his trio but there should similarly be no doubt that 'You'll Need This Later' is an album people will be coming back to for years.

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