Above & Beyond
Early Bird Once Again
In an audacious follow-up to his 2016 debut In the Moment, drummer Makaya McCraven takes material from under-the-radar Chicago gigs, recorded on an obsolete four-track machine, and dons his producing and arranging caps to create the unique mixtape Highly Rare. The sound is deliberately rough, but the improvisational and textural space is wide open and unpredictable. Bassist Junius Paul joins McCraven in rhythmic affinity, and alto saxophonist Nick Mazzarella and cornetist Ben Lamar Gay navigate the groove structures with command, aided by Belgium's DJ LeFtO.