No Church In the Wild (feat. Christian Scott)
Concord Records’ NEXT Collective is an intriguing project: Young musicians Logan Richardson (alto saxophone), Walter Smith III (tenor saxophone), Matthew Stevens (guitar), Gerald Clayton and Kris Bowers (piano/keyboards), Ben Williams (bass), and Jamir Williams (drums) collaborated on contemporary songs by the likes of Drake, Little Dragon, and Stereolab. This collection of three singles from their debut, Cover Art, starts with a take on Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church in the Wild.” It features trumpeter Christian Scott and reflects the original’s urgency tempered by Stevens’ ghostly guitar accompaniment. Smith and Richard’s unified saxophone lines and Williams’ deep bass tones bring an appropriate tranquility to D’Angelo’s “Africa,” while Pearl Jam’s dramatic “Oceans” is given a full-sounding “little big band” transformation.