For years, Justin Brown has been a drummer in high demand, constantly on the road with the likes of Thundercat and Ambrose Akinmusire. At the same time, he’s been carefully writing his own compositions, and plotting his debut as a bandleader.
He released his debut album, NYEUSI, in June — and heralded its arrival. This one-night-only album release celebration took place at Nublu in New York’s East Village. Along with Brown, it featured Jason Lindner and Dennis Hamm on keyboards, Evan Marien on electric bass, and Mark Shim on electric wind controller, or EWI. The Checkout is now proud to present a recording from that evening, as well as a series of concert videos.
“Entering Purgatory” has a foreboding sound that Brown connects with our present time, full of chaos.
In the midst of all the distortion, there are moments of beauty and mystery too, as Brown takes on the familiar theme of Stranger Things, the hit Netflix series.
Other electric moments from the concert are only in the podcast: for instance, Brown’s version of Bobby Hutcherson’s “Montara,” a melody he first heard via a Madlib sample. A tune called “Lindner’s In Your Body!” bears an obvious dedication to keyboardist Jason Lindner — who also figures prominently in “FYFO.”
Our next Checkout Presents concert at Nublu, this Friday, is a co-bill featuring the French/American jazz hip-hop ensemble Thiefs with synth artist BIGYUKI. There will be DJs in the mix, including Ronzilla and myself, and a special jam at the end of the night, featuring both headlines and others.