Think Twice (ep)
22a Music / 22a
Flautist, saxophonist, bandleader turned label-owner, beatmaker and producer, Tenderlonious has parked his future-jazz 22archestra to the side and now seems more interested in a dark, funky offshoot of techno.
Where Hard Rain was all Questlove and Karriem Riggins via J Dilla and Madlib, Think Twice is like Moodymann and Theo Parrish as Cawthorne all but disappears deep inside these cuts.
The opening, title track is a slow-build wash of cymbal pulse and hypnotic bass with a few vintage handclaps sneaking in. Uncle Larry is more overtly jazzy as it bubbles away atop a glorious bassline. BIG Leffe reminds me of Madlib’s DJ RELS persona and is perhaps the closest link back to the previous album. I also think of music that sits somewhere between Burial’s brightest creations and Moodymann’s dankest, darkest spaces. That’s ultimately exactly the place where Tenderlonious wants to reside.
Closer, Tru Blue, featuring label mate Dennis Ayler, has all the hallmarks of a classic broken-beat soul-wooze; a stumble-stroll home in the wee smalls or a final victory lap of the dancefloor, simply to nod down at anyone left. Here Tenderlonious gets his flute out and gives a taste of his ‘earlier’ music – but it squelches down deep inside the new sound. It’s throwback stuff. Feels almost late-90s in vibe. But in a fucking good way.
Digging this. Hard.
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