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One of the foremost faces of the current progressive jazz movement, 2x GRAMMY®  Award-nominated drummer/composer/producer Nate Smith has announced the release  of his inspired new album, Kinfolk 2: See The Birds. The highly anticipated follow up to  2017’s GRAMMY® Award-nominated Kinfolk: Postcards From Everywhere arrives via  Edition Records on Friday, September 17; pre-orders are available now. 

To herald the release of Kinfolk 2: See The Birds, Smith is sharing the album’s first  single, the hip-hop centric “Square Wheel,” which finds Smith juggling odd-meter beats  in unison with rapper Kokayi’s intrepid rhythmic cadence along side singer Michael  Mayo’s impassioned vocals as well as Brad Allen on guitar, bassist Fima Ephron,  saxophonist Jaleel Shaw and Jon Cowherd on keys. A companion music video filmed  in the recording studio is streaming on YouTube now. 

Kinfolk 2: See the Birds affirms Nate Smith as one of the most dynamic drummers,  insightful composers, and engaging bandleaders of his generation, adept across infinite  genres and multiple styles. The album sees Smith joined by an array of diverse fellow  artists, including singers Brittany Howard, Amma Whatt, legendary guitarist Vernon  Reid, violinist Regina Carter, vibraphonist Joel Ross, rapper Kokayi, and, Michael  Mayo, and Stokley Williams (of the pioneering R&B band Mint Condition). 

Kinfolk 2: See the Birds marks the second installment in a remarkable trilogy charting  Smith’s continuing evolution as a musician and composer. While Kinfolk: Postcards  From Everywhere touched upon Smith’s childhood in Chesapeake, VA, and the sounds  that he absorbed in his family home, the new album offers an impressionistic portrait of  the artist as a young man considering his future in music. Those years saw Smith  inspired by the diverse and eclectic riches of Prince and Michael Jackson, hip-hop and  the emerging neo-soul movement, as well as music associated with the groundbreaking  Black Rock Coalition such as Living Colour (whose trailblazing founder, Vernon Reid,  appears on the new album’s menacing “Rambo”).  

However, Kinfolk 2 is no throwback – Smith reconciles his teenaged influences with the  modern jazz sensibilities that he’s demonstrated with not just his solo material but as a  sideman with such jazz titans as guitarist Pat Metheny, bassist Dave Holland, and  saxophonists Ravi Coltrane and Chris Potter. Recorded mostly in two band sessions  – June 2019 at Sear Sound in New York City and February 2020 at the Bunker Studio in  Brooklyn – the album projects a dreamy, cinematic sensibility as the music ebbs and  flows from wistful downtempo excursions to rugged hip-hop beats, hypnotic alt-rock  leaning tunes to amorous laments. Kinfolk 2 boasts a slightly different lineup for its core  ensemble than its predecessor. Saxophonist Jaleel Shaw and bassist Fima Ephron 

return, while Smith welcomes guitarist Brad Allen Williams and keyboardist Jon  Cowherd to the combo.

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Catalogue

Cat#TitleArtistE2FormatsYear
EDN1184Kinfolk 2: See the BirdsNate SmithCD • Collector's Edition Cassette Tape • 24 bit 96kHz WAV • 320k mp32021

Videos

"No matter the context, Nate Smith is a dynamic presence on the stage, an athletic drummer who can shift almost seamlessly from in-the-pocket funk to hard-bop swing"

JazzTimes

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