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King Khan Does Jazz Like Only He Can

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The world of King Khan has always been expansive and full of the imaginary. With each project he stays steps ahead of his contemporaries while keeping a few toes in the past. With his new album The Infinite Ones, Khan takes his magical journey into the world of jazz. Part psychedelic shaman and part R&B force of nature, it all comes through on this immense new album.

 

Aside from the heavy hitters that make up Khan’s backing band, there’s more than enough here to hold dear as soon as you hear it. The opening track “Wait Till The Stars Burn” is as wild as you’d expect. Mixing percussive tones with brass all over, the rhythmic nature of the track takes your ears to a psych jazz experience. Followed by “Tribute To The Pharaoh’s Den,” the hypnotic notes that inter play between the stabs of sound and the harmonized vocals is a trip. Like finishing off that other half of a hit, it’s a ride that takes you far away without you ever having to leave home. This continues on “Mister Mystery’ and with “Xango Rising” where the songs feel like jaunts into uncharted territories that you can’t help but explore.

But as the jazz structured notes are omnipresent on this release, there are some soulful tracks that sound like all that Khan is known for. With “A Hard Rain’s Gotta Fall” there’s this mystery in how the track segues between soulful mystics and free jazz expressionism. With “Theme of Yahya” Khan makes a mark by offering a soul based bass line to lay the groundwork for the jazz fueled tones that follow. But of the eleven tracks that make up the record, there was one standout for us overall. Where we loved the trippy sounds of “Trail Of Tears” and the acid jazz elements of “Follow The Mantis,” the true winner comes with “(White Nile) Flows Through Memphis.” The intertwined stark piano that meets head on with the distorted bass is magical. The rolls of drums that play in the ether beneath the free jazz percussions and the acoustic guitar are masterfully arranged. And within it all, there’s freedom in the song’s delivery while still feeling like no stone is left unturned.

The Infinite Ones can be purchased directly from Ernest Jenning Record Co on various formats. It’s also available to stream on all services or to purchase digitally from all online music retailers.

Image Credits: Photo Courtesy of Ernest Jenning Record Co.

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David Garrick

David Garrick has spent the last five years interviewing some of the most intriguing and engaging artists performing today. Everyone from Angel Olsen to Phoebe Bridgers, Wire to Yo La Tengo, Snail Mail to Soccer Mommy, Ghost to First Aid Kit, The Breeders to Protomartyr, and many more. He's a giant fan of music of pretty much any genre; but especially to the underdogs. He's been known to see more concerts in a week than many people will see in a year.

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