Slightest Right - Makaya McCraven

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Slightest Right - Makaya McCraven

I absolutely love drum-focused instrumental music, improvisation, and seeing a drummer as a bandleader. This week's track, "Slightest Right," is from Chicago drummer Makaya McCraven, and it checks off all three of those boxes. ...

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Never Catch Me - Flying Lotus

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Never Catch Me - Flying Lotus

This track by acclaimed producer Stephen Ellison, better known as Flying Lotus, with genius Kendrick Lamar, is a single from the 2014 album "You're Dead!" The title comes from the desire of Ellison and collaborator Thundercat, an amazing bassist and producer in his own right, to create music that comes so hard that it just kills you when you hear it.

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Ooooo - Braxton Cook

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Ooooo - Braxton Cook

Here's a track from another talented saxophonist, Braxton Cook, which will put you in the mood to just chill and vibe and say "ooooo." A friend of mine introduced me to Braxton's music a few months ago and I haven't found a track of his that I didn't like. He is definitely a young musician on the rise. I highly recommend checking out some of his live performances on youtube, or in person if you can. 

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The Rhythm Changes - Kamasi Washington

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The Rhythm Changes - Kamasi Washington

Kamasi Washington is a Los Angeles native who has brought jazz to a whole new generation of listeners. He is a phenomenally talented saxophone player who has toured with big name acts, and is now touring under his own compositions with his own band, the West Coast Get Down, a collective of young jazz giants. I actually went to high school with Kamasi, and even back then I would hear him play and think, "whoa, this guy is amazing!"

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Young Embrace (Um Abraco Da Mocidade) - Azymuth

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Young Embrace (Um Abraco Da Mocidade) - Azymuth

Azymuth, from the 70’s funk fusion era in Brazil, brings such a strong groove and harmony that it’s hard to believe it’s only a trio. The song starts with a simple - but unbelievably groovy - organ line, and it gradually and mysteriously builds until the end.

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North Gate - Ohbliv

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North Gate - Ohbliv

Virgina/DMV producer Ohbliv has made a name for himself, placing mesmerizing r’n’b grooves on a loop with his own laid back beats.

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Turnin Me Up - BJ the Chicago Kid

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Turnin Me Up - BJ the Chicago Kid

Just as the title suggests, the music turns up the listener’s energy level while delivering a slow laid back dance groove. BJ’s rich falsetto vocals are reminiscent of the Reverend Al Green.

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Energy - Iman Omari

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Energy - Iman Omari

Talented singer and producer Iman Omari declares, “if it’s not on your level, then why don’t you just let it be,” before the sweet trumpet line introduces the head-nod inducing beat.

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Summer Breeze - The Isley Brothers

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Summer Breeze - The Isley Brothers

This classic jam by the legendary Brothers starts off with a smooth piano intro, then slowly builds up with the electric guitar. By the time the drums bring the groove together, the refrain, -“summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine of my mind” - has us hooked, and feeling that breeze. 

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Why iii love the moon - Phony Ppl

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Why iii love the moon - Phony Ppl

Blending world music, soul and hip hop, the young Brooklyn group perfectly encapsulates a world where sometimes it’s hard to rely on anything but the moon – “it’s constant, unlike these human beings…”

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Go With It - Tokimonsta (featuring MNDR)

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Go With It - Tokimonsta (featuring MNDR)

The song starts with just percussion, slowly bringing in the backbeat of the drums and MNDR’s vocals, letting us know she will never steer us wrong. The track is relaxing and reflective, yet intricate and danceable, making a great transition into the rest of the Music To Forget Your Troubles playlist.

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Cranes in the Sky - Solange

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Cranes in the Sky - Solange

Solange, Beyonce's sister, released this track on her third album, entitled "A Seat at the Table," released in 2016. Although she had been an artist for many years before, this album has allowed Solange to connect with a wider audience.

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