Today, Friday 7th February sees the release of We’re New Again, a unique reimaging of Gil Scott-Heron’s final album I’m New Here by the acclaimed Chicago-based jazz musician and producer Makaya McCraven. The release marks the tenth anniversary of Scott-Heron’s original and is the second full-length interpretation of I’m New Here, following Jamie xx’s 2011 We’re New Here album.
First conceptualised in 2005, and ultimately produced, by Richard Russell during New York recording sessions commencing in January 2008, I’m New Here was Gil Scott-Heron’s first album in thirteen years and found him sounding as vital and insightful as ever before, as Russell wrapped a minimal and electronic sonic world around Scott-Heron’s raw vocals.
On We’re New Again, those original sessions now have a complete new context, using samples collected from McCraven’s improvised live sessions with new wave Chicago jazz musicians and vintage samples taken from his musician parents’ recordings. It’s a musical situation that reconnects Scott-Heron with his hometown of Chicago, and a lineage of jazz and the blues that perfectly compliments his voice.
Today sees the release of the latest piece of music from the album: McCraven’s reimagination of ‘I’m New Here’. Originally a cover of a Bill Callahan song (from his 2005 A River Aint Too Much To Love album), McCraven’s version is a perfect example of his approach to the record and features a sample of his father Stephen McCraven’s ‘Paris – La Manu’
Listen to ‘I’m New Here – A Reimagining By Makaya McCraven’ HERE
Makaya McCraven, whose work Richard Russell first discovered after hearing McCraven’s 2017’s Highly Rare album, is widely regarded as one of the most exciting and original voices in modern jazz. Equally renowned and revered as a musician, drummer, beat-maker and producer, McCraven has released a run of records that are at once genre-defying and redefining such as Universal Beings, Highly Rare and Where We Come From (Chicago x London mixtape) for the highly influential Chicago label International Anthem. As the New York Times states: “Makaya McCraven has quietly become one of the best arguments for jazz’s vitality"
We’re New Again will be released on 7th February 2020, exactly a decade after the original’s release.
Available on LP, CD and via digital services.