Kinfolk 2: See the Birds Nate Smith
- 1Altitude feat. Joel Ross & Michael Mayo05:15
- 2Square Wheel feat. Kokayi & Michael Mayo05:00
- 3Band Room Freestyle feat. Kokayi01:34
- 4Street Lamp06:18
- 5Don't Let Me Get Away feat. Stokley04:55
- 6Collision feat. Regina Carter04:39
- 7Meditation: Prelude01:16
- 8Rambo: The Vigilante feat. Vernon Reid04:49
- 9I Burn for You feat. Amma Whatt04:31
- 10See the Birds feat. Joel Ross & Michael Mayo03:18
- 11Fly (For Mike) feat. Brittany Howard04:01
Info for Kinfolk 2: See the Birds
Kinfolk 2: See the Birds is the highly anticipated follow up to the 2017 Grammy-nominated album Kinfolk: Postcards From Everywhere. Featuring the diverse and all-star talents of Brittany Howard, Amma Whatt, Joel Ross, Kokayi, Michael Mayo, Regina Carter, Stokley and Vernon Reid, Kinfolk 2: See the Birds is the inspired and emphatic album that exemplifies Nate’s artistry as one of the most exciting, dynamic and innovative drummer-composers of his generation, adept across multi-genres and styles. Taking inspiration from his teenage years spent absorbing the diverse and eclectic riches of Prince, Michael Jackson and Living Colour. Kinfolk 2: See the Birds is a multi-faceted jewel and is set to be one of the most significant albums of 2021.
Four years after drummer, composer, and bandleader Nate Smith released his Grammy-nominated debut, he’s releasing its thematic follow-up, Kinfolk 2: See The Birds. In the interim, he’s released two other projects: 2020’s R&B-laden EP, Light and Shadow, and 2018’s breakbeat solo drums LP, Pocket Change.
Smith sees Kinfolk as a trilogy that charts his evolution as musician. The first record touched upon his childhood in Chesapeake, Virginia, and the music that he absorbed in his home. Kinfolk 2 continues that narrative, offering an impressionistic portrait of his teenage years when he made the decision to become a musician. During this time, he was checking out a lot of music associated with the Black Rock Coalition such as Living Colour, Fishbone, and 24-7 Spyz, in addition to other pioneering acts such as Bad Brains, King’s X, Prince, and Sting. Smith was also listening to a lot of hip-hop as well as the emerging neo-soul that flowered in the 1990s.
Kinfolk 2 is no throwback album, however. Smith reconciles his influences from his teen years with the modern jazz sensibilities that he’s demonstrated with not just his solo material but as a sideman with a roster of jazz titans that includes guitarist Pat Metheny, bassist Dave Holland, and saxophonists Ravi Coltrane and Chris Potter.
In fact, Smith cites his long tenure with Potter’s Underground band for being an incubator for him to develop his distinguishable drumming approach, which often combines crisp, funky, head-nodding grooves with flinty modern jazz interactive improvisation.
"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)
Nate Smith, drums, keyboards, percussion
Brad Allen Williams, guitar
Fima Ephron, bass
Jaleel Shaw, saxophone
Jon Cowherd, piano, Fender Rhodes, Hammond B-3 organ
Brittany Howard, vocals on “Fly (for Mike)”
Amma Whatt, vocals on “I Burn For You”
Joel Ross, vibraphone on “Altitude” and “See The Birds”
Kokayi, vocals on “Square Wheel” and “Band Room Freestyle”
Michael Mayo, vocals on “Square Wheel”, “Altitude” and “See The Birds”
Regina Carter, violin on “Collision”
Stokley, vocals on “Don’t Let Me Get Away”
Vernon Reid, guitar on “Rambo: The Vigilante”
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.
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.
This album contains no booklet.