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Contemporary Jazz Fusion Progressive Jazz Neo-Prog Electric Jazz Instrumental Hip-Hop Post-Bop Piano Jazz
The debut album from wunderkind keyboard and drums duo DOMi & JD Beck, 2023's NOT TiGHT showcases their skittering, technically dazzling future-shock jazz. Stars since joining forces at the NAMM trade show in 2018, keyboardist DOMi louna and drummer JD Beck have wowed audiences with their genre-crossing style, blending modern jazz harmonies with frenetic breakbeats and sounds influenced by electronic and hip-hop production. It was this ear-popping aesthetic that brought them to the attention of rapper Anderson.Paak, on whose label they have released NOT TiGHT. Paak also guests here, jumping on board for the '70s soft rock atmosphere of "Take a Chance" and "Pilot," the latter of which is a star-studded anthem that also finds rappers Busta Rhymes and Snoop Dogg adding their distinctive flow to the duo's glassy downtempo grooves. One of the more inspired collaborations on NOT TiGHT is with the bassist/vocalist Thundercat, whose wry fusion and soul-informed style is a perfect fit. This is especially evident on the fluid "Bowling," where their sparkling, sun-dipped harmonies sound almost impossibly as if Todd Rundgren had made a Japanese city pop album in 1980. More contemporary in tone is "Two Shrimps," which finds indie rocker Mac DeMarco crooning over a clipped beat and electric piano. There is also an otherworldly appearance by jazz legend Herbie Hancock, whose alien vocoder vocals and motivic piano solo bring a burnished sophistication to the pair's ultra-modern style. If Hancock's presence also brings to mind just how groundbreaking his own genre-crossing albums like 1973's Head Hunters and 1983's Future Shock were when they were first released, it feels intentional. There are moments here that recall the classic fusion albums of players like George Duke, as on "Sniff," where the duo's nuanced chordal harmonies and spiraling architectural grooves hint at even deeper musical avenues to explore. ~ Matt Collar