Nate Smith’s “Kinfolk 2” is now available; new live in studio video streaming now


One of the main faces of the current progressive jazz movement, drummer / composer / producer nominated twice for the GRAMMY® Award Nate smith released their new record, Kinfolk 2: See The Birds today via Edition Records. To celebrate, Smith shares a live studio performance of the upbeat title track “See The Birds,” to which frontman Michael Mayo writes and sings upbeat lyrics about how to follow through on his aspirations. The song also features vibraphonist Joel Ross.


Kinfolk 2: See the Birds claims that Nate Smith is one of the most dynamic drummers, insightful composers and engaging conductors of his generation, adept at endless genres and styles. The album sees Smith joined by an array of diverse artists, including vocalists Brittany Howard, Amma Whatt, legendary guitarist Vernon Reid, violinist Regina Carter, vibraphonist Ross, rapper Kokayi and Mayo, and Stokley Williams (from pioneer group of R&B Mint Condition).

Kinfolk 2: See the Birds marks the second installment in a remarkable trilogy chronicling Smith’s continued development as a musician and composer. As Kinfolk: Postcards From Everywhere evoked Smith’s childhood in Chesapeake, Va., And the sounds he absorbed in his family home, the new album offers an impressionistic portrayal of the artist as a young man contemplating his future. in music. These years saw Smith draw inspiration from 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 revolutionary Black Rock Coalition such as Living Color (including the pioneer founder, Vernon Reid, appears on the new album’s menacing “Rambo”).


Kinfolk 2: See The Birds is the highly anticipated sequel to the 2017 GRAMMY® Award nominated Kinfolk: Postcards From Everywhere. The album was announced earlier in the summer with its debut single, the “Square Wheel” centered on the hip-hop, which finds Smith juggling odd beats in unison with the fearless rhythmic cadence of rapper Kokayi alongside the passionate vocals of singer Mayo as well as Brad Allen Williams. on guitar, bassist Fima Ephron, saxophonist Jaleel Shaw and Cowherd on keyboards. An accompanying music video shot in the recording studio is now being broadcast on YouTube.

“Square Wheel” was followed by the release of the gospel ballad “Fly (For Mike)”, dedicated to Smith’s father, who died in 2015 and starring Howard, whom Smith collaborated with on his Grammy Award-winning album 2019 , I like . The song also features poignant solos from saxophonist Shaw, guitarist Williams and keyboardist Cowherd.

The album’s third song, “Altitude,” is a soaring mid-tempo instrumental featuring Mayo singing beautiful lyricless melodic passages alongside a seductive motif that gives way to the sumptuous solos of Jon Cowherd on piano and from vibraphonist Ross, before Mayo returned to the spotlight to showcase his gentle virtuosity. A live-in-the-studio performance video from “Altitude” is now streaming on YouTube.


Kinfolk 2 is not a flashback – Smith reconciles his teenage influences with the modern jazz sensibility he has demonstrated not only with his solo material, but as an accompanist with jazz titans such as the guitarist Pat Metheny, bassist Dave Holland and saxophonists Ravi Coltrane and Chris Potter. Recorded primarily during two group sessions – June 2019 at Sear Sound in New York and February 2020 at Bunker Studio in Brooklyn – the album projects a dreamlike cinematic sensibility as the music comes and goes on melancholy excursions to the beat of hip- hop. , from hypnotic airs of alternative rock to lamentations of love. Kinfolk 2 offers a slightly different lineup for its base set 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.

For nearly two decades, Nate Smith has played a key role in revitalizing the international music scene with his visceral, instinctive and deeply rooted style of drumming. He holds a diverse and ample resume, including work with renowned jazz personalities such as Pat Metheny, Dave Holland, Chris Potter, José James and Ravi Coltrane, as well as collaborations with Vulfpeck spin-off group The Fearless Flyers, Brittany Howard (of the Alabama Shakes), Emily King and Van Hunt.


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