Makaya McCraven's 2018 album Universal Beings remains one of the best jazz albums in recent memory, so it's exciting news that he's now releasing Universal Beings E&F Sides -- 14 previously unreleased tracks from the original sessions -- alongside a documentary on the album. Here's more:

An addendum to Makaya McCraven's critically-acclaimed 2018 release Universal Beings, which The New York Times said "affirms the drummer and beatsmith's position as a major figure in creative music," Universal Beings E&F Sides presents fourteen new pieces of organic beat music cut from the original sessions, prepared and produced by Makaya as a soundtrack to the Universal Beings documentary film.

Directed by Mark Pallman, the Universal Beings documentary follows Makaya to Los Angeles, Chicago, London and New York City for a behind the scenes look into the making of the artists breakthrough album, taking the viewer through the story of Makaya's life, his process and the community of musicians that helped bring this project to life. The Universal Beings documentary and Universal Beings E&F Sides album release July 31st 2020.

Like Universal Beings, the E&F Sides album features this impressive cast of players from New York, Chicago, London, and LA: Brandee Younger, Tomeka Reid, Dezron Douglas, Joel Ross, Shabaka Hutchings, Junius Paul, Nubya Garcia, Daniel Casimir, Ashley Henry, Josh Johnson, Jeff Parker, Anna Butters, Carlos Niño and Miguel-Atwood Ferguson.

The first song released is the two-minute "Mak Attack," which is fueled by a performance by Makaya that very much earns this song its name, and brings in some warm melodies towards the end too. Listen and watch an excerpt of the documentary below. Both E&F Sides and the documentary come out July 31 via International Anthem.

Earlier this year, Makaya released We're New Again -- a reimagining of the late, legendary Gil Scott-Heron's final album I'm New Here -- on XL.

A few weeks ago, Carlos Niño and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson released Chicago Waves -- a live album of the 44-minute improvised duo set that they played to open the Universal Beings show in Chicago -- on International Anthem.

1. Everybody Cool
2. Half Steppin'
3. Mak Attack
4. The Hunt
5. Beat Science
6. Dadada
7. Isms
8. Traveling Space
9. Kings and Queens
10. The Loneliness
11. Her Name
12. Universal Beings pt 2
13. Butterss Fly
14. The Way Home

Tracks 1, 5 & 11 recorded August 29th, 2017, at H010 in Ridgewood, Queens, New York. Featuring:
Brandee Younger - harp
Joel Ross - vibraphone
Dezron Douglas - double bass
Makaya McCraven - drums

Tracks 2 & 14 recorded October 18th, 2017, at Total Refreshment Centre in Stoke Newington, London, UK. Featuring:
Soweto Kinch - saxophone
Kamaal Williams - keys
Makaya McCraven - drums

Tracks 3 & 4 recorded October 19th, 2017, at Total Refreshment Studios in Stoke Newington, London, UK. Featuring:
Nubya Garcia - tenor saxophone
Ashley Henry* - rhodes piano
Daniel Casimir - double bass
Makaya McCraven - drums
*Ashley Henry appears courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited

Tracks 6, 12 & 13 recorded January 30th, 2018, at Jeff Parker's house in Altadena, California. Featuring:
Josh Johnson - alto saxophone
Miguel Atwood-Ferguson - violin
Jeff Parker - guitar
Anna Butterss - double bass
Carlos Niño - percussion
Makaya McCraven - drums

Track 7 recorded June 18th, 2017, at Co-Prosperity Sphere in Bridgeport, Chicago, Illinois. Featuring:
Junius Paul - double bass
Makaya McCraven - drums

Tracks 8, 9 & 10 recorded September 2nd, 2017, at Co-Prosperity Sphere in Bridgeport, Chicago, Illinois. Featuring:
Shabaka Hutchings* - tenor saxophone
Tomeka Reid - cello
Junius Paul - double bass, percussion
Makaya McCraven - drums
*Shabaka Hutchings appears courtesy of Verve Label Group

Recorded & Mixed by Dave Vettraino & David Allen.
Mastered by David Allen.

Cover Art by Damon Locks.
Portrait by Sean Owens.
Design by Craig Hansen.

Produced by Makaya McCraven.
Executive Production by Scott McNiece.

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