UK jazz leader Shabaka Hutchings remains insanely prolific. Having released a new Shabaka and the Ancestors album last year and a Comet Is Coming album the year before that, he's now back with a new Sons of Kemet album, Black To The Future, due May 14 via the legendary Impulse! Records.

For this album, the core band -- Shabaka (sax), Theon Cross (tuba), Edward Wakili-Hick (percussion), Tom Skinner (percussion) -- were joined by a handful of awesome guest vocalists, including Angel Bat Dawid and Moor Mother (both on "Pick Up Your Burning Cross"), Kojey Radical and Lianne La Havas (both on "Hustle"), Joshua Idehen, and D Double E. It also features contributions from veteran UK saxophonist Steve Williamson. More background, via press release:

This album begins and ends with powerful lyrical and musical statements of rage and frustration, expressed outwardly in the wake of George Floyd’s death and the subsequent BLM protests. The album flows inwards from the start and finish to deeper, inner journeys – looking to forgotten cosmologies and searching for new ways of existing.

Shabaka Hutchings says, ‘Black to the Future is a sonic poem for the invocation of power, remembrance and healing. It depicts a movement to redefine and reaffirm what it means to strive for black power.”

“The meaning is not universal and the cultural context of the listener will shape their understanding,” he continues. “Yet in the end, the overarching message remains the same: For humanity to progress we must consider what it means to be Black to the Future.”

[...] For Black To The Future, Shabaka sequenced and named each track in a specific order so that the song titles reflect a single poetic statement to which a depth of symbolic meaning can be intuited in combination with the music/sonic information.

The statement reads: “Field negus - pick up your burning cross - think of home - hustle - for the culture - to never forget the source - In remembrance of those fallen - Let the circle be unbroken - Envision yourself levitating - Throughout the madness, stay strong - Black.”

The first single is the Kojey Radical and Lianne La Havas-featuring "Hustle," which finds Kojey delivering fired-up raps over Sons of Kemet's kinetic musical backdrop. It comes with a video directed by Ashleigh Jadee, of which Shabaka says, "The dancers represent the duality present within any struggle to transcend internal limitations. As the video progresses, we see that it’s only once the differing elements of the self are reconciled and act in unison that rebirth (symbolized by the immersion in water) can occur."

Check out the new song/video, album art, and tracklist below...

Sons of Kemet

1- Field Negus feat. Joshua Idehen
2- Pick Up Your Burning Cross feat. Moor Mother, Angel Bat Dawid
3- Think Of Home
4- Hustle feat. Kojey Radical
5- For The Culture feat. D Double E
6- To Never Forget The Source
7- In Remembrance Of Those Fallen
8- Let The Circle Be Unbroken
9- Envision Yourself Levitating
10- Throughout The Madness, Stay Strong
11- Black feat. Joshua Idehen

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