Best of 2019 #14: James Brandon Lewis – “An Unruly Manifesto”


There’s a relentlessness to this music that is nothing less than thrilling.  But more than that, it’s got heart.  It’s evident in every note, and it bleeds on through no matter how volatile the music may get, and that’s why the unerring melodicism of this music is the quality that eclipses all others.  James Brandon Lewis has crafted a recording that, for all intents and purposes, has the character of protest, of standing up to everything that’s wrong… and, yet, it would take very little convincing were the tenor saxophonist to assert that love was the album’s inspiration, or a response to the spiritual.  It’s a rare thing to hear the tender pulse from music that rages with the fury of the world coming apart at the seams.  Lewis, along with trumpeter Jaimie Branch, bassist Luke Stewart, guitarist Anthony Pirog and drummer Warren Trae Crudup III, make it seem as natural as taking your next breath.

Your album personnel:  James Brandon Lewis (tenor sax), Jaimie Branch (trumpet), Luke Stewart (bass), Anthony Pirog (guitar), and Warren Trae Crudup III (drums).

Released on Relative Pitch Records.

Listen to more of the album on the artist’s Bandcamp page.

Music from New York City.

Listen | Read more | Available at:  BandcampAmazon