There’s a moment at the beginning of “The Power Of,” the second track on drummer Sanah Kadoura’s debut album, Hawk Eyes, when the hip-hop-inflected beat begins to warp. About nine seconds in, her steady 16th-note hi-hat pattern slows down for just a hair, each stroke a bit more labored, and then speeds up again. It’s easy to miss—a subtle, four-second blip that brings to mind the stuttering grooves of J Dilla, now imitated by many jazz drummers. But in Kadoura’s case, the allusion wasn’t intentional.
“There were times in the recording studio where my arms went numb,” Kadoura, 29, recalled matter-of-factly in an interview at her Yorkville apartment, where she lives with her cat, Malachi.