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James Brandon Lewis: Days of Freeman

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Tenor saxophonist James Brandon Lewis, along with bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma and drummer Rudy Royston, delivers a taut, street-smart set, rooted firmly in hip-hop ancestry yet crafted to honor the tenets of inspired jazz improvisation. References to venerated elders from diverse genres permeate both the music and Lewis’ written narrative, including shout-outs to historic hip-hop groups and rap-music forebears like A Tribe Called Quest, Digable Planets and Lee “Scratch” Perry. To make an even larger point about the grand scope of African-American heritage, interspersed throughout are recorded excerpts of Lewis’ grandmother, Pearl Lewis, ruminating on such topics as freedom, faith, family and the power of gospel music.

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