With his new remix album, Deciphering The Message the Chicago-based drummer, producer, and beat scientist Makaya McCraven puts a modern bounce on Blue Note classics by Art Blakey, Horace Silver, and Hank Mobley, among others. Today, McCraven has unveiled the album’s fourth and final single "Black Rhythm Happening" which is a funky remake of the title track of a 1969 album by the adventurous trumpeter and Sun Ra associate Eddie Gale. Deciphering The Message will be released November 19 on vinyl, CD, and digital download.
McCraven hopes the album is both educational and an outright good listen. “I always want to make music that will connect with people in one way, where it makes them nod or feel something or transport them somewhere,” he says. “I also hope this makes them check out the source of this music. The music that we’re making now is part of the same route and is connected, so I want to honor tradition and release something that people can vibe to.”
Across numerous albums and mixtapes, McCraven has proven his mastery of the loop akin to hip-hop’s most celebrated beatmakers like Madlib and J Dilla, both of whom also found inspiration in the Blue Note catalog. With acclaimed releases like In The Moment (2015) and Universal Beings (2018), McCraven created his own lane in jazz by sampling his band playing improvised sessions throughout the world, then molding the audio several times to pull contrasting moods from it. For his previous project McCraven remixed Gil Scott-Heron’s final album I’m New Here into the equally emotive LP We’re New Again (2020).