While they initially gained notoriety and shout-outs from the likes of BBC broadcaster Gilles Peterson and Tyler, the Creator for their hip-hop-heavy live shows and creative covers, Toronto trio BADBADNOTGOOD have always seemed like the kind of jazz nerds who'd rather practise polyrhythms and talk about Jaco Pastorius than hobnob with rap's heavyweights. Yet it's that exact understanding of hip-hop's current cache, mixed with their own classically trained musicianship, that has made their urban jazz instrumentals and eclectic stage performances such a success.
The triumvirate's long-awaited third album, the aptly titled III, doesn't arrive until May 6. While you wait, stream their Innovative Leisure/Pirates Blend debut on Exclaim.ca.
Recorded in full at the band's home studio, the album was created using an entirely analog approach. The result is a record that fully embraces the band's modal musical leanings (album opener "Triangle," the Leland Whitty-assisted "Confessions"), while also occupying pockets of Dilla-esque grooves that share sonic similarities to Madlib's Shades of Blue (lead singles "CS60" and "Can't Leave the Night").
"This album is the sum of all the experiences and growth we've had over the past couple of years, touring everywhere, playing with all kinds of brilliant people, learning from everything that's happened to us, and honing in on this knowledge to make something truly special," said drummer Alex Sowinski in a statement about the album's confident sound.
If you're in Canada, hear for yourself by listening to the III in the player below, which can be found underneath the band's upcoming European and Canadian tour itinerary.
You can also pre-order the album in various formats over here.
05/06 London, UK – XOYO
05/07 Bristol, UK – The Exchange
05/09 Leeds, UK – Brudenell Social Club
05/10 Manchester, UK – Deaf Institute
05/12 Brussels, BE – Botanique @ Orangerie
05/13 Paris, FR – Point Ephemere
05/14 Amsterdam, NL – Bitterzoet
05/16 Hamburg, DE – Prinzenbar
05/17 Frankfurt, DE – Brotfabrik
05/18 Haldern, DE – Haldern Bar
05/19 Berlin, DE – Gruner Salon
05/22 Galway, IRE – Roisin Dubh
05/23 Cork, IRE – Pavilion
05/24 Dublin, IRE – Sugar Club
06/06 Hamilton, ON – The Casbah
06/07-08 Toronto, ON – Arts & Crafts Field Trip
07/05 Montreal, QC – Montreal International Jazz Festival
07/11 Ottawa, ON – Ottawa Bluesfest
07/12 Quebec City, QC – Festival d'été de Québec
07/13 Antigonish, NS – Evolve Festival
Read our cover story on BADBADNOTGOOD here.
UPDATE: This stream was available for one week only and is no longer available.