Onyx Collective Lower East Suite Part Three vinyl


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Release Date: 15th June 2018


The debut album from the New York jazz group, Onyx Collective. Lower East Suite Part Three is the sequel to two EP releases last year from the band and is the first fully composed recording the band has produced. Recorded at their new musical base, the album reflects a darker more sinister New York City and centres on the concepts of eviction and gentrification. However, the shifting movements and sounds on the record conjure up images and feelings of golden era New York jazz of the Beat Generation. Jazz lovers old and new are such to 'dig' this one. 

FFO: Christian Scott, Kamasi Washington, Sons of Kemet, Alfa Mist


"Onyx Collective release their debut studio album, Lower East Suite Part Three via Big Dada. The record features de-facto band leader Isaiah Barr on alto and tenor saxophone, Austin Williamson on drums, Walter Stinson on upright bass, Spencer Murphy on electric bass, and Roy Nathanson as guest saxophone on four tracks. A group of New York mainstays cross in and out of the Onyx universe and often performing live with the band, including Nick Hakim, Princess Nokia, Dev Hynes (Blood Orange), Wiki (Ratking), Julian Soto and Felix Pastorius. Onyx members quietly feature on a bevy of other artists’ records too, with Barr himself recently boasting 3 features on the new David Byrne album and making a cameo in Ibeyi’s live band for their performance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Whereas previous Onyx Collective projects capture New York City's more romantic facets, Lower East Suite Part Three has a much more ominous sound, reflective of the dissonance that accompanies life in the city. After being forced out of their original practice space due to rising rent, Onyx Collective relocated their headquarters to Magic Gallery on Market St, located in a gritty pocket of Chinatown by the East River. “When I wrote the record I was thinking about concepts like eviction and gentrification,” explains Barr. “The record is born out of the challenges of being in New York.” Recorded at Magic Gallery, Lower East Suite Part Three is the first release from Onyx Collective composed of entirely written music. “The record is a graduation for us - from not just having a microphone at a session and spontaneously recording,” says Barr. “This is us doing it on our own, with our own engineer, with a very low budget. That survival is really what I think jazz is: creating with your surroundings, and making something that's a picture of that.” While the new music is more premeditated than the impromptu nature of their previous work, New York's deafening influence remains present. “To some degree it's controlled, but how much is it actually controlled?” continues Barr. “At the end of one of the songs you can still hear a siren from the street. Because we weren't in a professional studio, it's not a controlled environment. We're still in New York.”"