Young Jazz Giants Biography
Los Angeles, 21st century. The World Stage in the South Central/Crenshaw district became a porthole for a new generation of young Jazz musicians. Drummer/Legend Billy Higgins played mentor to the children of hip-hop who were craving knowledge about the past language of Jazz, Jazz with urgency….JAZZ as a philosophical view.
Higgins passed away some years ago, but the fertile oasis he fostered produced a new kind of Jazz super group: The Young Jazz Giants. The Young Jazz Giants consist of Kamasi Washington on saxophone, Ronald Bruner on drums, brother Steven Bruner on bass (who was 16 when the Birdman record was recorded) and Cameron Graves on keys.
The Young Jazz Giants take from Jazz history Coltrane's soul-stretching Impulse years, Davis' explosive bee-bop, and Hancock's Headhunter concept and blend it into a unique, progressive sound that is all their own. This is their hip-hop. This is their message.
Their musicianship is sensational, explaining why on their off time, Ronald has become a regular with Suicidal Tendencies and, most recently, Kenny Garret, his hero; while Washington blows in Snoop Dogg's band and has recorded with Ryan Adams and the Twilight Singers. But their desire is to make history together, as a whole, as the Young Jazz Giants.
Their debut on Birdman Records showcases their youthful sound explosion and their advanced songwriting skills. They penned every number but one, Coltrane's GIANT STEPS, the album closer and a testimonial to the deconstructionist excitement that fuels the quartet's musical mission. Yenne, the album opener, is a dramatic stunner complete with courageous blowing on Washington's side with the Brunner brothers adding an amazing breakdown bass/drum foot stomping interlude. With the infectious FAMILY (Washington's song), Graves starts the groove gracefully with a signature fluid playing style that is beyond his years. This record as a whole provides a showcase for these young newbies to strut and fret their talents to their awaiting public as they forge a new chapter in the history of the mighty Jazz.
As a poet preaches on the second to last track on the album, as a type of royal presentation "With Hip Hop Defiance….The Young Jazz Giants!"