”Is jazz dead?” is not a question you should ask Makaya McCraven. Partly because all over the world we see several signs of the opposite, partly because the drummer, bandleader and producer himself is a vivid example of how jazz is far from being ready for a funeral. All of this further proved by the fact that his latest album Universal Beings was recorded with different musicians in New York, Los Angeles, London and his hometown Chicago, all cities with varied and innovative jazz scenes. Similar to his previous two albums this one offer free form music, infectious grooves and loops, and where improvised recordings has been edited into shorter segments.
You could say that Makaya McCraven was born into music, his father being American jazz drummer Stephen McCraven and his mother Hungarian vocalist/flutist Agnes Zsigmondi. However, Makaya don’t buy the theory that his own musicality would be some kind of gift to his gene pool. Instead he insists that what he’s inherited from his parents is their work ethic and their blessing to devote a lot of time to learn the basics.