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Boundless Tenor Saxophonist James Brandon Lewis Signs To ANTI-
Tuesday, July 26th, 2022

Boundless Tenor Saxophonist James Brandon Lewis Signs To ANTI-

James Brandon Lewis, a critically-acclaimed saxophonist, composer and writer, announces his signing to ANTI- Records today. Brought to the label by Marc Ribot, Lewis is a talent of many layers. To excavate these layers, one needs to know of Lewis’ roots in the church – a preacher father, playing with the choir on Sundays – and in his hometown of Buffalo, NY, where he was exposed to the twin paths of native sons Charles Gayle and Grover Washington early in his musical journey. These roots – the faithful melodics of the choir, the fierce freedom of Gayle (bred in his own early work in R&B), and the groove and precision of Washington – form the musician we hear today: locked in a struggle, remembering, forgetting, learning and unlearning, as were his heroes Sonny Rollins, Albert Ayler, and John Coltrane before him. 
 
Alongside this announce he is sharing the new track “Fear Not (Feat. The Messthetics)” which features Shahzad Ismaily on Moog synthesizer; Listen to it below. The Messthetics are an instrumental trio featuring guitarist Anthony Pirog, who is joined by former Fugazi members Joe Lally (bass) and Brendan Canty (drums). 
 
“Fear Not” is a sonic poem that captures an energy of resilience, purpose and a brighter tomorrow,” Lewis said of the song’s themes. “The Messthetics are friends at this point and collaborating with them over the years has now brought us to another high point of musical bonding and purely unapologetic energy!” 

Lewis’s 2020 album Molecular, with its powerful imagery of music as a shattered drinking glass, shows us Lewis the polymath, an artist who experiments with poetry and visual art as well as music. His follow-up, 2021’s Jesup Wagon, inspired by the inventor George Washington Carver, went even deeper with its conceptual structure; it was voted Record of the Year by both Downbeat and Jazz Times Magazine. He also appeared on Marc Ribot's celebrated album "Songs Of Resistance 1942-2018" and composed his recently debuted string quartet piece "These Are Soulful Days." 
 
“James Brandon Lewis’ solos are like a jumbo jet,” enthuses Marc Ribot. “You need to give them plenty of runway space to take off and land. Because they’re huge, not just in terms of sound, chops, soul, ideas, energy, and originality, (although they have all these in abundance), but because they’re carrying a precious cargo: the living legacy of John Coltrane. I’m not talking about some skillful ‘young lion's’ reproduction of a historic jazz sound, but a young artist’s courage to take up the spiritual challenge—to channel what needs to be channeled now.” 
 
Lewis currently leads a group, the "Power Trio" – featuring Chris Hoffman on cello and Max Jaffe on drums – with whom he is working on music for his upcoming ANTI- full-length debut. Next month Lewis will embark on a short run of West coast dates including a set at Los Angeles’s The Lodge Room via Jazz Is Dead with Joel Ross

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