Collectively, Kamasi Washington, Terrace Martin, Robert Glasper and 9th Wonder are responsible for a hefty portion of our quarantine playlist – not to mention the fact that their list of contributions to our music collection over the past decade alone qualifies each of them for MVP status in the realms of jazz and hip-hop. So for them to join forces to create the supergroup Dinner Party almost seems unfair to other ensembles. Like, 1992 U.S.A. Olympic Dream Team unfair. Especially now that they’ve released their eponymous debut project.
Luckily, listeners/music lovers are the real winners in this situation. Not that these talented brothas are in competition with anyone. In fact, the whole premise is all about inclusivity. “Dinner Party is years of friendship, shows, dinners, conversations, laughs and life experience, all converging into one moment,” the group says via press release. “Dinner Party is a metaphor – a group, a project, a spirit, an imprint of time – and also the name of the album… Dinner Party is invite only, but it’s for everyone.”
Under 25 minutes in length, the seven-song collection touches on subjects from police brutality to the highs and lows of love. With 9th Wonder on production, Glasper on keys, Martin on alto sax plus synth and Washington on tenor sax, it goes without saying that Dinner Party‘s arrangements are ridiculously good – whether on instrumental tracks like “The Mighty Tree,” “First Responders” or Jagged Edge-reminiscent “Luv U” or as a backdrop for lyric melodies. We already knew that Chicago singer/producer Phoelix lent his fluid falsetto to lead single “Freeze Tag,” but his silky-silky-soul vocals are also featured on album opener “Sleepless Nights,” “Love You Bad” and “From My Heart and My Soul.”
Preview the full album below, then peep the creative visuals for “Sleepless Nights.” The animated video by Juppi Juppsen depicts the quartet as intergalactic superheroes who come down to a block party in Crenshaw to offer protection and bless the people with an out-of-this-world jam session. Purchase Dinner Party for your collection and keep your fingers crossed that the fellas will be serving seconds in the not-too-distant future.