Back in May, it was announced that BMG had partnered with multifaceted maestro Terrace Martin and his Sounds Of Crenshaw record label. The news was music to the ears of fans worldwide, as the agreement includes a series of six jazz albums all curated and executive produced by Martin and slated to drop throughout the remainder of 2023. After the release of the first installment Fine Tune last month, Martin follows up with Curly.
The album is a nine-track ode to his late father, drummer Ernest “Curly” Martin, who passed away in March. Curly not only pays homage to Terrace’s jazz roots, but it clearly holds a more sacred and personal significance.
Via BMG he explains, “This is a body of work that represents the spirit of my father. Curly represents courage, heart and adventure.” In a recent Instagram post, he also shared his intention to illustrate some of the lessons his father taught him.
“He would always talk about groove and soul,” Terrace wrote in the caption that accompanied a carousel of photographs with his dad. “He would always tell me that the notes don’t mean s**t if they don’t have soul and groove behind them.”
With an all-star cast of fellow master musicians including Kamasi Washington, Cory Henry and Robert “Sput” Searight, that spirit is felt deeply in each track. Martin also seizes the opportunity to revisit highlights from his illustrious career and show reverence to those who are no longer with us, at least in the physical realm.
For example, with the help of jazz organist Larry Goldings and guitarist Nir Felder, he reimagines Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly track “How Much A Dollar Cost” with the same contemplative energy, though more free-flowing in nature. Conversely, the previously shared single “Voice Of King Nipsey” serves as a chilling tribute to Crenshaw legend Nipsey Hussle and is a pointed endpoint for the project. Other standouts include the vibrant opening track “24th & Lake” and the smoldering “Sweeter,” each with drastically different vibes while showcasing each artist’s knack for allowing the music to lead.
Terrace Martin’s Curly is a true masterclass in musicianship and a loving tribute from a son to his father.- Advertisement -