Leaders of Chicago’s nu-Jazz scene, Frayne Lewis and father Ramsey, give birth to another prime example of multi-generational progressive Funk/Jazz with unyieldingly heavy electro accents and technique. Often riding a pseudo-syncopated river of programmed and machined percussive skin work (Quinjuan Anderson), the sound of the Urban Knights has become (most certainly) a chief paradigm of the unquestionable R&B evolution and influence into urban American Jazz music as we know it; an evolution that - I need not remind - has now come full circle.
Inhaling the surrounding air, drenched in the album’s multi-cultural nuance, one might notice the improvisational quality of the instrumentation among the rhythms of tracks like "Footprints" and the 4/4 house styling of "Fall Forward". Nick Bisesi blows his horns against Bobby Broom’s fret seducing guitar melodies, while Maurice Fitzgerald’s electric bass entices and accents Anderson’s percussion; one keystroke ahead yet bracing the rest, Kevin Randolph’s piano bounces along playfully giving flight to tracks like "Memorias Belas" and "My Love is True".
Overall, the evolution of Ramsey’s Urban Knights appears to be in good hands with the current line-up, even though most die-hard critics might never appreciate the obvious influences at hand.