Chris Dave and The Drumhedz – Debut Self-Titled Album out via Blue Note
Led by drummer, composer, and bandleader Chris Dave, Chris Dave and The Drumhedz features Anderson .Paak, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Bilal, Phonte, Elzhi, Anna Wise and dozens more. The first single “Destiny N Stereo (ft. Elzhi, Phonte Coleman & Eric Roberson)” was praised by NPR Music, The New York Times, Okayplayer, and Uproxx, who said “over a jazzy, spaced-out track built on the backbone of Dave’s neck-cracking live drums, the two veteran MCs trade dextrous, hyper-lyrical verses that perfectly display both their respective wordplay wizardry and the collective chemistry that makes them such a joy to hear on the same beat.”
Chris Dave has drummed for everyone from Adele to Bieber and Dolly to D’Angelo; Questlove once described Chris as his “worst nightmare” and Rolling Stone named him one of the 100 Greatest Drummers of All Time. The Drumhedz’ debut LP showcases a family of musicians whose credits coil like ivy around nearly every pillar of modern sound. It’s a place without genre, where elements of funk, soul, gospel, hip-hop and jazz mix until they’re an indistinguishable surging mass of solid groove.
It’s the album The Drumhedz founder has been building toward his entire life. Chris first reached for the sticks at 3, hoping to hit skins for his brothers’ funk group. He was denied, but found his second chance at church, initially on percussion. By the time Chris hit middle school, he was drumming for Houston choirs, backing singers like Kim Burrell and Yolanda Adams. He attended the revered High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, then received a full ride to Howard University, but dropped out to join Mint Condition. After that the work started pouring in, playing sessions with Lionel Richie, Mary J., and Kenny Garrett. In studios, on tour and in private, he was perfecting his style.
Chris’ need to absorb all he heard paid off – from 2009 to 2012, he worked on three Grammy-winning albums across three genres: Maxwell’s BLACKsummer’snight, Adele’s 21, and the Robert Glasper Experiment’s Black Radio. In the personnel credits for those LPs, you’ll find the foundation of The Drumhedz.
There are nearly 50 Drumhedz on this record, spanning core crew like Pino Palladino (bass), Isaiah Sharkey (guitar), Cleo “Pookie” Sample (keys), Sir Darryl Farris (vocals) and Keyon Harrold (horn), to old familiars like James Poyser (the Roots), Stokley Williams (Mint Condition) and Shafiq Husayn (Sa-Ra), to fresh guests like Anderson .Paak, Bilal, DJ Jazzy Jeff and Phonte Coleman.
With all their otherworldly ability, The Drumhedz are who they are because of connection. At the end of the day, they’re the cats who came together. And because they did, you might be a Drumhed too.
1. Rocks Crying
2. Universal Language [ft. KRNDN, Sy Smith, D.Rose]
3. Dat Feelin [ft. Sir, Tiffany Gouche, Keyon Harrold]
4. Black Hole [ft. Anderson .Paak]
6. Spread Her Wings [ft. Bilal, Tweet]
8. Sensitive Granite [ft. Kendra Foster]
9. Cosmic Intercourse [ft. Stokley Williams, Casey Benjamin]
10. Atlanta, Texas [ft. Goapele and Shafiq Husayn]
11. Destiny n Stereo [ft. Elzhi, Phonte Coleman, Eric Roberson]
12. Clear View [ft. Anderson .Paak, Sir]
13. Job Well Done [ft. Anna Wise, Sir]
14. Lady Jane
15. Trippy Tipsy
WATCH: Chris ‘Daddy’ Dave and The Drumhedz interview with Fusicology