Williams, Jamire: But Only After You Have Suffered LP
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But Only After You Have Suffered is a densely layered and deeply personal new work from multidisciplinary artist, composer, percussionist and producer Jamire Williams. Conceived as a spiritual, autobiographical artistic statement, Jamire applies sound collage practice to modern jazz composition, beat production, MC/vocalist features, and his uniquely impressionistic drumming style – making an album as akin to minimalist painting as an art-house film soundtrack or a classic hip-hop mixtape. A "self-reflective, almost testimonial work" that swiftly cycles across a vast spectrum of styles, it's the culmination of his five-year musical journey to the outer reaches of his own sound. It's the album he has always wanted to make.
Across twelve multi-faceted tracks, he brings together artists from his hometown of Houston (vocalists Corey King, Lisa E. Harris, Fat Tony, Jawwaad Taylor), those he became close to over several years living in LA (Sam Gendel, Zeroh, Mic Holden, Josh Johnson, fellow International Anthem artist Carlos Niño), and other creative partners from his life-long journey in sound (Chassol, Svet, Kenneth Whalum). As such, But Only After You Have Suffered builds its own world from the pull between Jamire's jazz heritage - eleven years as a drummer in NYC recording with world-renowned musicians like Jason Moran, Christian Scott, and Dr. Lonnie Smith - and the experimental, narrative art-pop of his more recent work with Solange, Moses Sumney, and Blood Orange.
Rooted in his faith, Jamire opens the album with "Hands Up," a devotional hymn cut against the stark reality of the modern world that sounds like an apocalyptic middle-grounding of Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly and Merry Clayton's "Gimme Shelter." Whether in the rousing, spiritual "Just Hold On" or the fluid verses of Fat Tony on "Safe Travels," the music exists in the tension between higher realms and social realities - what Jamire calls the "duality of a personal thing and what I'm seeing in my community, in the Black community, as a Black man." The album reaches its climax on "Pause In His Presence," which features a chilling operatic performance from Lisa E. Harris, recorded in one take off the back of a single conversation and a shared vision between the two artists.