Resavoir’s album “Resavoir” sounds like imaginary jazz, like speculative jazz, the kind of jazz you read about in a magazine or a book and then wonder about—what does it sound like? Could it possibly be as good as you’d heard it in your head? “Resavoir” is that good. It’s full of beautiful playing, surprising melodies, gorgeous grooves. It’s the kind of album that’s light enough to hang in the background, but also stands up to close and rigorous listening.
It makes me think of when I first read about Madlib’s record with Blue Note, “Shades of Blue,” where Madlib remixed portions of the Blue Note catalog to fit into his aesthetic—I imagined something else entirely, jazz with heavy mind-blowing beats, crazy breaks and transitions. I like that record fine, but it definitely doesn’t match up with the sound I had in my head. Makaya McCraven’s work and a lot of the stuff on International Anthem (including “Resavoir”) sounds like what I envisioned, jazz animated by the energy and dynamics of modern hip hop. (Some of Floating Points’ “Elaenia” has this vibe too.)