Straight outta Brooklyn comes PitchBlak Brass Band, a hip-hop jazz band. You See Us is an impressive collection of 14 tracks that seamlessly run the gamut from introspective rap to soulful improvisation to hypnotic funk and back again. Instrumentation for the 10-piece crew includes percussion, guitar, Sousaphone, trumpets, saxophone, and trombones, with several musicians doubling as MCs. The instrumental “1988 Gregorian Swagger,” which begins with a classical tone before the band starts trading solos, and “The Light,” (“inspired by the harsh realities and feelings as a young gay person of color,” the group’s website notes) are the standouts. But really, they’re all good.
(Originally appeared in the Valley Advocate.)