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James Brandon Lewis, 'Sir Real Denard' is RollingStone: Song You Need to Know

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Saxophonist James Brandon Lewis combines funky rhythms and avant-garde textures on a track from his new album 'An UnRuly Manifesto.' There's no easy shorthand for James Brandon Lewis' musical M.O. Ever since his early releases - 2010's Moments, 2014's Divine Travels - the saxophonist has balanced a deep, gospel-informed spirituality with free-jazz abandon and hard-hitting funk-meets–hip-hop underpinnings.

"Sir Real Denard," a track from his new album An UnRuly Manifesto, shows how adept he's become at bridging different approaches. On one hand, it's a fierce rhythmic workout driven by the tireless bass-drums team of Luke Stewart and drummer Warren "Trae" Crudup III, both of whom also appeared on Lewis' 2016 effort No Filter; on the other, it's a platform for some heady, avant-leaning improv from the leader, guitarist Anthony Pirog (who turned up on a couple No Filter tracks and also works with Fugazi offshoot the Messthetics) and trumpeter Jaimie Branch. PHOTO: Diane Allford

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