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[Joshua Crumbly\“For Victor”]
Joshua Crumbly: "’For Victor’ is a dedication to the late Victor Bailey, whom I was fortunate enough to have as a mentor of mine. He's a huge influence on me as both a bassist and composer.”
Photo: David Brisco

Bassist, composer, and bandleader Joshua Crumbly has released “For Victor,” the third single from his debut album Rise (out May 15 via Open Book Records).

WBGO’s Nate Chinen praised “For Victor” as “a muscular fusion tune whose quick-twitch harmonic movement may lead some younger listeners to draw comparisons with Thundercat. But as the title suggests, it’s inspired by the former Weather Report bassist Victor Bailey, an important early mentor to Crumbly who died in 2016.”

Listen to “For Victor” here:

"’For Victor’ is a dedication to the late Victor Bailey, whom I was fortunate enough to have as a mentor of mine,” Crumbly says. “He's a huge influence on me as both a bassist and composer. During the studio sessions for Rise, I would share the story of what each song was about but encouraged everyone to reflect/relate to it in their own way from their own instances in their lives. ‘Gratitude’ and ‘Thankfulness’ is something that myself and all the musicians involved reflected on during the recording of ’For Victor.’ This is my ‘thank you’ to Victor Bailey in the form of a song.”

Since his mentorship under Victor Bailey, Joshua Crumbly has recorded and toured with a staggering list of genre-blurring artists including Kamasi Washington, Lizz Wright, Stefon Harris, Ravi Coltrane, Anthony Wilson, Terence Blanchard, and Leon Bridges. The music on Rise manages to draw inspiration from all of those artists, melding into an uncategorizable but eminently inviting sound. “My goal is to write songs that can be performed at rock festivals or jazz clubs or concert halls,” Crumbly insists. “I come from a very diverse musical background and believe that this album has something for everyone.”

Watch the Album Trailer:

Unlike many debut recordings that strive to pack a lifetime’s worth of ideas into a handful of tunes, Rise is refreshingly open, allowing every member of the rotating cast of collaborators to add their own voice. At the same time it maintains a singular soundworld, evincing a vision confident and singular enough to leave room for spontaneous expression.

“I wanted the music to have as many opportunities for everyone to sort of musically paint and communally express together,” Crumbly says. “I’ll share with everyone what each song is about for me, but of course they can relate to it in their own way. Many of the songs are drawn from a specific experience that I've had, but I don't wish to impose that interpretation on anyone else.”

For inspiration, Crumbly looked inward, leading to a reflective and intimate-feeling album that bears the traces of lost loved ones, personal struggle, and elevating to a more hopeful place.

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