Pino Palladino & Blake Mills – “Ekuté”
Bassist to the stars Pino Palladino is teaming up with producer and multi-instrumentalist Blake Mills for the new album Notes With Attachments. Originally conceived as a Palladino solo record, it grew into a fully collaborative work over the course of the next two and a half years, bringing in a crack team of musicians including D’Angelo drummer Chris Dave, keyboardist Larry Goldings, and saxophonists Sam Gendel, Marcus Strickland, and Jacques Schwartz-Bart.
We’ve already heard the hazy jazz instrumental “Just Wrong,” and now Palladino and Mills are sharing the new track Ekuté, which began as a Fela Kuti-inspired experiment with Chris Dave. “It just came from a one-chord jam that I liked the feel of,” Palladino explains. “The next thing we did on it was in New York, with Ben Kane, an engineer friend of mine who worked on some of D’Angelo’s stuff. We had Marcus Strickland come in, who had the idea for that multitracked bass-clarinet horn section.”
As the first piece of Palladino’s original music that Mills ever heard, “Ekuté” is essentially the genesis of the entire record. “It was eye-opening to hear something that was repetitive, but still had so many different [directions] that it went in,” Mills says. “It was kind of a revelation, to work on a song in those terms.” The final product is a gloriously idiosyncratic modern Afrobeat jam, and you can listen to it below.
Notes With Attachments is out 3/12 on New Deal/Impulse. Pre-order it here.