On his second solo album, Jaguar Sound, Black Pumas co-founder Adrian Quesada has once again delivered an example of his talent as as an ambidextrous composer and arranger, melding bluesy guitar lines with worldly music themes and cinematic structures into a mind-melting mashup of psychedelic soul, electronic music and classical.
Adrian Quesada’s Jaguar Sound is the sound of a man who has seen the future and is bringing it back to you. A living monument to the art of hybridization, a true alchemist who crafts songs out of samples from every corner of his immense record collection, Quesada is as comfortable funkifying modern jazz as he is digging into classic soul, both of which weave a heavily throughout Jaguar Sound.
Jaguar Sound is also an example of how Quesada can play with different genres in an interesting way. Listening to this album is to experience a journey full of surprises and nostalgic feelings. Quesada creates a sonic universe where everything is possible, expanding his unique approach to instrumental music and laying down 12 instrumentals that range from subtle and delicate to driving and heavy. The resulting tracks are at times soulful and sumptuous, other times spookily atmospheric and sometimes verging on the psychedelic. Each track has a strong identity and gives off an infectious feeling.
Jaguar Sound features harp from Mary Lattimore, Neal Francis on piano, keys from David Garza and an array of strings, horns and percussion. A special appearance from Ikebe Shakedown rounds out an LP that draws inspiration from the world around us – whether it’s cultures near or far – to create something both universal and utterly unique.
Jaguar Sound finds Quesada stepping towards new terrain while remaining true to his aesthetic vision. Quesada has delivered another masterful set that is hypnotic in its mellow groove and cinematic in its sound. This is a record of intoxicating soundscapes and head-nodding grooves, cinematic textures and cinematic tone, which should appeal to fans of artists such as Khruangbin and Surprise Chef.