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Shabaka Hutchings has announced his debut album as Shabaka, along with an illustrious guest list. On Perceive Its Beauty, Acknowledge Its Grace, out April 12 via Impulse!, the UK jazz lodestar swaps his usual saxophone (as heard in his bands Sons of Kemet and the Comet is Coming) for woodwind instruments, enlisting collaborators including fellow flautist André 3000, Moses Sumney, Esperanza Spalding, Floating Points, Brandee Younger, Laraaji, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Saul Williams, and Elucid. Below, check out the album art and tracklist and watch the Phoebe Boswell–directed video for “End of Innocence,” on which Shabaka plays clarinet alongside Jason Moran, Nasheet Waits, and Carlos Niño.

Shabaka, who launched his solo repertoire in 2022 with the Afrikan Culture EP, will play a pair of shows at Brooklyn’s National Sawdust on April 23. Having disbanded Sons of Kemet in 2022 and retired his saxophone the following year, Shabaka said in press materials that the new record “signifies a departure for me, a departure from the bands that I’ve become known for playing in, and the arrival of the flutes in general. I bring a lot of flutes to the album and explore different kind of sonic terrains, although for [‘End of Innocence’], it’s not actually the flute, it’s the clarinet. It’s my first instrument, the instrument that I consider to be my primary instrument, so it’s really going back to what I feel most comfortable with.”

He adds that he started playing the Japanese Shakuhachi early in the pandemic. “Since then, it has slowly changed the scope of my musical inner landscape and drawn me towards a multitude of other instruments in the flute family. As more flutes have been added to my arsenal including Mayan Teotihuacan drone flutes, Brazilian Pifanos, Native American flutes and South American Quenas, I’ve started to appreciate the underlying principles that cause these instruments to resonate most fully and use this understanding to form a concept allowing me to freely move between instruments.”

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Perceive Its Beauty, Acknowledge Its Grace:

01 End Of Innocence
02 As The Planets And the Stars Collapse
03 Insecurities
04 Managing My Breath, What Fear Had Become
05 The Wounded Need To Be Replenished
06 Body To Inhabit
07 I’ll Do Whatever You Want
08 Living
09 Breathing
10 Kiss Me Before I Forget
11 Song Of The Motherland



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