Out Now: ‘Seven,’ an Intriguing New ‘Thrash-Jazz’ Album from Pianist/Songwriter/Heavy Metal Fan Cameron Graves


Seven is the title of a new album from Cameron Graves, a pianist/composer/songwriter/heavy metal enthusiast with a self-described style of “thrash-jazz.”

Those two musical genres have rarely been seen in connection with each other, but the mash-up fits well with the inspired stylings of Graves. He grew up in Los Angeles listening to bands like Living Colour and, later, Pantera, Slipknot, and challenging Swedish experimental legends Meshuggah.

That head-banging upbringing merged with his eventual studies of classical and jazz music, instilling in Graves a unique perspective, and leading to tracks like “Seven,” the title track from his latest album:

The son of soul singer Carl Graves, Cameron Graves has also carved a key role for himself through collaborations with acclaimed jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington, appearing on some of Washington’s (also genre-mashing) albums including 2015’s The Epic and 2018’s Heaven and Earth.

Washington appears on two songs on Seven, as do bassists Thundercat and Miles Mosley, and drummers Ronald Bruner Jr. and Tony Austin, among other guests.

“Our mission is to continue that legacy of advanced music that was started by bands like Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report and Return to Forever,” said Graves in a statement about his new album. “That was instilled in us by the masters. Stanley Clarke, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock— these guys sat

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