Album of the Day: Resavoir, “Resavoir”

There’s a good chance you’ve come across the sound of Will Miller’s trumpet while flipping through various playlists. He plays in the rootsy indie rock group Whitney—a favorite of college radio stations—and has collaborated with several of today’s biggest rappers, including Lil Wayne, Chance the Rapper, and A$AP Rocky. As the leader of Chicago jazz collective Resavoir, who’ve just released their self-titled debut, Miller has upped his status from session musician to bandleader. Nevertheless, his role is that of a musical catalyst, rather than an authority figure.

Each track on Resavoir’s album originated as a rough sketch the trumpeter passed off presented to his bandmates, who refined and expanded upon the music according to each of their unique playing styles. “Taking Flight” recalls the sophisticated jazz-funk of CTI Records; the track features harpist Brandee Younger, whose instrumentation glistens amid the group’s bustling rhythms and towering horn harmonies. On lead single “Escalator,” which exudes a calmer energy, saxophonist/rapper Sen Morimoto recounts waking up one day “on a different planet with a different language.” “LML” hears Resavoir finally return to ground level, as singer and keyboardist Akenya Seymour (a collaborator with Mavis Staples and Noname), gets straight to the point of what she, and by extension, the group, treasure most: “I love my friends / I love my family / I love my girl / I love my city.” Such messages of interconnectedness verify Miller and co.’s collectivist approach, their deep roots within Chicago’s esteemed hip-hop and jazz scenes—and most vitally, their potent chemistry.

-Eli Zeger

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