Thums Up is one of those projects that has floated around for a little while but I’ve yet to hear but sound like so awesome a configuration that I would leap at them the moment recorded work came to light. I’ve always been extremely excited to hear the work of the collective pianist Vijay Iyer, guitarist Rafiq Bhatia, drummer Kassa Overall, and rapper Himanshu Suri (aka Heems of Swet Shop Boys, formerly of Das Racist) named after the Indian soda. Now, Ccurtesy of WQXR New York, check out a set the quartet recorded this past weekend at the Ecstatic Music Festival to affirm that this project is as badass as one would imagine these four figures could be. Heems’ lyricism is sharp and poignant while Iyer, Bhatia, and Overall stretch and contract with a lively energy that weaves brilliantly. They’re pretty fantastic. Stream their March 4th set after the jump.
Nextbop Editor-in-Chief Anthony Dean-Harris hosts the modern jazz radio show, The Line-Up, Fridays at 9pm CST on 91.7 FM KRTU San Antonio and is also a contributing writer to DownBeat Magazine and the San Antonio Current.