Today, bassist, composer, and bandleader Joshua Crumbly released “Noah,” the second single from his debut album Rise (out May 15 via Open Book Records). So far the album has been praised by Hypebeast, Indieshuffle, Jazziz, and Earmilk, who said “with the LP's gorgeous second single ‘Noah,’ the up-and-coming bassist offers a deeper view into the emotional depth and communal feel of the forthcoming project.”
As daunting as it may seem to describe the multi-faceted career of Joshua Crumbly in one word, you couldn’t do any better than Rise. Making his professional debut at age 10 alongside his saxophonist father, Crumbly was mentored from a young age by such iconic bassists as Reggie Hamilton (Whitney Houston, Seal), Al McKibbon (Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins) and Victor Bailey (Weather Report). Crumbly then went on to study at the prestigious Juilliard School, and by the end of his freshman year he’d been recruited to join trumpet great Terence Blanchard’s band to record Blanchard’s acclaimed album Magnetic.
Since then he’s recorded and toured with a staggering list of genre-blurring artists including Kamasi Washington, Lizz Wright, Terrance Blanchard, Stefon Harris, Ravi Coltrane, Anthony Wilson and Leon Bridges. The music on Rise manages to draw inspiration from all of those artists, melding into an uncategorizable but eminently inviting sound. “My goal is to write songs that can be performed at rock festivals or jazz clubs or concert halls,” Crumbly insists. “I come from a very diverse musical background and believe that this album has something for everyone.”
“I wanted the album to be as communal as possible; for there to be as many opportunities for everyone to sort of musically paint and communally express together,” Crumbly explains. “‘Noah’ is a song that I think really embodies that ideology. I wrote it while in New York, right after a trip to India — visiting my Mom’s side of the family. I was in the living room playing the bass — reflecting on the trip and more specifically the Sunday ‘get togethers’ where the entire family would all gather in one tiny apartment and cook dinner and sing and dance. Those occasions were so beautifully simple but really moved me, and reminiscing about it led me to the bass ostinato that the song is built on.”
“About a couple months later or so, I received sad news that a good friend of mine named Noah Witke had passed away. He was one of the first friends I made in college. We had a group of friends that just hit it off immediately during freshman orientation, and we would all get together and hang. Most of the hangs were organized by Noah. We all had super busy schedules and were always stressed — but he was someone that never lost sight of the importance of togetherness and community & really impacted my life in a positive way — so it felt very fitting to call this song ‘Noah’ as a dedication. I hope this song conveys a sense of togetherness, and is a sound of solace during this time and beyond.”
Rise is out May 15 via Open Book Records. Crumbly is scheduled to play an album release show at Bluewhale in Los Angeles on June 6th.