After sharing a run of incredible singles over the past year, jazz luminary Jon Batiste has released his new album We Are.
We Are is the first LP from the pianist and bandleader since 2018’s Hollywood Africans. It features the singles “I Need You” and “Show Me the Way,” the latter featuring author Zadie Smith. He is also joined on the album by PJ Morton, Trombone Shorty, Craig Adams and a number of other stellar musicians.
Batiste reflected on his songwriting for We Are in a statement, noting that his compositions were informed equally by cultural and sonic elements from the past and present. The release of We Are coincided with the birthday of Batiste’s late grandmother, who is also a major inspiration for the pianist.
“The album’s five pillars are lineage, authenticity, excellence, evolution and synthesis – all filtered through my sensibility of love, joy and community,” Batiste said. “She represents all of what the music represents… The music is sonically a major artistic achievement for me, at times able to be traditional and modern all at once, paying homage to the heroes of the black cultural diaspora while bringing their contributions forward in new ways.”
Aside from his work on We Are, Batiste recently collaborated with Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor on the soundtrack for the recent Disney/Pixar film Soul, which won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score last month.
Listen to We Are here: