Terrace Martin—the learned L.A. producer and saxophonist who played the role of primary sound architect on Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly—will release an album of his own called Velvet Portraits on April 1. Largely an alchemy of the West Coast sounds he was raised on, the 15-track project also happens to feature a timely track that pays tribute to an East Coast crew that particularly inspired him: A Tribe Called Quest. That track, "A Tribe Called West," premieres today on The FADER.
Born out of a trip to New York City last summer, it is a precise portion of muggy jazz that is laced with a maundering sax riff and love and appreciation for the Queens set, which lost one of its members yesterday.
"I was in N.Y.C. last summer and it was a hot summer," Martin wrote, describing the song's meaning in a note to The FADER. "I was inspired by the energy of N.Y. alone to do different types of music. That's why I love the city. But I also wanted to do something to say thank you to one of my favorite groups. Thank you for letting me know it's okay to be different. Thank you for turning me on to jazz music, because without A Tribe Called Quest there would not be a Terrace Martin. I wouldn't even be a musician because ATCQ is what made me want to play the saxophone. I wanted to get someone involved on it with me who understood the power and love of Tribe so I decided to call one of my best friends, Keyon Harrold, featured on the trumpet."
In addition to Harrold, Martin's Velvet Portraits will also feature appearances from Kamasi Washington, Robert Glasper, Lalah Hathaway, Thundercat and more. Check out the full tracklisting below, and preorder your copy here.