I catch Khari Lemuel (pictured below) and Yaw (top, right) all over the place (the Library, 75th street, Red Kiva), and recently, I heard them performing at the Brown Sugar Bakery to celebrate owner Stephanie Hart’s birthday. I dug them both separately, but as a duo (calling themselves “The Ones”), they are beyond belief. Both pour their souls into performances, but in their own way. While Yaw is supremely charismatic, Khari is stunningly intense. The collaboration is not their first: Yaw covered Khari Lemuel’s composition “Where Will You Be” a few years back.
About a year ago, The Ones posted “SDYL” (below) on Youtube. It’s a musical S.O.S., and the video contains images of moments in our time when the world seemed to be swirling out of control. Khari told me recently that the recording is, in fact, a rough cut, and they are in the process of getting “SDYL” (along with the makings of a new album mixed down and mastered). Can’t wait. This is just the type of music that carries on the legacy of great music born in Chicago. Jive on.
NOTE: photos shown were taken for darkjive.com during the 2010 “Taking to the Streets” Festival in Marquette Park. The performance ranks with one of my favorites I’ve seen of them, and featured a great backing band, including Junius Paul on Bass Guitar, Corey Wilkes on Trumpet, and Agustin Alvarez on Guitar.
UPDATE: Khari just sent me a link to the video below, behind the scenes one-camera video of Khari and Yaw performing “By and By”: from their upcoming album. I’ve really loved hearing this song’s arrangement evolve over the course of many performances. It’s smouldering, spiritual, rock-infused vibe is the business… I’m curious to see how it winds up sounding in the final cut.