Manuals defines homebase as church, lessons, and school bands. Headphone curriculums and music magazines piqued a rhythmic curiosity, furthering his sonic IQ. A professional credo was shaped by numerous mentors including bassist Richard Patterson (Miles Davis).
Solo work and b-side work as BAKPAKBOY is shining light on Manuals' pro-head-nod, team-first mentality. New LPs include the debut album MID ONE (MANUALS INSTRUMENTAL DISC ONE) and BPB A (BAKPAKBOY A), a live beat tape. Both records are independently produced/written/arranged/released.
His band Fadrbooste is solidifying a rep for flavorful chops and basement party vibes. An EP and LP are forthcoming.
Born in Paris to musician parents – his father Stephen plays drums, and his mother is Agnes Zsigmondi, a folk singer well known in
her native Hungary – McCraven also enjoyed the mentorship of saxophonists Archie Shepp and Yusef Lateef (both of them friends/colleagues of his
father) from a young age. By the time he entered the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, McCraven had already toured with Cold
Duck Complex, which he co-founded in high school as a merger of rock and hip-hop.
Looking for a larger stage, McCraven moved to Chicago when his wife received a tenure-track post at Northwestern University, but the
demand for his services kept him commuting between the east and midwest coasts for the next few years, during which he appeared on more
than a dozen pop, rock, and hip-hop releases. Knowing that he had to “work here to live here,” he also made a point of attending any session he
could find; learning about the city’s great players; and setting up his own sessions, until word got out about his crisply inventive and powerfully soulful percussion, leading him to be one of the cities most in demand drummers.
Having recently recorded with Chicago guitarist Bobby Broom, and now preparing for a headlined showcase in this summer’s “Made In
Chicago” series at Millennium Park, as well as touring with Occidental Brother and Corey Wilkes, McCraven has cracked the upper echelon of Chicago jazz. But it hasn’t changed his basic philosophy. “I like the music to be tight, even when it’s loose, if that makes sense. I can play in a completely improvised situation, but I like to create the illusion that it’s not completely improvised.” It’s a viewpoint that guarantees him continued access to the jazz and pop worlds alike.
Download: manualS, Makaya, and Myron