Basher’s new album, May Day, out later this month

Photo: Camille Lenain

One of New Orleans’ most electrifying free jazz party band, Basher, spearheaded by renowned saxophonist and composer Byron Asher, is back with a thrilling new album titled May Day, following 2022’s Doubles. The upcoming album features six original compositions and two extended improvisations, recorded in one take to preserve the spontaneous, joyous and raw energy they’re known for. Producer Jeff Albert helped shape these sessions into the cohesive and exhilarating soundscape heard on the album.

Whereas on Doubles Basher ask “what might a band called Basher sound like?”, as the press release describes, on the forthcoming May Day they provide a clear response, “This is what Basher sounds like.”

Complementing the music, the album artwork is a striking blend of socialist realist photography taken by Asher on the streets of Prague, CZ and hand-painted tropical flora and fauna painted by friend and experimental pop singer Jess Joy, symbolizing a fusion of struggle and beauty.

The title track, ‘May Day’, was the first single to be let loose and serves as a powerful tribute to workers and organized labour, with powerful saxophone solos by Asher and Aurora Nealand. As the title suggests, its urgency reflects the tumultuous times during which it was conceived. Basher shared a second single earlier this month, ‘Thanks, Trey’, and are offering it with a video made by Noé Cugny. Check out both singles below ahead of the album’s release on May 31st through Sinking City Records.