Well what a joyous relief. Followers of Elvis Costello's many and varied collaborations are a battle-hardened bunch, fully schooled in the caprices and vagaries of an exceptional artist easily bored by record industry models of repetition and routine.
So while Costello's secret New York sessions with Questlove and crew undoubtedly looked great on paper – and the recent full album playback in a Soho hotel basement caused this writer to reach for the words "future classic" – who would knew for sure until we could hear it in our headphones?
Well here you go:
Attached to a relatively simple lyric video that shows Elvis and Quest kicking back to some beat-up vinyl on a wind-up resonator phonograph, Walk Us Uptown finds Costello and The Roots referencing their respective pasts: the hypnotic early ’70s protest grooves of albums like Curtis Mayfield's Roots and, perhaps more interestingly, the soul horns, breakbeat drums and wrathful lyrics of Costello's own history, most specifically, 1983’s Punch The Clock.
Wise Up Ghost is released on September 18, on Blue Note Records.