Louis Cole: ‘Funk is fun but with jazz you can just go wild’

Stunning musicianship and irreverent lyrics have taken this LA jazz drummer from bedroom to stadium, gathering some superstar fans along the way

Ever since he picked up a pair of drumsticks at eight years old and began playing along to a James Brown CD, Louis Cole has been chasing the funk. “It’s a feeling that is hard to describe but I know when it’s there and when it’s real,” he says. “It’s this squishy, wiggly thing – something I can’t really live without.”

As part of the jazz-funk duo Knower, as well as a frequent collaborator in LA’s improvised music scene along with the likes of bassist Thundercat and saxophonist Sam Gendel, Cole has spent the past decade creating mind-meltingly complex bedroom productions built around that squishy, wiggly thing. Layering each instrumental track himself, Cole’s three solo studio albums since his 2010 self-titled debut play like the frenetic soundtrack of a surrealist video game – all anchored by offbeat lyrics and an undeniably danceable sense of funk.

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