Sons of Kemet – Lest We Forget What We Came Here To Do ★★★★

NAIM
Shabaka Hutchings (ts, cl), Seb Rochford (d), Tom Skinner (d) and Theon Cross (tba) Rec. date not given

Unlike bands at the youth end of the mainstream music culture, young jazz ensembles tend to be looked upon as a work-inprogress. So it’s a rare thing for a young group’s debut to be showered with praise as much as Sons of Kemet were on the eve of their debut CD Burn in 2012. But Shabaka Hutchings’ double drum-sax-tuba quartet isn’t your typical jazz group, anyone who’s seen them live especially will have experienced the band’s intensely sensual and exhilarating combo of rhythm and melody – we can perhaps see a loose parallel on a larger scale in the US with the positive reaction to the debut of LA based saxophonist Kamasi Washington, in spite of his more stellar Flying Lotus connections.

Compared to the effects-laden, dub-like studio production on Burn, Lest We Forget... benefits from a pared down, earthy ‘live’ feel although it also gains from the kind of sonic precision associated with contemporary beats and electronica in the artful hands of its producer/band member Seb Rochford. There’s a pivotal contribution from Theon Cross, the tuba player who replaced his mentor Oren Marshall 18 months ago, delivering on the promise he revealed as a pivotal member of LOOP Collective saxophonist Tom Challenger’s Brass Mask. While Marshall’s experimental approach to the tuba is less evident, Cross’ fat brass grooves are charged with a precision and energy.

Besides the pervasive influence of Caribbean New Orleans and AfroBeat rhythms in the details, as well as on the danceable surface, for the opening track ‘In Memory of Samir Awad’ Hutchings’ raunchily stabbing tenor sax riffs have something of the flavour of Ethiojazz about them – he’s a member of Mulatu Astatké’s Heliocentrics the more eastern/Arabic influences being tied to the tragic plight of the young Palestinian of the title.

– Selwyn Harris

Jazzwise August 2015 Issue Albums Reviewed List

All these albums are reviewed in the August 2015 issue of Jazzwise which is out now – to read them all click here to subscribe and get a FANTASTIC FREE CD

New Releases

John Aram Quintet with Kenny Wheeler Saturday Night and Sunday Morning Suite Coup Perdu
Adam Bałdych & Helge Lien Trio Bridges ACT

Beady Belle Songs From A Decade: The Best of Beady Belle Jazzland

Ran Blake Ghost Tones a-side

Terence Blanchard & The E-Collective Breathless Blue Note

Bugge & Friends Bugge & Friends Jazzland

Cyrus Chestnut A Million Colors In Your Mind HighNote

Marilyn Crispell and Gerry Hemingway Table Of Changes Intakt

Actis Dato Earth Is The Place Leo CDLR

Ernest Dawkins Live The Spirit Residency Big Band Memory Inn The Center An Afro Opera: Homage To Nelson Mandela Dawk

Claudio Filippini Trio Squaring The Circle Cam Jazz

Charlie Haden/Gonzalo Rubalcaba Tokyo Adagio Impulse

John Hollenbeck Songs We Like A Lot Sunnyside SSC

Alex Hutton Trio Magna Carta Suite

Jaga Jazzist Starfire Ninja Tune

Sons of Kemet Lest We Forget What We Came Here To Do NAIM

Karin Krog & Steve Kuhn Break Of Day Meantime Records

Fredrik Kronkvist Monk Vibes Connective Records

Ku-umba Frank Lacy & Mingus Big Band Mingus Sings Sunnyside

Ingrid Laubrock Anti-House Roulette of the Cradle Intakt Intakt

Gianluca Lusi Never Fault Behind The Scenes Tosky Records

Jason Miles & Ingrid Jensen Kind of New Whaling City Sound WCS

Ivo Perelman/Mat Maneri/Joe Morris Counterpoint Leo

Dafnis Prieto Sextet Triangles and Circles Dafnison Music

Sun Ra Arkestra: Under The Direction of Marshall Allen Babylon In+Out Records

Tim Richards Hextet Telegraph Hill Track

The Rodriguez Brothers Impromptu Criss Cross Jazz

Antonio Sanchez and Migration The Meridian Suite CamJazz

Schlippenbach Trio Features Intakt

Richard Fairhurst/John Taylor Duets Basho

Mark Springer The Rip Rig & Panic Piano Solos Exit

Charenee Wade Offering: The Music Of Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson. Motéma

The Warren Vaché Quintet Remembers Benny Carter Arbors

Ramón Valle Take Off In+Out Records

Trevor Watts & Veryan Weston At Ad Libitum For Tune

Denny Zeitlin and George Marsh Riding The Moment Sunnyside Communications

 

Short Cuts New Releases

 

David Berkman Old Friends and New Friends Palmetto Records

Rainer Böhm & Norbert Scholly Juvenile Pirouet

The Dan Brubeck Quartet Celebrating the Music and Lyrics of Dave & Iola Brubeck Blue Forest Records

Frank Carlberg/Leo Genovese Shadows and Reflections Red Piano Records

Joan Chamorro & Andrea Motis Feeling Good Whaling City Sound

Jerry Granelli What I Hear Now Addo Records

Benny Green Live in Santa Cruz Sunnyside

The Patrick Hayes Electric Ensemble Back To The Grove

K Tríó Vindstig Too N Dist

Brian Landrus Trio The Deep Below Palmetto

Timo Lassy Love Bullet Must Have Jazz

London Afrobeat Collective Food Chain Dynamic Music

Alex Norris Organ Quartet Extension Deadline Brooklyn Jazz Underground

Enrico Pieranunzi and Federico Casagrande Double Circle CamJazz

Quantic A New Constellation Tru Thoughts

Sara Serpa & Ran Blake Kitano Noir Sunnyside

Richard Galliano/Sylvain Luc La Vie En Rose Milan Music

Gregory Tardy With Songs of Joy SteepleChase

Katharina Weber, Fred Frith, Fredy Studer It Rolls Intakt

Xadu Random | Abstract Moonjune Records

Reissues

Pepper Adams Pepper Adams Quintet/ Critics’ Choice Phono

Tina Brooks Quintet The Complete Recordings: Minor Moves/True Blue/ Back To The Tracks/The Waiting Game Phono

Newport 1958: Brubeck Plays Ellington Phoenix Records

Sonny Clark The Art Of The Trio Phono

John Coltrane Standard Coltrane/ Stardust Poll Winners Records

Sonny Criss The Complete Imperial Sessions Jazz U.S.A./Go Man!/ Plays Cole Porter/ At The Crossroads Phono

Duke Ellington and his Orchestra The Conny Plank Session Grönland

Jimmy Heath The Quota/Triple Threat/ The Thumper/Really Big! Fresh Sounds

Billie Holiday The Complete Commodore Recordings Essential Jazz Classics

Ginger Johnson & His African Messengers African Party Freestyle

Karin Krog Don’t Just Sing: An Anthology 1963-1999 Light in the Attic Records

Last Exit Iron Path ESP-Disk’ ESP

Paul Motian Standards Plus One Winter & Winter W&W

Oscar Peterson Trio The Complete Tokyo Concert 1964 Domino

Sonny Rollins & Coleman Hawkins Together At Newport 1963 Jazz On Jazz

Sonny Rollins Quartet with Don Cherry Complete Live at the Village Gate 1962 Solar

Mal Waldron Complete Trio Recordings 1958-1960 Fresh Sound

Mal 81 & News: Run About Mal Progressive

Dinah Washington Complete Recordings with Don Costa Essential Jazz Classics

Short Cuts Reissues

 

Earl Bostic Complete Quintet Recordings Phono 1

Ruby Braff/Coleman Hawkins Braff!! Phoenix

Arnett Cobb Funky Butt Progressive

Johnny Coles The Warm Sound Phono

Miles Davis Birth of the Cool Dream Covers

Duke Ellington With Johnny Hodges, Coleman Hawkins, Count Basie Avid 1

Duke Ellington Suites/At The Bal Masque/ Midnight in Paris/Count Meets the Duke First Time! Avid

Dizzy Gillespie Complete 1956 South American Tour Recordings Solar 1

Benny Goodman/Rosemary Clooney Date with the King Essential Jazz Classics

Scott Hamilton Swinging Young Scott Progressive

Johnny Hartman Complete Bethlehem Sessions Essential Jazz Classics 1

Billie Holiday Centennial Collection Columbia Legacy 1

JJ Johnson Complete ’60s Big Band Recordings Phono 1

Teddi King/Carol Sloane/ Morgana King Five Classic Albums Avid 1

Oscar Peterson Plays the George Gershwin Songbook Essential Jazz Classics

Django Reinhardt At The Movies El/Cherry Red

Barbara Russell Swing With Me/Golden Blues Fresh Sound

Billy Strayhorn Day Dream: Complete 1945-61 Sessions as a Leader Essential Jazz Classics

Bill Watrous La Zorra Progressive

Jimmy Witherspoon Spoon/Hey, Mrs. Jones! Fresh Sound

 

Kamasi Washington – The Epic ★★★★ Recommended

Brainfeeder BFCD05
Kamasi Washington (ts), Thundercat, Miles Mosley (b), Ronald Bruner Jr, Tony Austin, (d) Patrice Quinn (v), Ryan Porter (tb), Brandon Coleman and Cameron Graves (p, kys) plus strings. Rec. date not stated

The title is not to be taken lightly. In numbers it translates as: 3CDs; 17 songs; 32-piece orchestra; 20-piece choir; 10-piece band. With scale being such a defining feature of this music it is also worth noting that there are 172 minutes to contend with, and it is to Washington’s credit that the output is justified, first and foremost because the artistic ambition matches the sweeping production.

Known for his work with producer Flying Lotus and a member of the Los Angeles aggregation The West Coast Get Down, Washington is a player and composer with a penchant for long-form pieces in which melodic lines are ornate anthems wrapped in finely shaded orchestral threads. Although music industry marketeers will inevitably tag this as ‘spiritual jazz’ the dominant aesthetic thankfully avoids any of the sub-genre’s clichés, such is Washington’s desire to draw together references that are refreshingly disparate. In real terms that means that the all-important choral basis of the music – mostly sleek soprano lines that soar around the themes like a volley of flutes and piccolos – blends Horace Silver and Pharoah Sanders from the 1980s rather than 70s (think the former’s The Continuity Of Spirit and the latter’s Heart Is A Melody), while some of the rhythmic and harmonic content has the authoritative, dark-tolight stance of the great Horace Tapscott’s Pan Afrikan People’s Arkestra. Washington’s own playing, with his dry, stark tone and concise, clenched phrasing is impressive, but the greatest achievement of this work is the newness that springs from a deep historical root.

Moving from hard swing to funk to some of the digital age sensibilities scoped out by Thundercat, this is an album of progressive present day thinking that willfully acknowledges its debt to the past, as befits the ongoing relationship between the two. So if there is a sample of a Malcolm X speech it is relevant to the current political debate: There’s nothing wrong with being a Muslim. There is something very right about the premise and execution of this work.

– Kevin Le Gendre

Jazzwise July 2015 Issue Albums Reviewed List

All these albums are reviewed in the July 2015 issue of Jazzwise which is out now – to read them all click here to subscribe and get a FANTASTIC FREE CD

New Releases

JD Allen Graffiti Savant

Atomic Lucidity Jazzland

Babelfish Chasing Rainbows Moletone Records

The Bad Plus and Joshua Redman The Bad Plus Joshua Redman Nonesuch

Jerry Bergonzi Rigmaroll Savant

Tim Berne’s Snakeoil You’ve been Watching Me ECM

Ron Carter/WDR Big Band My Personal Songbook In + Out

The Chicago Reed Quartet Western Automatic Aerophonic

Hayden Chisholm Breve Pirouet Records

Romain Collin Press Enter ACT

Stanley Cowell Juneteenth Vision Fugitive

Renato D’Aiello Satori, The Angel 33 JAZZ 251

Al Di Meola Elysium Inakustic

Kit Downes Tricko Coup Perdu

Kurt Elling Passion World Concord Jazz

Emanative The Light Years Of The Darkness Brownswood/The Steve Reid Foundation

Entropi New Era F-IRE Presents

Sean Foran Frame of Reference Jazzhead

Robert Glasper Trio Covered Blue Note

Milford Graves and Bill Laswell Space/Time – Redemption

Joe Locke Love is a Pendulum Motéma Music

Alexander Hawkins Trio Alexander Hawkins Trio Alexander Hawkins Music

Mark Hellas Open Loose The Signal Maker Intakt

Mikko Innanen/William Parker/Andrew Cyrille Song For A New Decade TUM

Billy Jenkins Death, Ritual and Resonation VOTP

Juliet Kelly Spellbound Stories Purple Stiletto Records

David Lyttle Faces Lyte Records

Merzbow/Mats Gustafsson/Balázs Pándi/Thurston Moore Cuts Of Guilt, Cuts Deeper RareNoise

Wolfgang Muthspiel Vienna, World Material Records

Ivo Neame Strata Whirlwind

Liam Noble A Room Somewhere Basho

Oz Noy Asian Twistz Abstract Logix

Gerardo Núñez/ Ulf Wakenius Jazzpaña Live ACT

Gary Peacock Trio Now This ECM

Ken Peplowski & Alan Barnes At The Watermill Woodville

The Printmakers Westerly Basho Records

Paul Riley Quintet Into View Jellymould

Indra Rios-Moore Heartland Impulse!

Dennis Rollins’ Velocity Trio Symbiosis Dogwithabone Music

Ntjam Rosie The One Gentle Daze

The Spanish Donkey Raoul RareNoise

Omar Sosa Quarteto Afro Cubano Ilé Ota

Anthony Strong On A Clear Day Naïve

Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band Strut Strut

David Torn Only Sky ECM

Various 3 Nights At Cafe Oto Matchless

Tim Warfield Spherical – Dedicated to Thelonious Sphere Monk Criss Cross Jazz

Kenny Werner The Melody Pirouet

Ben Williams Coming Of Age Concord

Wolf & Clark Expedition 2 Random Records

Zeitgeist Zeitgeist Zeitgeist UK

Shortcuts- New Releases

Luca Aquino OverDoors Tuk Music                      

Uli Beckerhoff Heroes Dot Time Records

John Butcher Nigemizu Uchimizu

Anat Cohen Luminosa Anzic Records

Crump/Halvorson Secret Keeper Emerge Intakt

Aaron Diehl Space Time Continuum Mack Avenue

Lorenzo Feliciati Koi Rare Noise Records

Andy Galore Out & About Motéma

Theo Jackson Shoeless and the Girl Dot Time Records

Jazz at Berlin Philharmonic IV Accordion Night ACT

Nicole Johänntgen Moncaup Household Ink

Olga Konkova The Goldilocks Zone Losen

Lage Lund Idlewild Criss Cross

John Raymond Foreign Territory Fresh Sound New Talent

Jon Regen Stop Time Motéma

Andreas Schaerer Perpetual Delirium BMC

Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion I’ll Be Yours Tonight Live 33 Records

Karl Seglem & Christoph Stiefel Waves Challenge

Jason Seizer Cinema Paradiso Pirouet

Jeremy Siskind Housewarming BJU Records

Various Magic Moments 7 Sounds of Surprise ACT

Reissues/Archive

Count Basie Sinatra-Basie/Kansas City 7/Atomic Basie/ Basie Plays Hefti Avid Jazz

Sidney Bechet In Switzerland United Music Foundation

Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers At The Free Trade Hall 1961 Solar

Terri Lyne Carrington The ACT Years ACT

Miles Davis At Newport 1955-1975: The Bootleg Series Vol.4 Columbia/Legacy

Miles Davis Bitches Brew 40th Anniversary Collectors Edition Columbia/Legacy

Miles Davis Complete Blue Note 1952-54 Studio Sessions Essential Jazz Classics

Don Ellis How Time Passes/ New Ideas/Jazz Jamboree ’62 Fresh Sound

Bill Evans Köln Concert 1976 Domino

Dizzy Gillespie Live At Ronnie Scott’s Vol.1,2,3 and 4 Artists Productions CA

Yusef Lateef Four Classic Albums Plus: Jazz Moods/The Music Of Yusef Lateef/ The Dreamer/Cry Tender Avid

Humphrey Lyttelton In Canada Sackville

Keith Jarrett Original Album Series Warner/Rhino

Buddy Rich Birdland Lobitos Creek Ranch

Gil Scott-Heron Small Talk At 125th And Lenox Flying Dutchman/BGP

Compay Segundo Original Album Series Warner Music

Frank Sinatra Complete studio recordings with Tommy Dorsey One Records

Jeremy Steig & Eddie Gómez Collectors Premium Jazz: Music for Flute & Double-Bass/ Rain Forest Art of Groove MIG

Stan Tracey with Mike Osborne Alone & Together Cadillac

Various Artists Introducing M-Base Winter & Winter

Various Artists CTI Records: The Cool Revolution CTI

Various Artists Complete Dial Modern Jazz Sessions Mosaic

Randy Weston Four Classic Albums Vol.1 & Vol.2 Avid

Beats & Pieces Big Band – All In ★★★★

Efpi
Ben Cottrell (comp, arr, s) with big band featuring Finlay Panter (d), Nick Walters (t), Sam Healey (s), Graham South (flgh) and others. Rec. Jan 2014

Since their highly acclaimed 2011 debut Big Ideas, Ben Cottrell’s Mancunian big band, Beats & Pieces, have been breaking down barriers between jazz musicians and audiences both in the UK and internationally with their exuberantly direct approach to live performance. Theirs is a sign of a return, if not to the big band’s original role to make people get up and dance, then to the idea that contemporary jazz for big band can still generate the kind of direct impact more associated with rock and pop music, but without undermining its essential craft and sophistication.

On their second album All In Cottrell has as successfully as it’s possible recaptured the collective high spirits and infectious energy of the band live in the studio. At the core is a driving rock band set-up of guitar, keys and rhythm section. There are shades of Colin Towns and Gil Evans’ 1970s’ work in the grungy lower brass riffs and screeching noir-jazz horns with solos that have an instinctive edgeof-the-seat feel about them from a line-up that’s been practically unchanged for the best part of a decade. All tracks are Cottrell’s originals aside from a wonderfully crafted, atmospheric arrangement of David Bowie’s 1980’s hit ‘Let’s Dance’ that never tries to sound clever but succeeds nonetheless. Highly recommended.

– Selwyn Harris

This review is from the June 2015 issue of Jazzwise which is out now – to read the full review section click here to subscribe and get a FANTASTIC FREE CD

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