We're moving!

All About Jazz is moving to a new location. Please refrain from submitting content, updating content, sending messages, placing orders, etc. until we remove this notice. Thanks for your patience.

7

Camilla George Quartet: Isang

Roger Farbey By

Sign in to view read count
Camilla George Quartet: Isang
Isang is the long overdue debut album for alto saxophonist Camilla George, a graduate of London's renowned Trinity College of Music. George has worked with several leading bands including Tomorrow's Warriors, Nu Civilisation Orchestra and Jazz Jamaica. She's led her own quartet since 2014 and her love of African and Western music is influenced by her country of birth, Nigeria. The album's title Isang (pronounced E-S-A-N-G) is an old Efik/Ibibio word that means voyage and symbolises George's own musical journey.

The album kicks off with the vibrantly modal, Coltrane-esque "Mami Wata" and evident from the start is George's characteristic pure alto tone, close to a clarinet in timbre. Equally enthralling is Sarah Tandy on stretchy McCoy Tyner-like chords. Whether Daniel Casimir and Femi Koleoso may be the next Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones is debatable, but they are very effective sidemen and produce exactly the right, tight sound for this group. "Lunacity" is a bouncy calypso with George cannily inserting some apt quotes such as "Don't Stop The Carnival" and "Salt Peanuts."

The affecting slow blues of "Song For Reds" is followed by the title track, another calypso-influenced tune to which George's soloing spars with the subtly laid-back rhythm section. Zara McFarlane contributes alluring scat vocals to Kenny Garrett's "Ms Baja," one of only two tracks on the album not composed by George. "Dreams Of Eket" and the standard "The Night Has A Thousand Eyes" are both seductively relaxed ballads but by sharp contrast "Mami Wata Returns / Usoro" opens with an ostinato bass line and a punchy percussive rhythm all contributing to an infectious groove.

Camilla George's Quartet has produced an extremely accessible yet intellectually satisfying album executed with precision and aplomb. Isang bodes very well indeed for George's next album.

Track Listing

Mami Wata; Lunacity; Song For Reds; Isang; MsBaja; Dreams Of Eket; The Night Has A Thousand Eyes; Mami Wata Returns / Usoro.

Personnel

Camilla George: alto saxophone; Sarah Tandy: piano; Daniel Casimir: bass; Femi Koleoso: drums. Plus Zara McFarlane: vocals on Ms Baja.

Album information

Title: Isang | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Ubuntu Music

Watch

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Human Rites Trio
Human Rites Trio
Jason Kao Hwang
Read Totem
Totem
Ferdinando Romano
Read Pure Heart
Pure Heart
James Carney
Read Love Letter
Love Letter
Jimmy Heath
Read Symbolic Reality
Symbolic Reality
Matthew Shipp String Trio

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.