London's semi-free trio Ill Considered makes music in much the same way as does tenor saxophonist Binker Golding and drummer Moses Boyd's duo, Binker and Mosesusing simple rhythmelodic motifs as jumping off points for otherwise unstructured improvisation, much of it blazingly intense. Originally a quartet, Ill Considered now comprises founder members tenor saxophonist and bass clarinetist Idris Rahman and drummer Emre Ramazanoglu plus post-pandemic recruit, bassist Liran Donin. The band self-released an impressive nine albums between 2017 and 2019. Liminal Space is the first album in two years. And it is colossal.
This time out, Ill Considered laid the basic tracks down live, as is its standard practice, but then added complementary arrangements and invited fellow luminaries of the London scene to perform on them. These guests include baritone saxophonist Tamar Osborn, tenor saxophonists Kaidi Akinnibi and Ahnanse, tubaist Theon Cross, trumpeter Robin Hopcraft and percussionist Sarathy Korwar. As stellar combinations go, this is about as exalted as its gets in London in 2021. (Osborn and Hopcraft, by the way, straddle London's jazz, Afrobeat and world-jazz scenes, as does Rahman; each brings plenty of soul to the party).
If anything, Ill Considered's groove is even more intense than that of Binker & Moses. Several of the tracks on the sixty-minute Liminal Space have pronounced Maghrebi trance-music vibes, and all of them inhabit the same ecstatic world as the Sufi brotherhoods such as the Gnawa who still thrive in southern Morocco and Algeria. It is raw shamanistic music designed to take you higher, and live it is the coyote's cojones. It hits the spot on disc, too, though a sprinkling of more nuanced moments would be welcome when you are strapped to a headset in your front room, doing your bit for global warming.
The album was recorded, mixed and mastered by Emre Ramazanoglu, who is fast emerging as a senior jedi on the London scene (much like his fellow drummer and producer Moses Boyd). Ramazanoglu combines avant jazz player-producing (he is also the drummer and lead producer on Theon Cross' just out and highly recommended Intra-I), while bringing his control-room juju to mega-selling artists, including Noel Gallagher, Paloma Faith, Richard Ashcroft, Lily Allen, Spiritualized and Kylie Minogue.
First Light; Sandstorm; Loosed; Dust; Dervish; Pearls; LightTrails; Knuckles; The Lurch; Prayer.
Title: Liminal Space
| Year Released: 2021
| Record Label: New Soil
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Chris May is a senior editor of All About Jazz and editor of the style magazine Jocks & Nerds; he was previously the editor of Black Music & Jazz Review magazine; he is Afrobeat consultant for Partisan Records and Google Arts & Culture.