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Ezra Collective

London 5-piece Ezra Collective are proving themselves as a harmonious tour de force. Their sound nods respectfully to a classic jazz footprint, celebrating the originators whilst also carving a path solely their own. They marry the delicate technicalities of jazz with afrobeat & hip hop, tied together by a sound that’s unmistakably London.

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Article: Album Review

Nathaniel Cross: The Description Is Not The Described

Read "The Description Is Not The Described" reviewed by Chris May


Trombonist Nathaniel Cross is a key presence on London's alternative jazz scene, just like his brother, Theon Cross, who plays tuba in Shabaka Hutchings' Sons Of Kemet. Until now, however, Nathaniel has probably been better known among his fellow musicians than with the general public, for he has been most active behind the scenes as a ...

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Article: Album Review

Nubiyan Twist: Freedom Fables

Read "Freedom Fables" reviewed by Chris May


Guitarist Tom Excell's Nubiyan Twist is one of the more substantial groove-based fusion outfits orbiting the perimeter of Britain's alternative jazz world. The band combines soul, funk, modal jazz, hip hop, and West African Afrobeat and highlife in a dancefloor-friendly melange which is a whole lot of fun while also possessing some depth. Based in Leeds ...

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Article: Album Review

Various Artists: Blue Note Re:imagined

Read "Blue Note Re:imagined" reviewed by Chris May


The idea—honouring Blue Note's legacy while mapping out a possible future—promises much. The actuality is a curate's egg. The sixteen artists each interpreting a classic Blue Note-associated tune are not, as the label's American publicity has it, among the London scene's “most exciting young talents." A few are, but not many. The sixteen are instead an ...

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Article: Radio

Georgia Anne Muldrow, Hal Willner, Butcher Brown & More New Releases

Read "Georgia Anne Muldrow, Hal Willner, Butcher Brown & More New Releases" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


Genre-bending, re-imaginings of masters past and present, and eclectic alliances of musicians from different scenes and backgrounds are at the heart of this week's roll-call of new and upcoming releases, with the latest albums by Jyoti (a.k.a. Georgia Anne Muldrow), and Hal Willner, deserving special attention. Happy listening! PlaylistBen Allison “Mondo ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Lift Every Voice And Sing: Twenty #BlackLives Albums That Matter

Read "Lift Every Voice And Sing: Twenty #BlackLives Albums That Matter" reviewed by Chris May


Jazz has been inextricably linked with social and political protest since at least the late 1930s, when Billie Holiday made famous the leftist songwriter and poet Abel Meeropol's “Strange Fruit." The song, which has a power to move that is undiminished by familiarity, likens the bodies of lynched African Americans to fruit hanging in trees.

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Article: Radio

Hermon Mehari, Ezra Collective, Zappa for piano & New Releases

Read "Hermon Mehari, Ezra Collective, Zappa for piano & New Releases" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


The fusion of different musical cultures and genres is at the heart of this edition of Mondo Jazz, where the works of Frank Zappa are given the solo piano treatment by Dave Hartl, Mats Öberg and Stefano Bollani, where a Kansas City expat in Paris, trumpeter Hermon Mehari, explores both his Eritrean roots and his urban ...

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Article: Album Review

Kansas Smitty's: Things Happened Here

Read "Things Happened Here" reviewed by Chris May


Kansas Smitty's is the house band at a London jazz bar of the same name. Band and bar are fronted by the American-Italian alto saxophonist, clarinetist and bass clarinetist Giacomo Smith, who with guitarist David Archer wrote most of the material on this album. The band's style embraces swing era Kansas City through to more recent ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

New Jazz From London: Top 20 Paradigm Shifting Albums

Read "New Jazz From London: Top 20 Paradigm Shifting Albums" reviewed by Chris May


After a lifetime trying to get on an equal footing with its American parent, British jazz has finally come of age. Since around 2015, a community of young, London-based musicians has forged a style which, while anchored in the American tradition, reflects the Caribbean and African cultural heritages of many of its vanguard players. The scene ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Afrobeat: An Alternative Top Ten

Read "Afrobeat: An Alternative Top Ten" reviewed by Chris May


It would be hard if not impossible to compile an Afrobeat Top Ten which was not wholly made up of Fela Anikulapo Kuti albums. Such was Kuti's centrality in the creation and development of Afrobeat, such was the productivity of his recording career--his catalogue totals more than fifty albums, not counting reissues and compilations--and such was ...


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