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Shabaka Hutchings

Shabaka Hutchings, a saxophonist, band leader and composer, part of London’s community of younger jazz musicians as well as the city’s thriving improvised music scene. For Hutchings, composition is a chronicle of the zeitgeist inhabited by a composer; an exposition of his or her search for meaning and the structuring of experiences in aid of recognising this meaning when it appears. As part of the Caribbean diaspora, he sees his role as that of pushing the boundaries of what musical elements are considered to be Caribbean. Constantly evaluating the nature of his relationship with musical material and tradition, he describes his attempts at composition as wrestling matches with questions of where and how the Caribbean can be encoded, and what happens when it is exposed to the western classical music cannon. Hutchings was born in 1984 in London

We Are Sent Here by History

Label: Impulse! Records
Released: 2020
Track listing: They Who Must Die; You’ve Been Called; Go My Heart, Go to Heaven; Behold, The Deceiver; Run, The Darkness Will Pass; The Coming of the Strange Ones; Beasts Too Spoke of Suffering; We Will Work (On Redefining Manhood); ‘Til the Freedom Comes Home; Finally, The Man Cried; Teach Me How to Be Vulnerable.

Drummers as Bandleaders: An Alternative Top Ten Albums

Read "Drummers as Bandleaders: An Alternative Top Ten Albums" reviewed by Chris May

Drummers have been key members of every band which has changed the course of jazz history, from Max Roach with Charlie Parker to Elvin Jones with John Coltrane and onwards. Yet drummers have been the leaders of a surprisingly small proportion of landmark bands themselves. Chick Webb in the 1920s was the first of the few. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Gary Bartz & Maisha: Night Dreamer Direct-To-Disc Sessions

Read "Night Dreamer Direct-To-Disc Sessions" reviewed by Chris May

This international spiritual-jazz jam promises much and delivers most of it. On the one hand, Gary Bartz, who is among the movement's American elder statesmen. On the other, Maisha, six young Londoners. The backstory: The wedding planner who brought the parties together is the London DJ and founder of Brownswood Recordings, Gilles Peterson. ...

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 ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Dinosaur: To The Earth

Read "To The Earth" reviewed by Chris May

Britain's Edition label has remained independent of London's post-2015 alternative jazz scene, whose aesthetic is formed in part by the emphases of identity politics and which now, in 2020, has gone overground with the signing of three bands led by movement auteur Shabaka Hutchings to Impulse! in the US. Edition, which was founded in 2008 by ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Chip Wickham: Blue To Red

Read "Blue To Red" reviewed by Chris May

The marketing thrust accompanying Chip Wickham's third album emphasises an affinity between the disc and the late 1960s / early 1970s work of Yusef Lateef and Alice Coltrane. Certainly, Blue To Red ticks two boxes: Wickham puts aside his saxophone to play only flute and alto flute, whose seraphic tones were favoured by Lateef and Coltrane; ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Shabaka And The Ancestors: We Are Sent Here by History

Read "We Are Sent Here by History" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Even as Shabaka Hutchings moves the evolution of jazz forward, We Are Sent Here By History laments the present-day conditions of conflict, suffering, parity, and the struggle to survive. The saxophonist's breakthrough album came with his Sons of Kemet on Your Queen Is A Reptile (Impulse! Records, 2018). He also leads the jazz/electronica hybrid The Comet ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Ted Poor: You Already Know

Read "You Already Know" reviewed by Chris May

Breaking news 3/23/20: Impulse! is getting its mojo back. Showing definite signs of, anyway... Since its glory days in the 1960s and 1970s, Impulse! has been little more than a logo wheeled out by its parent company, Universal Music, to lend credibility to unrelated one-off projects. Until very recently, the only newly recorded ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Shabaka & the Ancestors: We Are Sent Here by History

Read "We Are Sent Here by History" reviewed by Serena Antinucci

Siamo stati spediti qui dalla Storia inconsapevoli di ciò che sarebbe accaduto. Avevamo un compito, l'abbiamo disatteso. Avevamo uno scopo, l'abbiamo dimenticato. Abbiamo disimparato la lingua della natura, sopraffatti dal potere e dall'egemonia capitalista. Oggi siamo stati chiamati ad afferrare la mano degli spiriti antenati, che tentano di soccorrerci, indicandoci una nuova strada della creazione, originata ...


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