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Sons of Kemet

Over the last half decade, Shabaka Hutchings has established himself as a central figure in the London jazz scene, which is enjoying its greatest creative renaissance since the breakthroughs of Joe Harriott and Evan Parker in the 1960s. Hutchings has a restlessly creative and refreshingly open-minded spirit, playing in a variety of groups—most notably, Sons of Kemet, The Comet Is Coming, and Shabaka & the Ancestors—and embracing influences from the sounds of London’s diverse club culture, including house, grime, jungle, and dub. “The common theme in my career as a jazz musician has been wondering if what I’m doing is the thing that I should be doing,” says Hutchings, who studied classical clarinet at college at London’s prestigious Guildhall School of Music & Drama

Impulse! Records: An Alternative Top 20 Zeitgeist Seizing Albums

Read "Impulse! Records: An Alternative Top 20 Zeitgeist Seizing Albums" reviewed by Chris May

There can be little argument that a jazz label ever captured a zeitgeist more completely than Impulse! did during its original 1960s incarnation. In the US, the fight back against white racism was cresting, opposition to the Vietnam war was growing, outrage over the assassinations of figures of hope such as President Kennedy, Martin Luther King ...

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

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

Dragon's Fuel: Pomorandze / Oranges

Read "Pomorandze / Oranges" reviewed by Toj Samaz

Anyone can dance. And dance one will on this Eastern European steam ship. A cruise along the Danube with the taste of rakia (a Balkan spirit) in the mouth. Sharing an unexpected sunny day during winter with a bunch of friends. This could explain the almost childlike song titles. One might wonder whether the title was ...

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 Chris May

Reed player Shabaka Hutchings became the first British musician to sign to the iconic (for once the word is justified) Impulse! label when his band Sons of Kemet did so in 2018. It was a deal for which his management could rightly be proud. It was also an affirmation which Hutchings felt deeply, for in the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Wildflower: Season 2

Read "Season 2" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

On paper, the UK trios Wildflower and Ill Considered bear an obvious resemblance. Each features the outstanding reed player Idris Rahman and bassist Leon Brichard, and both groups are groove-oriented progressive jazz. Wildflower is the slightly more melody-driven and the less raw of the two bands, with intricate improvisations interwoven throughout. Season 2 sees Rahman altering ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Pulled By Magnets: Rose Golden Doorways

Read "Rose Golden Doorways" reviewed by Chris May

After a momentous start in the mid 2000s with saxophonist Pete Wareham's Acoustic Ladyland and his own band, Polar Bear, drummer Sebastian Rochford's path through British jazz has been distinguished, though not without the odd glitch. The highs have been Himalayan. Perhaps most notably, he played a key role in reeds player Shabaka Hutchings' Sons Of ...


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