Camilla George: The People Could Fly

Roger Farbey By

Sign in to view read count
Camilla George: The People Could Fly
Camilla George's follow-up to her debut album Isang (Ubuntu, 2016) is, if anything, even better than her first. The record's title derives from a picture book of folktales by Virginia Hamilton portraying the plight of African slaves and how they could escape their oppression by flying back to their homeland. The titles of seven of the eight tracks directly reflect the subjects of enslavement and freedom. The eighth track, with its sympathetic lyrics ("How did I get so far gone? Where do I belong? And where in the world did I ever go wrong?") is, thematically, certainly relevant.

"Tappin The Land Turtle" is an instantly accessible, memorable and brilliant choice for the opener with Cherise Adams-Burnett powerful vocals clinching it. "He Lion, Bruh Bear, Bruh Rabbit" demonstrates George's sheer eloquence on alto, a veritable cascade of notes, telling her story. On "How Nehemiah Got Free," Daniel Casimir's ostinato bass line drives the number along whereas "Little Eight John," an airy ballad, sees George's thoughtful alto treading delicate footprints whilst the song is embellished by Cherise Adams-Burnett's dulcet voice.

The sprightly title track is defined by its memorable alto-led melody but, critically, it's underpinned by effervescent guitar work from Shirley Tetteh. As its title might suggest "The Most Useful Slave" is a sombre affair but is full of depth courtesy of George's sinewy alto. Curtis Mayfield's soulfully funky "Here But I'm Gone" features guest vocalist Omar Lye-Fook, along with Quentin Collins on trumpet who provides both ensemble and soloing fire power. It's as joyously catchy a closer as anyone could ask for. With this, only her second album to date, George proves here that she's rapidly maturing into one of the UK's finest altoists and composers.

Track Listing

Tappin The Land Turtle; He Lion, Bruh Bear, Bruh Rabbit; How Nehemiah Got Free; Little Eight John; The People Could Fly; Carrying The Runnings Away; The Most Useful Slave; Here But I'm Gone.


Camilla George: alto saxophone; Sarah Tandy: piano, Rhodes; Shirley Tetteh (1,5,8): guitar; Quentin Collins (8): trumpet; Daniel Casimir: double bass, electric bass; Winston Clifford (1-4,6-7), Femi Koleoso (5,8): drums; Cherise Adams-Burnett (1,4), Omar Lye-Fook (8): vocals.

Album information

Title: The People Could Fly | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Ubuntu Music

Post a comment about this album



Shop Amazon


Read Lost & Found
Lost & Found
Guillermo Bazzola
Read Night Visions
Night Visions
Scott Sawyer
Read The Dancing Devils of Djibouti
The Dancing Devils of Djibouti
The Dancing Devils of Djibouti
Read People Flow
People Flow
Erik Verwey
Read Kites and Strings
Kites and Strings
Ben Rosenblum Nebula Project
Read Borrowed From Children
Borrowed From Children
Paul Flaherty / Mike Roberson / Randall Colbourne / James Chumley Hunt

All About Jazz needs your support

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.