A catch-all thread for the current jazz scene in London, including Shabaka Hutchings, Yazz Ahmed, Moses Boyd, Nubya Garcia, Camilla George, Theon Cross, Zara McFarlane, Daniel Casimir, SEED Ensemble,

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I feel like these people deserve a thread of their own, as they're all over each others' records, and there's been so much quality music coming from them in the last few years.

Tuomas, Thursday, 10 September 2020 06:28 (two months ago) link

As I mentioned in the general jazz thread, I was really blown away by Nubya Garcia's recent new album. I liked her debut okay, but it seemed like a fairly conservative hard bop affair, whereas this one is on a whole new level:


Might be my album of the year, unless something equally impressive comes from this camp later, which wouldn't be surprising.

Tuomas, Thursday, 10 September 2020 06:31 (two months ago) link

Whoops, looks like I made the thread title too long, and some of it was cut, it was supposed to read:

A catch-all thread for the current jazz scene in London, including Shabaka Hutchings, Yazz Ahmed, Moses Boyd, Nubya Garcia, Camilla George, Theon Cross, Zara McFarlane, Daniel Casimir, SEED Ensemble, Nérija, Kokoroko and related acts

Tuomas, Thursday, 10 September 2020 06:32 (two months ago) link

There is another thread which has been quite active.

London jazz wizard Shabaka Hutchings: Sons of Kemet / The Comet Is Coming / Shabaka & the Ancestors

grebo shot first (Noel Emits), Thursday, 10 September 2020 07:03 (two months ago) link

Yeah, I saw that one, I just figured it would make sense to have a thread that's not named after one artist alone, for search purposes etc. Also, since so many of the crucial players in this scene are women (in a typically male-dominated genre), it feels a bit odd to discuss them in a male artist's thread, no?

Tuomas, Thursday, 10 September 2020 08:33 (two months ago) link

I forgot to put Sarah Tandy's name on the list, but she's the pianist for Camilla George's band (and plays on SEED Ensemble and Yazz Ahmed albums as well), and I've enjoyed her solo debut from last year quite a bit too. The closing track especially is an exquisite jazz-funk number:


Tuomas, Thursday, 10 September 2020 08:41 (two months ago) link

Aye, fair enough. xp

Haven't fully listened to Nubya Garcia's album but I have been playing the title track, it's quite lush. Is there anything else as good on there in your estimation?

grebo shot first (Noel Emits), Thursday, 10 September 2020 09:07 (two months ago) link

The title track is probably the best one on the album, but besides that one I'm especially liking these two excursions into different styles:



Tuomas, Thursday, 10 September 2020 09:11 (two months ago) link

This whole scene is one of my favorite things going right now. Agree that the Subya Garcia album is great, and Moses Boyd remains my album of the year. Shabaka and the Ancestors is also fantastic (in addition to all the other great Shabaka projects).

a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Thursday, 10 September 2020 12:54 (two months ago) link

The Moses Boyd record's instrumental bits are really lovely, but for some reason I am not so into the vocal tracks-- their lyrical content doesn't suit the music, to my ears (unlike, say, some of the Sons of Kemet vocal tracks--).

healthy cocaine off perfect butts (the table is the table), Thursday, 10 September 2020 14:31 (two months ago) link

I mostly like the vocals on the Boyd album, but the way it's arranged and programmed is a bit too neat and Ninja Tune for me, I wish it had more looseness and rough edges. It's still good though.

Tuomas, Thursday, 10 September 2020 20:10 (two months ago) link

My Tweet for Nubya---first couple tracks sounded tame at first, but by second spin I got the whole thing: Her tenor sax centers dynamic jazz ballads: straight-ahead, dubwise, cumbia, orbital. V. satisfying & more, please.

Edi Soda is more jazz pop, in an imaginative, early 80s British-as-Hell way:
Body, brio, beats, trombones, other horns, dubwise, occasional voices: this album (titled Ugh) will get you or at least me high for a night.

Got into these and a lot more via the 2-CD edition of Kaleidoscope, comp on Soul Jazz. Talked about them and others (incl exc Gilles Peters Presents MV4 and advance tracks from next month's Blue Note Re: Imagined) here:
the shape of acid jazz to come: MOSES BOYD's Dark Matter
(my original gateway was We Out Here

dow, Thursday, 10 September 2020 21:07 (two months ago) link

high for a night at a time, I meant! Or really on into the next morning, with no hangover.

This solo Nubya isn't as complex as Nérija, whose Blume made my Uproxx Top Ten last year----ballot comments
Nérija is certainly compatible with Boom Tic Boom, though *maybe* more persistently passionate, romantic, even, at certain peaks---Blume in Luv?---with perfect timing vanishing into trusted impulse, or so it seems (jazz).
Take it away, bandcamp:
Nérija is Nubya Garcia (tenor saxophone), Sheila Maurice-Grey (trumpet), Cassie Kinoshi (alto saxophone), Rosie Turton (trombone), Shirley Tetteh (guitar), Lizy Exell (drums) and Rio Kai (bass). Blume is a truly breath-taking collection of compositions that perfectly encapsulates everything Nérija. Vibrant, engaging, infectious and truly current, Blume takes you on a sprawling wonderful journey, arriving at what is a majestic body of work of their personal and collective experiences and inspirations over the last half decade or so.

dow, Thursday, 10 September 2020 21:15 (two months ago) link

Members of Nerija also perform as SEED Ensemble and KOKOROKO, both of whom released great records in 2019/20. I'd also recommend the Foulden Road set by Neue Grafik: https://neuegrafik.bandcamp.com/

fetter, Friday, 11 September 2020 07:11 (two months ago) link

Members of Nerija also perform as SEED Ensemble and KOKOROKO, both of whom released great records in 2019/20.

I agree with the recommendations of SEED Ensemble and Kokoroko, but I wouldn't really say members of Nérija perform "as" those other bands; AFAIK all three are separate bands with some overlapping and some unique members. According to their press release "Nérija began from an initiative created to specifically address the imbalance in the number of women achieving success in the music industry"; i.e. they're an all-women jazz band (something of a rarity even today), whereas SEED and Kokoroko are mixed.

Tuomas, Friday, 11 September 2020 08:44 (two months ago) link

Cassie Kinoshi and Sheila Maurice-Grey are in all three bands, Rio Kai and Shirley Tetteh are in Nerija & SEED Ensemble, while all the other players are unique to each band.

mike t-diva, Friday, 11 September 2020 09:32 (two months ago) link

ok, "perform in" then. Think Nerija had a bloke on bass when I saw them, although that might've changed.

fetter, Friday, 11 September 2020 10:51 (two months ago) link

Yeah, the new bass player is Rio Kai, who's also in SEED Ensemble. I interviewed Shirley Tetteh awhile ago and she explained how he came on board.

but also fuck you (unperson), Friday, 11 September 2020 11:07 (two months ago) link

heard KOKOROKO on the Proms this week and they were fire

how do i shot moon? (Noodle Vague), Friday, 11 September 2020 11:09 (two months ago) link

Indeed they were; the level of unassuming talent across this whole scene is amazing

fetter, Friday, 11 September 2020 11:29 (two months ago) link

My favourite and most-played release from this scene over the past few months has been Yazz Ahmed's Polyhymnia. Nubya Garcia and Shirley Tetteh guest on it, amongst many others. Gorgeous artwork, too.

mike t-diva, Friday, 11 September 2020 11:47 (two months ago) link

I haven't seen keyboardist Joe Armon-Jones mentioned yet itt -- plays on Nubya Garcia's records, and in the group Ezra Collective, in addition to recording under his own name.

handsome boy modelling software (bernard snowy), Friday, 11 September 2020 11:48 (two months ago) link

I've been told that Joe Armon-Jones is fantastic live. His Starting Today album from 2018 was one of my key entry points into this scene.

mike t-diva, Friday, 11 September 2020 12:09 (two months ago) link

Mike: One of mine as well! I still love that album, but strangely I never warmed to his 2019 release (which I'm forgetting the name of). Perhaps I'm due for another listen.

handsome boy modelling software (bernard snowy), Friday, 11 September 2020 12:15 (two months ago) link

Zara McFarlane's Arise was a great discovery for me earlier this year. I've listened to her new one a few times but can't quite decide what I think--anyone else given that a shot?

rob, Friday, 11 September 2020 12:45 (two months ago) link

Armon-Jones and his group play on most of this, as house-band interacting with guests; it's fine as wine (think just about everything I've heard involving him is v. good). Ishmael Ensemble plays well too:

Gilles Peterson Presents MV4
...Taken from a day of live sessions in London’s legendary Maida Vale Studios - studio MV4 to be exact, it was originally intended just for Peterson’s BBC radio show broadcast on 20th October 2018. Struck by what a special moment the sessions captured, Peterson has decided to mark the results with a release proper on his Brownswood imprint.

A limited special double vinyl release*, it features a diverse, all-star cast of some of the acts celebrated by Peterson in recent years, in a series of freewheeling and off-the-cuff recordings, several of the tracks backed by the group of Brownswood signee, Joe Armon-Jones. Featuring Dylan Jones, James Mollison, Mutale Chashi, and Marijus Aleksa as well as guest turns from Fatima, Asheber, Nubya Garcia, Hak Baker, and Oscar Jerome, plus a double track special from Bristol based collective, Ishmael Ensemble.
*Download also available; I've got it---can listen to the whole thing here:
https://mv4music.bandcamp.com/album/gilles-peterson-presents-mv4 (Although if it's still on evil YouTube, may sound better there, as a lot things do these days.)

dow, Friday, 11 September 2020 17:58 (two months ago) link

I was going to talk about Zara McFarlane here - she's a sublime talent, Arise is a wonderful record and her cover of 'Fisherman' by The Congos is astonishing - but I also found it difficult to latch onto the new one. It got better towards the end but maybe too much watery electronica and not enough bite. More live instrumentation would probably have helped.

Matt DC, Friday, 11 September 2020 18:05 (two months ago) link

Well put, that's exactly how I felt (and the "Fisherman" cover is truly sublime). I'd love to hear her vocals on something like Garcia's "The Source"

rob, Friday, 11 September 2020 18:09 (two months ago) link

Nubya Garcia recorded a Tiny Desk Concert for NPR from a studio in London that's inside a lighthouse:


but also fuck you (unperson), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 17:01 (two months ago) link

That must be inside the Trinity Buoy Wharf lighthouse, which for the last 20 years has been playing a piece of constantly changing generative music intended to last 1,000 years.

(I mean I assume it is, I can't imagine there are any other lighthouses in London).

Matt DC, Wednesday, 16 September 2020 17:29 (two months ago) link

one month passes...

I've listened to Universal Beings last week and now I'm listening to the Nubya Garcia and I'm not stopping here. I love these records that seem to do an overview of the history of jazz, drawing equally from the tradition and other influences. I'm still discovering but it's a joy. I don't think I had listened to contemporary jazz since Matana Roberts, with an exception or two (Shabaka's Wisdom of Elders notably).

Nabozo, Friday, 16 October 2020 16:12 (one month ago) link

three weeks pass...

This McCraven remix of "Source" is pretty banging: https://nubyagarcia.bandcamp.com/album/source-makaya-mccraven-remix

rob, Thursday, 12 November 2020 17:21 (one week ago) link

for ukers bbc4 got a live jazz 625 programme on bbc4 a week on Friday ft nubya garcia, poppy ajudha , moses boyd, kokoroko etc

oscar bravo, Thursday, 12 November 2020 17:42 (one week ago) link

Yazz Ahmed record mentioned upthread is fire, exactly what I'm looking for at the moment.

healthy cocaine off perfect butts (the table is the table), Sunday, 15 November 2020 22:17 (one week ago) link

Recommend the Blue Note Re:Imagined album which works as a primer to the scene. http://www.bluenote.com/artist/blue-note-reimagined/

Dan Worsley, Sunday, 15 November 2020 23:03 (one week ago) link

Great comp, Jorja Smith's cover of "Rose Rouge" has been a particularly big track for me.

Tim F, Sunday, 15 November 2020 23:09 (one week ago) link

Watching the Jazz625 show from last night. The 'Jools Holland setup' of the studio is tricky and a bit sterile but damn Sons of Kemet killing it.

The whole thing does lack a bit of Jools' charisma and boogie-woogie piano.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Saturday, 21 November 2020 19:46 (four days ago) link

Shabaka is such a sweet guy.


Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Saturday, 21 November 2020 19:50 (four days ago) link

a primer to the scene. http://www.bluenote.com/artist/blue-note-reimagined/
Also, Soul Jazz Records comp Kaleidoscope has led to me to so many recent, excellent albums by contributors!

dow, Saturday, 21 November 2020 21:19 (four days ago) link

The Jazz 625 thing was great, esp. Sarathy Korthar, who just keeps putting out amazing stuff.

mahb, Monday, 23 November 2020 14:34 (two days ago) link

very much enjoyed the Yazz Ahmed, thanks thread

howls of non-specificity (sleeve), Tuesday, 24 November 2020 01:16 (yesterday) link

xp the soul jazz comp is pretty excellent, i already had several of tracks on it because i've been following the scene a bit but i don't mind because the pressing and sound is fantastic

the late great, Tuesday, 24 November 2020 01:29 (yesterday) link

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