Heaven's Mirror (feat Idris Ackamoor & David Molina)
Iyaami (feat Dele Sosimi)
Spice Routes (feat Nat Birchall)
Egosystem (Solar Noon)
Reflection (feat Nat Birchall & Liz Elensky)
New Day (feat Ahu)
Heaven's Mirror (reprise)
Minutes To Midnight For This Planet
Raga Requiem (Dusk)
Review: For one reason or another, this is Emanative's debut for London's Jazzman imprint, with the artist having touched most other like-minded labels thus far. Better late than never, we say! It also marks Nick Woodmansey's fourth studio album to date, having travelled through Space and Time, and now landing firmly on Earth. As you'd expect, mystique and experimentation are very much a core part of this LP, morphing at every turn, shifting unpredictably amid jazz flutes, deep cello bass, and a supremely sporadic drumming aesthetic that perfectly encapsulates the 'free' element of jazz. The electronics play a part too, however, adding a noticeable aura to an already atmospheric selection of sonic patterns. A beauty, from start to finish.
Review: Founded in 1981, the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble has been responsible for some sublime albums over the years. They built their reputation via a swathe of sets dedicated to free jazz and inspired improvisational workouts, but "Be Known: Ancient/Future/Music" is a little more structured and polished, with clear influences from spiritual jazz and African music. It's a blend that consistently produces impressive results, from the chant-along soul-jazz spirituality of "Be Known" and loose-limbed madness of "Blew It", to the tribal drums and soulful vocals of "Wish I Knew" and the slow-burn vibes of simmering late night cut "Ntozake".
Review: London's contemporary jazz scene is so strong right now that there's not a week that passes without the release of a killer new album from one of its leading protagonists. The latest comes from Ezra Collective, which finally delivers its' debut album following a string of inspired live performances and a handful of must-have singles. Kicking off with a breezy chunk of hip-hop-jazz, "You Can't Steal My Joy" sees the hyped five-piece confidently bounce between intense, spiraling epics ("Why You Mad?"), reggae-influenced aural sunshine ("Red Whine"), polyrhythmic Afro-jazz ("Quest For Coin"), bespoke soul (Jorja Smith hook-up "Reason In Disguise"), live boom-bap hip-hop (Loyle Carner collaboration "What Am I To Do"), bustling Afro-Cuban jazz ("Chris & Jane"), picturesque piano pieces ("Philosopher II") and much more besides. As debuts go, it's mighty impressive.