Yazz Ahmed | La Saboteuse

Bahraini-British performer, Yazz Ahmed, is transforming what jazz means in 2017. This trumpet and flugelhorn-playing artist has worked with Radiohead and These New Puritans, experiments with electronic effects, and combines sounds from her shared heritage to author a new narrative for the genre. Part of the new wave of artists credited with stirring up the sound, including Kamasi Washington, Yussef Kamaal, Sons of Kemet and The Comet is Coming, Yazz Ahmed is thrilled by the possibilities of making something new. “I feel like I’m a part of modernising jazz and connecting it with audiences today,” Yazz says. “It’s exciting.”

Her new album ‘La Saboteuse’ is a deep exploration of both her British and Bahraini roots. Ably assisted by musicians including Lewis Wright on vibraphone, Shabaka Hutchings on bass clarinet and Naadia Sherriff on Rhodes keyboard, it’s composed of undulating rhythms, Middle Eastern melody and Yazz’s sonorous trumpet lines. ‘La Saboteuse’ will be released in four chapters incrementally, unravelling the story, before the full version is available. Each chapter has its own cover, with beautiful illustrations by Bristol artist Sophie Bass. “I feel really touched, nobody’s created art from my music before, it’s really special,” Yazz says.

Out on Naim Records, available on Bandcamp.

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shabaka & the ancestors | wisdom of elders

shabaka-and-the-ancestors-wisdom-of-elders

“Wisdom of the Elders” was recorded in Johannesburg in 2015 on one of many trips Shabaka Hutchings took there to immerse himself in the country’s rich musical heritage. The album is a psalm in nine parts. An episodic unfurling of a sonic journey across the Atlantic.

“The grand scheme of this album is to present the musical language that I normally associate with my UK bands in the context of SA musicians and musical sensibilities,” – explains Shabaka Hutchings.

Eight men in a studio in Johannesburg; one tenor sax, one alto sax, one trumpet. One on vocals, one on ivory, one bass, one on percussion and one the drums. 800 million voices. 700 years. Millions of bones cracking under the weight of 22 false free years. Innumerable tiny sparks. One uncontrollable blaze.

Available September 16th, order on Bandcamp. Stream after the jump.

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sons of kemet | lest we forget what we came here to do

sons-of-kemet-lest-we-forget-what-we-came-here-to-do

Sons Of Kemet are born of many vital elements – including a name that nods to ancient Egyptian culture, and a line-up that comprises some of the most progressive 21st-century talents in British jazz and beyond. Band-leader, composer and sax and clarinet don Shabaka Hutchings (himself named after a Nubian pharaoh-philosopher) brings together his fiery vision alongside London-based bandmates Tom Skinner and Seb Rochford and latest addition Theon Cross.

These collaborative players have previously won major praise in celebrated acts such as Polar Bear, Hello Skinny, Melt Yourself Down, Mulatu Astatke and the Heliocentrics, and Sun Ra’s Arkestra. Their new album ‘Lest We Forget What We Came Here To Do’ was released back in September 2015 and is available on Bandcamp.

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