Nérija alumni illuminate Jazz Re:fest's Brighton Dome bonanza

 SeedEnsemble LWorms 2

Day-trippers pour out of the trains in their hundreds, heading straight for sand and sea in the endless sun. Jazz Re:freshed have taken their sixth celebration of the new scene they've helped catalyse on a seaside break, too, relocating from London's South Bank to Brighton's Dome. This attempt to spread a movement already characterised by its outward focus is rewarded by a crowd of well over a thousand, choosing to swap sunlight for uplift by seven barely-known jazz bands.

"This is not a passive environment," the MC advises, but noon arrivals for Brighton's Vels Trio still stand docilely in light from the stage, like a scene from Close Encounters. Rolling keyboard grooves define an as yet unexceptional band, before Leeds' Gondwana-signed Noya Rao toy with post-techno rhythmic rigidity, and add bossa nova swing to soul vocals. Daniel Casimir's intimate upright-bass solo soon becomes buzzingly propulsive, in a taste of more conventional jazz which joins necessary dots. This Nubya Garcia bandmate is joined by his Escapee EP singer and co-writer Tess Hirst in a warmly organic, if low-key, sound.

DanielCasimir LWorms

Female collective Nérija are currently in the shade of Garcia's breakout glow, but altoist Cassie Kinoshi, with guitarist Shirley Tetteh and trumpeter Sheila Maurice-Grey also in tow from that crucial unit, deserves similar success with her 10-piece Seed Ensemble. Their first symphonic jazz piece is named 'The Darkies', in take-that riposte to a resurgence in 1950s-style racism. The next song is dedicated to Grenfell Tower's victims of social schism, with electric keys as the adhesive root to a trumpet's reproachful rise and Kinoshi's modal flight. Tetteh locks into her own time and space between the drums. Then guest poet Zana's searing words of "resounding disgust" match Kate Tempest, before the Afro-futurist redemption of Kinoshi's 'Afro More'. Her undemonstrative command, compositions and quiet ballsiness suggest Seed Ensemble's album will be special.

Yussef Dayes' drumming is a climactic contrast. The muscular tension of his presence and a bass drum like an ogre demanding entry are constants. His snare's dry snap and Senegalese-style percussion, the half-speed drum'n'bass beats and zooming guitar interplay, are virtuosity as visceral force. His string vest and tracksuit bottoms, meanwhile, kiss goodbye to post-war jazz suits. The perils of jamming mean his band's energy sometimes drops, but his charisma never does.

Criticism that this scene isn't groundbreaking enough has credence, as fusion and jazz-funk sometimes seem default positions, lightly dusted by contemporary rhythms. But, as with Love Supreme, the live reality's bliss brooks no argument. From the four-year-old black boy concocting his own complex dance in a corner, to the septuagenarian white jazz faithful digging the new scene from the back rows, and from the young women loving drum solos to the young women playing sax solos, the jazz walls have come tumbling down.

Music which has sometimes been fearfully insular is reawakening as a utopia.

Nick Hasted
– Photos by Lisa Wormsley 

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website

If you do not change browser settings, you consent to continue. Learn more

I understand

Breaking News

Birchall/Cheetham/Webster/Willberg Visit Vortex

Birchall/Cheetham/Webster/Willberg Visit…

Expect a bagful of bedlam when the free-wheeling Manchester/London-based quartet...

Read More.....
Sue Richardson lines up for inaugural Splash Point Jazz Fest

Sue Richardson lines up for inaugural Sp…

The first Splash Point Jazz Festival will take place in...

Read More.....
Jazz FM sold to Bauer Media Group

Jazz FM sold to Bauer Media Group

Jazz FM, which is broadcast nationally on DAB and recently...

Read More.....
Musson, Kjær and Marshall set for Iklectik date this weekend

Musson, Kjær and Marshall set for Iklect…

Three of the key figures on London's improv scene –...

Read More.....
Say A Little Prayer: Aretha Franklin 25/03/42 – 16/08/18

Say A Little Prayer: Aretha Franklin 25/…

  As far as monikers go, 'Lady Soul' may well have...

Read More.....
'A Great Day in Harlem' celebrates 60th anniversary

'A Great Day in Harlem' celebrates 60th …

Photographer Art Kane's legendary jazz photograph 'Harlem – 1958', commonly...

Read More.....
Zara McFarlane and Ayanna Witter Johnson for Kinch’s Flyover Show

Zara McFarlane and Ayanna Witter Johnson…

Soweto Kinch's free one-day arts festival, The Flyover Show, returns...

Read More.....
Steely Dan tributes and basses high at Sligo Jazz Project

Steely Dan tributes and basses high at S…

In a week of outstanding musical offerings in Sligo, perhaps...

Read More.....
Maria Schneider and Ensemble Denada meld mystery and drama with McCaslin at Molde

Maria Schneider and Ensemble Denada meld…

  Molde might be a small coastal town in western Norway...

Read More.....
John Zorn's Simulacrum project rewrite radical organ trio template at Jazz em Agosto

John Zorn's Simulacrum project rewrite r…

King Crimson and tech-death titans such as Cynic and Atheist...

Read More.....
Ron Davis lines up with Seonaid Aitken for SymphRONica Scottish sojourn

Ron Davis lines up with Seonaid Aitken f…

Canadian pianist Ron Davis (above left) has enlisted the Scottish...

Read More.....
Christian McBride’s New Jawn and Chick Corea Akoustic Trio create magic in Malta

Christian McBride’s New Jawn and Chick C…

If Valletta's sun-baked limestone is a constant reminder of Malta's...

Read More.....
Tomasz Stańko – 11 July 1942 – 29 July 2018

Tomasz Stańko – 11 July 1942 – 29 July 2…

In 2002, the Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stańko provided an answer...

Read More.....
Steve Coleman & Five Elements floor all comers with Mayweather-style beat magic

Steve Coleman & Five Elements floor …

They say that writing about music is like dancing about...

Read More.....
Archie Shepp, Herbie Hancock and Tuba Titans kick out the cool at Montreal Jazz Festival

Archie Shepp, Herbie Hancock and Tuba Ti…

Canadians are patronisingly characterised in the US as 'over-polite' but...

Read More.....
Wayne Shorter enters the multiverse with album and graphic novel

Wayne Shorter enters the multiverse with…

Iconic saxophonist Wayne Shorter is set to make a dramatic...

Read More.....
Nérija alumni illuminate Jazz Re:fest's Brighton Dome bonanza

Nérija alumni illuminate Jazz Re:fest's …

  Day-trippers pour out of the trains in their hundreds, heading...

Read More.....
Brötzmann Cocked To Blast At Third Brighton Alt Bash

Brötzmann Cocked To Blast At Third Brigh…

The south coast's premier experimental music symposium – the Brighton...

Read More.....
Szun Waves launch New Hymn To Freedom with live dates

Szun Waves launch New Hymn To Freedom wi…

Electronica jazz trio Szun Waves release their second album, New...

Read More.....
Donny McCaslin’s big Blow set for Scala

Donny McCaslin’s big Blow set for Scala

US saxophonist Donny McCaslin follows the breakthrough success of 2016's...

Read More.....
PRS Foundation Momentum Music Fund now open for applications

PRS Foundation Momentum Music Fund now o…

The PRS Foundation's Momentum Music Fund has helped the likes...

Read More.....
Beats & Pieces Big Band launch Ten with video and tour

Beats & Pieces Big Band launch Ten w…

Manchester's mighty Beats & Pieces Big Band continue their yearlong...

Read More.....
Robert Glasper leads R+R=NOW for stormy Celebrate Brooklyn blow-out

Robert Glasper leads R+R=NOW for stormy …

The history of collectives in jazz are nearly as old...

Read More.....
Are you ready for the Write Stuff? 2018 Applications Now Open

Are you ready for the Write Stuff? 2018 …

Budding music writers listen up! This year's Write Stuff music...

Read More.....
John Coltrane’s The Lost Album: Both Directions at Once hits Top 20 Albums

John Coltrane’s The Lost Album: Both Dir…

Last week's release of John Coltrane's The Lost Album: Both...

Read More.....
Boogie at the Bandstand - Love Supreme's festival within a festival

Boogie at the Bandstand - Love Supreme's…

With an abundance of big names on the larger stages...

Read More.....
Keyon Harrold, Vijay Iyer and EXPO Commissions for 40th Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Fest

Keyon Harrold, Vijay Iyer and EXPO Commi…

The 40th edition of the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival...

Read More.....
Roy Carr 1945 – 2018

Roy Carr 1945 – 2018

Doyen of the music press for half a century and...

Read More.....
Pharoah's Prophecies Pave Way For New Wave Of Spiritual Sentinels At This Year's Love Supreme

Pharoah's Prophecies Pave Way For New Wa…

"I've already had my mind blown once today," a geezerish...

Read More.....
Meshell Ndegeocello and The Bad Plus for Innervisions Fest at Under The Bridge

Meshell Ndegeocello and The Bad Plus for…

Chelsea music venue, Under the Bridge, will play host to...

Read More.....
Brockley Beer & Improv Sessions Brew Up New Series

Brockley Beer & Improv Sessions Brew…

Connoisseurs of craft ales and well-crafted extemporisation, rejoice! Another series of...

Read More.....
Archie Shepp, Phronesis, Kandace Springs and Kit Downes added to EFG London Jazz Festival

Archie Shepp, Phronesis, Kandace Springs…

The line-up for this year's EFG London Jazz Festival, which...

Read More.....
Wynton Marsalis Quartet open up to the spirit of Ornette at Barbican

Wynton Marsalis Quartet open up to the s…

Wynton Marsalis is more forward-thinking than he gets credit for...

Read More.....
Joe Lovano and Dave Douglas step up with Sound Prints at the Village vanguard

Joe Lovano and Dave Douglas step up with…

Joe Lovano remarked that "it was the end of an...

Read More.....
Jazz Women celebrated at Jazz Centre UK exhibition

Jazz Women celebrated at Jazz Centre UK …

Southend-on-Sea's Jazz Centre UK presents a major exhibition, Jazz Women...

Read More.....
Boggamasta boogie on down at Brussels Jazz Weekend

Boggamasta boogie on down at Brussels Ja…

The UK equivalent to the Brussels Jazz Weekend would be...

Read More.....


Subcribe To Jazzwise

Advertisement

Call 0800 137201 to subscribe or click here to email the subscriptions team

Get in touch

Jazzwise Magazine,
St. Judes Church,
Dulwich Road, 
Herne Hill,
London, SE24 0PD.

0208 677 0012

Latest Tweets

Birchall/Cheetham/Webster/Willberg Quartet Visit Vortex https://t.co/HJ53ZayzCb @vortexjazz @vortexjazz… https://t.co/cJTzAk0oq5
Follow Us - @Jazzwise
@douglasbenford good memories...
Follow Us - @Jazzwise

Newsletter

© 2016 MA Business & Leisure Ltd registered in England and Wales number 02923699 Registered office: Jesses Farm, Snow Hill, Dinton, Salisbury, SP3 5HN . Designed By SE24 MEDIA