No one can deny the irrepressible force of British jazz music right now, as an abundance of artists are bursting out of London and elsewhere, bringing a once slept-on genre to the masses at festivals and shows.
And our own city of Brighton is getting a piece it over the next few months, with the likes of Joe-Armon Jones, Yussef Dayes, Yazmin Lacey and Ezra Collective passing through our seagull-heavy town. We’re looking to do our best to cover it on the magazine front, but you’d all be wise to get yourself down to shows arranged by the likes of One Inch Badge, Mr Bongo and Patterns.
This week, we are looking towards the aforementioned, Joe Armon-Jones, who is kicking off Patterns’ and Mr Bongo’s Jazz Club this week.
If you went to any festival that featured any of the cream of the current jazz crop this summer, the chances are that you would’ve seen and heard Joe Armon-Jones.
The pianist is the most-wanted man in British jazz music right now, playing keys for so many of this country’s most thriving artists right now. From the saxophonist, Nubya Garcia, to the might of Ezra Collective, Armon-Jones has been killing shows with the best of the best this summer and beyond.
Fresh off of Ezra’s tour, he is now onto his own one, showcasing his critically acclaimed project from earlier this year, Starting Today, released on the quite brilliant, Bronswood Recordings. With stunning vocal performances from Oscar Jerome and perhaps most iconically, Asheber on that opening title track, the album is a massive piece of music in both size and quality as the London-based artist takes you on a 45-minute journey of contemporary, tempo-changing jazz.
Tracks like Almost Went Too Far sound like they’ve travelled in time forwards to the present day, with the record’s classic feel making it sound like a body of work that could’ve been made at any point in the past 40 or 50 years. That is, perhaps, barring Big Sharer’s rap on the penultimate track, Ragify, as Jones, like so many of his much-talked-about contemporaries, showcases the power to break from the boundaries of the ‘UK Jazz’ tag.
Expect some stunning solos from him and his band, as well as some grooves as deep as the nearby pier-decorated sea, as Brighton’s most consistent seafront venue makes its first appearance in our Jazz… in Brighton series.