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.
Next up is Ezra Collective, the all-London all-star line-up that is pumping as much energy into the scene as anyone else.
An already sold-out show, see this is as more of a whetting of the appetite rather than some advice on whether or not to buy a ticket, as we anticipate the sounds that Ezra Collective will be serving onto your audible palette.
Stunning solos and a real sense of teamwork and togetherness cover both ends of the spectrum in terms of this groundbreaking group’s live experience. In the midst of a tour right now, expect them to be on fine, fine form as they stop my Mr Bongo’s Jazz Club en route to the likes of The Deaf Institue in Manchester before eventually hitting their hometown show at none other than Camden’s KOKO.
If you’re lucky enough to have a ticket to see these guys, so crucial in this exciting wave of what is heralded as ‘jazz,’ expect to see some fast-paced, all-action drumming from Femi Koleoso, as evident on Mace Windu Riddim as it anywhere else. The celebrated Joe Armon-Jones, already having hit Patterns’ upstairs on his own tour, will be travelling up and down his keyboard which is quickly becoming one of the most iconic pieces of music equipment in the country.
Dylan Jones and James Mollison will put breathless performances in on the trumpet and tenor saxophone, respectively, bringing sounds that transcend jazz into realms of reggae, ska and at times, bringing it back to that raw, unrefined jazz that seems to always make jaws drop when showcased live. Finally, TJ Koleoso on bass, the brother of the aforementioned Femi, completes a quintet that feels as tightly-knit and cohesive as you’d expect from a musical upbringing experienced, enjoyed and experimented with, all together.
In so many ways, Ezra’s nature embodies this community of musicians that have been passing through our city in recent months, trading instrumental sessions and borrowing each other’s talents like you would ask a neighbour for milk (in the 1980s). As this collective, they all come together and bodies of work like their debut EP, Chapter 7 and more recent, Juan Pablo: The Philosopher are like the beautiful fruits of this organic fair trade.
If you’re sampling what Ezra Collective’s live show is like, tuck in.