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Posts from the ‘Jazz’ Category

Nik Bärtsch at the Barbican

Nik Bartsch Barbican

This is how is began, with a seven-foot Steinway marooned on a dais in a lagoon of water installed on an enlarged stage at the Barbican Hall, silhouetted against a rhombus of light projected on to the back wall. As the house lights dimmed to blackness, the Swiss pianist and composer Nik Bärtsch, as usual shaven-headed and dressed in the black robes of a ninja monk, emerged from the wings and made his way to the instrument across a causeway which was then removed by stagehands. Bärtsch settled himself before launching into an hour-long piece called When the Clouds Clear, a “light and sound poem” created in conjunction the London-based visual artist Sophie Clements.

Bärtsch’s music is utterly sui generis: a highly personal version of minimalism that is most often expressed with the other musicians of his quintet Ronin, a project developed over almost 20 years at weekly sessions in a Zurich club that he co-owns. Each of his compositions is titled “Modul” and given a number. This mirrors the seemingly industrial precision with which they are conceived and performed, based on small melodic cells and exacting rhythmic overlays whose teasing syncopations generate tension, but it gives no idea of the emotion generated when, on a sudden shouted cue, one locked groove instantly gives way to another, the intensity rising exponentially.

All this was reflected in his unaccompanied playing last night, opening with a single repeated note tested for overtones and modified for attack and decay before evolving through an hour of contrasting moods and densities, often displaying his highly personal use of the prepared-piano techniques now common among those of his and subsequent generations of acoustic keyboard improvisers. Bärtsch can stun a note so that it acts like a rimshot from Philly Joe Jones or Clyde Stubblefield, laying it against a frantic weave of arpeggiation or letting it punctuate in a moment of silence. Sometimes he reached inside the instrument to make it hiss or growl, before building fantastic cataracts of sound that forfeited all note-definition and seemed about to burst the walls of the auditorium.

Sophie Clements’ lighting and projections began with minimalistic monochrome geometries creeping across the set before she introduced backdrops of waves and skies, washed in blue or grey. This seemed worryingly literal — waves of water, waves of sound — but only for the briefest moment until it became apparent how beautifully the visuals and the music were creating (to paraphrase Wallace Stevens) something beyond them, but themselves. Towards the end, drops of water began to fall from the roof into the lagoon: an illusion of the elements invading the music. (There was some wry amusement about this afterwards, given that parts of Britain had spent the week battling floods.)

The  austere, almost hieratic air of Bärtsch’s music and self-presentation is utterly deceptive; its end product is human warmth, and the prolonged ovation he shared with Clements was generated by art that, for all its refinement of technique and conception, communicated on the most immediate level. I’d be surprised if there were a soul in the hall who, having absorbed a genuinely extraordinary experience, wouldn’t have been happy to sit through it all again straight away.

* Nik Bärtsch and Sophie Clements were appearing on the first night of the 2019 EFG London Jazz Festival. This was the second performance of When the Clouds Clear, which was co-commissioned by the Enjoy Jazz Festival and the Barbican and received its première in Mannheim earlier this year.

The essential Terri Lyne Carrington

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What does it mean when a critic describes an album as “essential”? After all, you can live a full and satisfying life without ever hearing A Love Supreme, Eli & the Thirteenth Confession or Blood on the Tracks, all of which would justify the conventional use of that epithet. But sometimes it’s the word that’s closest to what you want to suggest. And that’s how it is with Waiting Game by Terri Lyne Carrington + Social Science, an album which looks deep into the soul of 21st century America and comes up with something that, like all the best protest music, locates sparks of hope amid the darkness and despair it portrays.

For those unfamiliar with Carrington, she is a 54-year-old drummer, composer and bandleader noted for her work with Cassandra Wilson, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock and many others. She began playing drums at home in Massachusetts, aged seven, on a kit handed down from her grandfather, who had played with Fats Waller. At 11 she received a scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston; at 18 she was in New York and playing at the highest level.

Waiting Game is a suite that, blending songs of protest with cutting-edge African American music, takes its place in the line stretching from Max Roach’s We Insist: Freedom Now Suite through Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On to Ambrose Akinmusire’s Origami Harvest. To the core six-piece Social Science band — Debo Ray (vocals), Kassa Overall (MC), Morgan Guerin (saxophones, bass, EWI), Matthew Stevens (guitar) and Aaron Parks (piano and keyboards) — Carrington adds guest appearances from singers, rappers and MCs including Mark Kibble, Rapsody, Meshell Ndegeocello, Raydar Ellis and Maimouna Youssef, plus the trumpeter Nicholas Payton, the bassists Esperanza Spalding and Derrick Hodge, and others.

The songs are contributed by all the members of the group. Although the words  — dealing with oppression and the rights of women, gay people, Native Americans, political prisoners (in the widest definition of the term) and others — are often confrontational, the music is easy to love. The grooves are slinky, the textures have a warm glow, the voices often soothe and seduce. While Rapsody fires up “The Anthem” with righteous fervour, Debo Ray croons Joni Mitchell’s “Love” (which applies gender reassignment to the famous verses from 1 Corinthians Ch. 13) with the sweetness of a Minnie Riperton. Stevens’s lucid guitar improvisations are a frequent delight, particularly on his own composition “Over and Sons”, which runs on the kind of perfectly lubricated rollers that would have Donald Fagen purring.

That’s the first CD. There’s a second, containing a 42-minute instrumental suite in four sections, titled “Dreams and Desperate Measures”. It seems to have been improvised by Carrington, Parks, Stevens, Guerin and Spalding, with the addition of a very spare orchestration — by Edmar Colón — for three violinists, a cellist, a clarinetist and a flautist. Ebbing and flowing quite beautifully, slowly changing with the light, it quietly compels the listener’s attention. You feel like you’re sitting in the middle of an intimate conversation, or — in places — a chamber-music version of Bitches Brew.

“Music transcends, breaks barriers, strengthens us, and heals old wounds,” Carrington says in a statement accompanying the album. If that’s a proposition which can ever be proved, here — in an album as good as anything I’ve heard all year — is some persuasive evidence.

* Terri Lyne Carrington will be at Kings Place on Saturday as part of the EFG London Jazz festival, she and Social Science Community performing Waiting Game at a 7pm concert before being joined by British guests — including the saxophonist Soweto Kinch and the trumpeter Emma-Jane Thackray — for a 9pm show. Information: efglondonjazzfestival.org.uk

Binker in the Round

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It takes a brave bandleader to offer Sarah Tandy the first solo of the set. And when the pianist was presented with that opportunity while depping for Joe Armon-Jones in Binker Golding’s quartet at Jazz in the Round at the Cockpit Theatre on Monday night, she made the most of it. As she can do, she simply took flight, pulling together the strands of the opening theme, focusing the efforts of the whole band and raising the intensity to a level sustained for the next 40 minutes.

It took four of them to bring that off, of course. Not just Tandy or Golding, whose playing seems to have reached a new level of authority in the past year, but the band’s bassist, Dan Casimir, who deploys a huge tone and a massive drive, and its drummer, Sam Jones, who is loose and sharp at the sane time and has a lovely way of infusing eights with a triplet-based feel (and who managed to make an adroit recovery when his bass-drum pedal flew off just as Golding’s tenor solo was building in the climactic “Fluorescent Black”).

They played tunes from Golding’s new album, Abstractions of Reality Past and Incredible Feathers, whose delightful title owed something, he said, to the poet Emily Dickinson: “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers — That perches in the soul — And sings the tune without the words — And never stops — at all — ” It was, he added, the result of his desire to make something more melodic than the music he created in his duo with the drummer Moses Boyd and its various extensions.

How well he has succeeded. The album is like a modern version of a tenor-and-rhythm session by someone such as George Coleman or James Clay at the zenith of the hard-bop era: original themes that are strong and complex, full of immediately attractive twists and turns, blowing that is fierce but constantly aware of the need to build a narrative. Occasionally, as in “Exquisite She-Green”, there is a Monkish angularity that seeps into the solos. A ballad like “You, That Place, That Time” is not afraid to explore a glowing but always alert lyricism. Others, like “Fluorescent Black” and the Latin-inflected “I Forgot Santa Monica”, have a built-in swing that allows the musicians to take off and show us the extent of their old-school chops while making it clear that they have new things to say.

Tandy on the live gig provided a rewarding contrast with Armon-Jones’s work on the album: the former constantly launching her combination of soulfulness and rhapsody, fingers flying as she goes deeper and deeper, the latter a virtuoso of funky feeling, with a surprise in every bar and making each one count towards the whole.

The gig had the Cockpit audience roaring its approval. The album is a beautiful (and very beautifully recorded) document capturing a young London musician’s discovery that there’s more than one way for his generation to wreck the house. Most highly recommended.

* Abstractions of Reality Past and Incredible Feathers is out now on the Gearbox label.

Ancestral voices

Coin Coin 4

 

Run, baby, run — run like the wind.

That phrase is a recurring motif of Coin Coin Chapter Four: Memphis, the latest instalment of Matana Roberts’ meditation on personal history and cultural memory. The words are those of “Daddy”, and they appear in various contexts, from schoolyard races to a sighting of men in strange robes and hoods.

The emotional loading of that phrase and the image of a black child running, whether out of pleasure or terror, is at the centre of Roberts’s latest piece of “panoramic sound quilting.” Each chapter so far (she plans an eventual total of 12) has had a different trajectory and texture, and this is no exception.

The narrative core is drawn from the story, told to Roberts by her maternal grandmother, of a Memphis woman named Liddie  — “who for moment of a long lifetime ago, lived in a Tennessee wood, alone, a small person yet ungrown/unknown… her father murdered by weak men in white hoods, her mother dying somewhere unknown… alone…”

Roberts is a beautiful reader and narrator, as anyone who has attended her solo concerts will know. Her strong, alert voice rises naturally out of the music and can render sombre material powerful but never portentous or hectoring. Here she devises settings that fall somewhere between the black country brass and string bands of the early 20th century — braying trombone, rollicking fiddle, wheezing accordion, twanging jaw harp — and the free jazz of the 1960s. There’s an Aylerish exultation to the use of traditional cadences, most obviously in the flights of Roberts’ own alto playing and the scrabbling, plicketing electric guitars of Hannah Marcus and Sam Shalabi. (The bassist Nicolas Caloia and the drummer/vibraphonist Ryan Sawyer are the other members of the core group.)

Snatches of folk songs and gospel hymns slip in and out of this sound-quilt, alongside hints of “St Louis Blues”, “This Little Light of Mine” and “Tennessee Waltz”. They are the ghosts of an unquiet past in a restless, troubled present, brilliantly evoked in the latest episode of this monumental work.

* The photograph is of Matana Roberts’s grandmother and is from the front cover of Coin Coin Chapter Four: Memphis. The album is out now on the Constellation label. I’ve made a couple of factual corrections to this piece in response to Matana Roberts’s comment.

Ronnie Scott’s at 60

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It was in search of some old and occasionally neglected jazz feelings that I went to Ronnie Scott’s this week to hear Joey DeFrancesco’s trio. Temporarily, I’d had enough of watching brilliant young conservatory-trained jazz musicians squinting at sheet music. And enough of entire evenings of jazz without a single bar in a swinging 4/4. A temporary condition, as I say. But it demanded a fix of something different.

I was also thinking about the club’s 60th anniversary, which falls on October 30. I never went inside the original Gerrard Street basement premises, although as a teenager on a trip to London I was able to stand on the street one night, by the top of the stairs, and listen to the sound of Sonny Rollins whenever the door opened. From 1969 on, however, I was a regular visitor to 47 Frith Street, usually on Monday nights, when a new band would begin its season of two, three or sometimes four weeks and I’d be along to review it for the Melody Maker or The Times.

The first of countless memorable nights there was to hear the star-studded Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Big Band. Another early one, in July 1971, was the opening of a fortnight by Herbie Hancock’s Mwandishi sextet: a night no one present is likely to have forgotten. First for the exalted music produced by a group rounded out by Eddie Henderson (trumpet and flugel), Julian Priester (trombone), Benny Maupin (tenor), Buster Williams (bass) and Billy Hart (drums), second for the Swahili names Hancock had persuaded them to adopt, and third for the fact that they were the first jazz group to travel with their own sound system and mixing engineer. The sound at Ronnie’s was always decent, but this, in terms of subtle gradations of individual and collective timbre, was on another level.

So there was a nice historical echo in seeing the great Billy Hart at the drums with DeFrancesco this week, doing exactly what I hoped and knew he’d do, which was to swing like mad. It made me think of all the great drummers I’d seen on that stage, from Kenny Clarke through Art Blakey and Elvin Jones to Billy Higgins, while standing beside the bar that used to run alongside the left-hand wall of the club.

That bar isn’t there any more. Neither are Ronnie or Pete King or the other members of staff, front of house and backroom, who were fixtures in those days. The club went through a bad time when Pete sold it to Sally Greene and her partners after Ronnie died, but the new owners saw it through some difficult years and kept the faith. The booking policy gradually recovered its integrity and the audiences came back. Now it’s full just about every night with listeners who — unlike many of the expense-account businessmen of the ’70s — respect the music, respond with enthusiasm and don’t chatter during the quiet bits.

Inevitably, it’s more expensive than it used to be. But have you tried running a jazz club in Soho, where cherished institutions disappear every week, thanks to the greed and ignorance of landlords and developers? The fact that it’s not just surviving but flourishing is remarkable, as is the willingness of the management to supplement the main programme with jam sessions and showcases for younger musicians — something that Ronnie and Pete always tried to do. I’m not sure I’ll ever quite get used to having to sit down in a place where I spent several decades leaning against the bar, but it’s no great hardship.

The pianist Robert Glasper was making a serious point a couple of years ago when he said that by filling the walls of a jazz club with framed photos of dead musicians, you kill the music’s spirit. You can see why a young musician would come to that conclusion. But when I walk in from Frith Street nowadays, I can still feel the spirits of Ronnie and Pete and the disturbingly glamorous Roxy Beaujolais on the front desk and dapper Jimmy Parsons the greeter and Martin the maitre d’ and Fat Henry Cohen in the cloakroom and Gypsy Larry, whose role was a mystery, as well as those of the musicians in the pictures, all of whom went to make it what it was — and, quite miraculously, still is.

Bill Frisell at Cadogan Hall

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“If somebody makes a so-called mistake,” Bill Frisell says near the end of the promotional film for his new album, “that can be the most beautiful thing that happens all night, if everybody’s open to what that sound is and embraces it and makes it sound good. If everyone’s watching out for each other and everyone feels like they can take a risk, it gives the music a chance to keep going and evolving.”

Last night at Cadogan Hall it was his turn to flub an ending, the mistake quickly finessed by his three colleagues — the singer Petra Haden, the cellist Hank Roberts and the bass guitarist Luke Bergman — with grace and smiles. And right there was the humanity of any music in which Frisell has a hand.

His mission to demonstrate and explore the consanguinity of all forms of American vernacular music — from Charles Ives to Thelonious Monk, from Hank Williams to Henry Mancini, from Muddy Waters to the Beach Boys — was accomplished many years ago, but with Harmony, the title of his first album on the Blue Note label, it seems to have reached another peak. The empathy, flexibility and modesty of this quartet make it an ideal vehicle for another exercise in creative juxtaposition.

The concert began quietly, with Haden’s beautifully plain voice enunciating the wandering, wordless, childlike line of Frisell’s “Everywhere”. The first high point came with Stephen Foster’s “Hard Times”, on which Roberts and Bergman joined Haden in the sort of three-part Appalachian harmonies guaranteed to strike instantly at a special place in the emotions. There was a wholehearted ovation for that. “Lush Life”, fiendishly difficult to sing, was another highlight; also included in last year’s solo concert at the same venue and on Epistrophy, his recent live duo album with the bassist Thomas Morgan, Billy Strayhorn’s great ballad is clearly a preoccupation, and its intense chromaticism brought out the Jim Hall influence in Frisell’s work on his double-cutaway semi-acoustic instrument.

There was an interesting recasting of “On the Street Where You Live” (from My Fair Lady) and a lovely harmonised version of the traditional “Red River Valley”, interspersed with little instrumental pieces making sparing use of the guitarist’s loops and effects. The set ended with a segue from Pete Seeger’s “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” into David Bowie’s “Space Oddity”, rendered in full and apparently without ironic intent. For an encore, demanded with fervent enthusiasm, they returned to stand at the microphones and deliver “We Shall Overcome”, inviting us to join in; well, at least now they know what English hymn-singing sounds like.

It was a mystery that, for the latest project from this great musician, a hall which was packed for his solo appearance a year ago should be so thinly populated last night. Perhaps the concert was badly advertised. The album is not yet out, which probably didn’t help. But anyone who wasn’t there missed a quietly remarkable night.

* Harmony is out on November 1. Epistrophy was released by ECM earlier this year. The photograph of Bill Frisell is by Monica Frisell.

Another me, another way

Another me 3

The self-portrait above was painted by an inmate of Vinney Green Secure Unit, a young offenders’ facility in Bristol. It’s part of “Another Me”, an exhibition of artworks by people incarcerated within the criminal justice system, currently on show in the Spirit Level rooms at the South Bank centre, below the Festival Hall. It caught my attention when I noticed that it had been curated for the Koestler Arts foundation by Soweto Kinch, the brilliant composer, saxophonist and bandleader. Anything Kinch is involved in tends to be worth your time, and “Another Me” is no exception.

At Koestler Arts’ building in Wormwood Scrubs, he went through 7,610 entries submitted in 52 categories from UK prisons and British prisoners abroad. His selection spans a range of media, from conventional painting and photography to wall-poetry, music of various genres (which you can hear through headphones), all ranging from the sombre to the defiantly whimsical. There’s a particularly extraordinary piece made from used nitrous oxide canisters found in various London locations — outside a school, an off-licence, a night club, a hospital — and labelled and framed in the style of Victorian museum objects under the title “Nitrouonites: Future Fossils”. As you walk around, you’ll hear the sound of drifting saxophones and electronics: a non-invasive but gently atmospheric sound installation specially devised by the curator.

Many of the works display great technical skill, but I was struck by the one at the top of this piece, a particularly eloquent and moving articulation of the exhibition’s theme. As another of the artists writes in a commentary on his own self-portrait, the title of show “suggest(s) so many possibilities, reflecting on past actions or future selves. It speaks of the masks we all use in our day-to-day lives. Our best selves, our worst. Perhaps most powerfully it suggests change is possible — there can always be another me, another way.”

* Another Me is at the Spirit Level exhibition space of the Royal Festival Hall until November 3. Soweto Kinch performs his new work The Black Peril at Hackney EartH on November 22 with an ensemble including the drummer Makaya McCraven, the bassist Junius Paul and members of the LSO, as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival.

Punkt.Vrt.Plastik (What?)

Punkt.Vrt.Plastik Vortex

When I first encountered Punkt.Vrt.Plastik two years ago in Berlin, I thought they were making the most intellectually challenging piano-trio music I’d ever heard. Their late-night concert, in a darkened auditorium, was an intense experience, highly rewarding but perhaps more impressive than enjoyable. At the Vortex last night, without changing any of the components of their music, they managed to reverse that response.

They are the Slovenian pianist Kaja Draksler, the Swedish bassist Petter Eldh and the German drummer Christian Lillinger, three of the most compelling young musicians in Europe. It was Eldh who explained their name to me: “Punkt means ‘dot’ in Swedish. Vrt means ‘garden’ in Slovenian. Christian represents the Plastik.” All clear?

There are no standard tunes, no Radiohead covers. Their original compositions, contributed by all three members, can sometimes proceed from the deliberate simplicity of a repeated single note, but they tend to emphasise the dense and knotty, which made the pronounced variations of density heard in last night’s performance all the more effective. It’s often hard to tell what is is written and what is being improvised; the occasional loose end left by these three virtuosi is a sign that spontaneous creativity is being exercised within the essential framework.

Draksler plays without affectation or stylistic gesture. The purity of what she does is one point of the triangle: the others are Eldh’s power and flexibility and Lillinger’s sense of space and timbre. At the end of their second set they returned for an encore: a version of Eldh’s “Life Is Transient” which glowed like a vision of rapture. It’s the closing track of their fine album, but last night’s reading showed how far they’ve since come in infusing a sometimes daunting complexity with human warmth. The prolonged ovation suggested that no one present will forget it quickly.

* The album Punkt.Vrt.Plastik is on the Intakt label.

Steve Howe’s ‘New Frontier’

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I hadn’t heard any of the Steve Howe Trio’s previous albums, so New Frontier, their third release, came as a pleasant surprise. I knew of Steve as the guitarist who took over from Peter Banks in Yes — a band in which my interest diminished as their songs got longer — in 1970, and I knew the trio’s drummer, Dylan Howe, who is Steve’s son and whose album of instrumental versions of David Bowie’s Berlin compositions, Subterranean, I liked a lot on its release five years ago.

The trio is completed by Ross Stanley, a fine keyboards player who is heard here on organ. Guitar-organ-drums trios were a thing in the ’60s: Jimmy Smith, Baby Face Willette, John Patton, Richard “Groove” Holmes and Larry Young were among the organists who made that line-up a favourite format. The guitarist on such albums was often Grant Green, and it’s interesting to discover that a prog-rock guitarist can absorb Green’s spare, bluesy style into his own approach, as he does here on several tracks. There are hints of Wes Montgomery, too, in the occasional burst of octave picking (and Montgomery led a fine organ trio of his own on a couple of Riverside albums).

The result isn’t as heavy and bluesy as some of that music. Stanley doesn’t go for the full Leslie-speaker throb and stays away from the bass pedals, so there’s an airness about the sound, while Dylan Howe has a light, deft touch. Steve Howe varies his tone and effects pleasantly without overdoing it, and uses an acoustic guitar on a couple of tracks. All three contribute compositions, as does Bill Bruford, another former Yes man and Dylan Howe’s one-time drum tutor. Sometimes it’s a little bit like early-’70s Santana without the percussion, or Danny Gatton without the absolute authority. But it’s an extremely nice album, and occasionally — as on the lyrical “Western Sun”, co-written by both Howes — rather more than that.

* The Steve Howe Trio’s New Frontier is out now on the Esoteric Antenna label.

Cassie Kinoshi at the Roundhouse

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Since the SEED Ensemble’s Mercury Prize-nominated Driftglass is likely to be one of my albums of the year, I was keen to see Cassie Kinoshi, the group’s leader and composer, at the Roundhouse last night. This was a different kind of gig, arranged by Skin Deep, the race and culture magazine, in their Sonic Transmissions series. On these evenings, an individual musician is put under the spotlight in the venue’s small theatre: they perform live, they play selected recordings, and they are interviewed by Anu Henriques, the magazine’s founder. Shabaka Hutchings, Nubya Garcia and Moses Boyd have been previous subjects of a series clearly angled towards the new London-based jazz movement in which contemporary forms of racial and cultural diversity are brought to bear on the traditions.

Thoughtful, engaging and not afraid to express an opinion, Kinoshi was keen to acknowledge the vital role played by Gary Crosby’s Tomorrow’s Warriors in her career and those of her predecessors on the Sonic Transmissions stage. The TW workshops had not just been an education in jazz, she said, but an introduction to the idea of the music as the product of a community. The bands in which she currently plays — SEED Ensemble, the co-operative Nérija and Sheila Maurice-Grey’s Kokoroko — all provide evidence of that philosophy, which she summed up as “a sharing of minds”.

Born in 1993 to parents of Nigerian, Sierra Leonean and Caribbean origin, brought up in the less than funky surroundings of Welwyn Garden City and subsequently a graduate of the Trinity Laban Conservatoire, she is already strongly aware of the value of “representation”: the need to present herself as an example to young black females of achievement in a field that might once have seemed beyond their reach. She herself, she said, had had no such benefit early on.

She also spoke of how, when confronted by a predominantly white audience, she found herself compelled to emphasise the blackness of her music: an example of how she doesn’t want to make her listeners feel too comfortable. Her compositions might be inspired by literature and places, but also by the Grenfell Tower tragedy (Driftglass‘s “Wake”), the uncovering of the Windrush scandal, the divisions revealed by Brexit, and the need for young black women to resist the imposition of white standards of beauty.

For the live pieces she brought along a new sextet featuring two alto saxophones (herself and Tyrone Isaac-Stuart), vibes (David Mrakpor), guitar (Richie Aikman), bass guitar and synth bass (Isobella Burnham) and drums (Ayo Salawu). The music was loud and aggressive, inspired in part by Kinoshi’s fondness during her schooldays for metal and indie rock (she mentioned Pantera and Nirvana), but it also provided a platform for thoughtful solos by the expressive Aikman and Mrakpor, whose poise reminded me of Bobby Hutcherson. The two-alto front line is rare — I thought of Eric Dolphy with Ken McIntyre or Oliver Nelson — and the sweet-and-sour blend reflected Kinoshi’s admiration of Jackie McLean, Steve Lehman and Rudresh Mahanthapa.

She also played us a recording of a startling orchestral piece titled “If She Could Dance Naked under Palm Trees”, indicating the breadth of her resources and ambition. In the live set, however, the music — like so much of the new jazz emerging from south and east London — was rhythm-heavy, meant to make you move. Whatever others might think, this reunion of jazz and the body is a very good thing.

* Cassie Kinoshi’s SEED Ensemble will be at the Jazz Café on November 24 as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival. Driftglass is on the jazzre:freshed label. Nérija’s new album, Blume, is just out on the Domino label.