Seeing Sarathy Korwar with Binker and Moses last year was a good introduction to the transcendental tabla player who plays Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Awards in Camden. Ezra Collective also appear among the 2017 line-up of the annual event to be held at Koko later this month. Sarathy in India had made field recordings of the Sidi Troupe of Ratanpur whose vocals and percussion underpinned his debut Day To Day which was released later in the year. He began playing tabla aged 10 and still in his teens moved to Pune to study for a degree in environmental science but instead dedicated his time to music practising tabla, playing drums and doing sessions.
Moving to London he trained as a classical tabla player and graduated from SOAS with a masters in performance later hooking up with some of the most advanced new generation of breakthrough Britjazz scene musicians including Sons of Kemet’s saxist/leader Shabaka Hutchings and the charismatic Indo-fusion clarinettist Arun Ghosh. Ezra Collective, listen above, like Korwar, also surfaced in 2016. Their Tomorrow’s Warriors-mentored style, however, aims up from a different angle, as eclectic rap, gospel and bop flavour their debut EP Chapter 7.
Can’t think of any relatively recent jazz relevance better to choose to mark Martin Luther King Day, gazing across the Atlantic, than listening to the voice of Ben Okri, and the saxophone and band of Denys Baptiste, above.
Singer Ian Shaw returns to Ireland for a new substantial tour to illuminate these dark gloomy January nights topped and tailed by Belfast and Dublin dates, a year on from the release of The Theory of Joy, one of last year’s enduring pleasures.
The widely acclaimed award winning jazz singer’s first new album since the Fran Landesman-themed A Ghost in Every Bar in 2012,‘My Brother,’ of the new original material, above, his beautiful song of family pride, loss, the personal and the universal wrapped in one, is easily the Welshman’s finest song since ‘Rockabye’ on A World Still Turning. For some considerable time Shaw has been concentrating on helping highlight and do something about the grievous humanitarian crisis that has affected refugees in Calais by campaigning for the cause. The release of ‘My Brother’ was part of this effort. Appearing with the Phil Ware trio, Ian Shaw dates spanning 17-21 Jan are in Belfast, Limerick, Cork, Kilkenny and Dublin.