Emma Rawicz, Incantation ****

It's easy to hype new artists as if they are the best thing since sliced bread. You read a lot of that out there about the UK scene when there is an understandable pride among local writers about its strength. Add that to a certain lack of context …

Published: 11 May 2022. Updated: 6 days.

It's easy to hype new artists as if they are the best thing since sliced bread. You read a lot of that out there about the UK scene when there is an understandable pride among local writers about its strength. Add that to a certain lack of context and writers trying to make a name for themselves as tastemakers. After all does this new generation negate what previous generations achieved? And actually while at it does it even compare qualitatively? The jury is out on that. However, while stepping back and being cautious from overstating I am thinking of last year hearing saxist/flautist/vocalist Emma Rawicz for the first time and listening now to her debut. Is it as good as I had thought? Certainly she can play brilliantly live. Most of the compositions here are new to me. She had played some other originals that 2021 night at the Vortex that aren't here while some are. They are strong, metrically ambitious and complicated in a structural sense but not overly oblique. I'm less sure of the Wayne Shorter comparison I made at the time. Now I'd add a certain affinity with Trish Clowes although Rawicz's approach is less pastoral and more modernistic while not throwing out melodicism. ''Rocket science'' guitarist the boffin-like Ant Law she played with that night I heard her live back in September and he is excellent soloing on 'Mantra' and when he rocks out on 'Wishbone' otherwise the rest of the band are new to me. Among these I was impressed most on Incantation by pianist Scottie Thompson. But it's Rawicz who leads from the front, injects a knowing personality that even extends to vocalese, vocalising wordlessly to instrumental lines, on 'Omen' and as at the Vortex that night also playing flute. I'll publish a list soon of the best UK jazz albums so far this year. With the coolest head on my shoulders today this will certainly be high up, guaranteed. A notable achievement so early in her career for composition especially – and then there is everything else. SG

Link to stream and download the album and which is also available on CD via Bandcamp

Tags: The latest jazz: right now

Gabriele Pribetti Spice of Life Reeded Edge Vol 2 launch gig coming up

Track of the day: The zany 'Swimming Pool' is the best track on Gabriele Pribetti's new EP Reeded Edge Vol 2 (3-stars) (out through Membran later this month) with the solo on 'In or Out' the pick of the whole thing. A very engaging ''long play'' …

Published: 10 May 2022. Updated: 7 days.

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Track of the day: The zany 'Swimming Pool' is the best track on Gabriele Pribetti's new EP Reeded Edge Vol 2 (3-stars) (out through Membran later this month) with the solo on 'In or Out' the pick of the whole thing. A very engaging ''long play'' listen overall which is ironic given the brevity of the format and the fact that the track is less than four minutes-long. But in other words this accomplished sax player (reminiscent slightly of Gary Bartz) knows how to stretch out. 'Duende' belongs on another record entirely but the lyrics and performance of this spoken word John Hegley-like study of ''home life'' are fun however droll they may be. The prolific sax session ace plays Spice of Life in Soho on the 18th with his quintet of bassist Michele Montolli, trumpeter Graeme Flowers, pianist Samuel Crowe and erstwhile Britain's Got Talent-famed drummer Mcknasty. Tickets