Ezra Collective win best jazz act Mobo

Adding to chart success recently Ezra Collective were last night named best jazz act at the 2022 Mobo awards held at the OVO Arena. The London band broke the top 10 of the UK pop charts - a rare feat for a jazz act following the release of Where I'm …

Published: 1 Dec 2022. Updated: 12 months.

Adding to chart success recently Ezra Collective were last night named best jazz act at the 2022 Mobo awards held at the OVO Arena. The London band broke the top 10 of the UK pop charts - a rare feat for a jazz act following the release of Where I'm Meant To Be which proved again how the five piece reach parts of a wider non-jazz consciousness that few UK jazz acts can dream of. The London band borne out of Tomorrow's Warriors are led by drummer Femi Koleoso with TJ Koleoso on bass, Joe Armon-Jones on keys, Ife Ogunjobi on trumpet and James Mollison on tenor saxophone. Influenced by grime, hip-hop, Afrobeat, jazz and more they interpreted Wayne Shorter Adam's Apple classic 'Footprints' on 2020's best-selling various artists compilation album, Blue Note Re:imagined. Featured guests on Where I'm Meant To Be include hitmaker Emeli Sandé on 'Siesta'. Rapper Sampa the Great, Kojey Radical in conversation a little with the late Tony Allen is on the thumping Afrobeat livener 'No Confusion' riffing off Gil Scott-Heron lyrically also feature. Words from the great film and tv director Steve McQueen are at the radical heart of the album who talks about black music ''breaking through'' and ''within the unrecognisable there is the familar''. The reggae feeling on 'Ego Killah' is also a big plus and including Charlie Chaplin's 'Smile' ubiquitous as a cover works well in context, certainly the sentimental choice. The Mobo jazz act category was supported by Jazz FM. Photo: press

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Arve Henriksen, Kjetil Husebø, Sequential Stream, Smalltown Supersound ***

Into the tone domain once again with the ever evocative trumpeter Arve Henriksen and pianist Kjetil Husebø continuing a five-year collaboration process. Yes. You feel you have heard it before given how well established this airy, Nordic approach …

Published: 30 Nov 2022. Updated: 12 months.

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Into the tone domain once again with the ever evocative trumpeter Arve Henriksen and pianist Kjetil Husebø continuing a five-year collaboration process. Yes. You feel you have heard it before given how well established this airy, Nordic approach is. And of course the style is familiar. Simply laid out and conversational. The overdubs create a carpet of sounds while the live sampling that Husebø adds to his array of instrumentals jump starts the washes of sound to tide in and out. Recorded in Norway and Sweden remotely (does that lack of being in the same room together partly explain why Sequential Stream doesn't quite fire on all cylinders?) it's intelligent music-making of course. Track two 'Single Sentence' is stark and quite a jolt with a gloomy vocal that might disturb Sting fans for goodness' sake. Elsewhere the collaboration's painterly ambient wash casts lonesome shadows everywhere. Its glacial progress rewards patience.

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