No pressure when you sign to the label synonymous with the most mind blowing music of John Coltrane, Impulse! But that's just what US spiritual-jazz band Irreversible Entanglements have done following in the footsteps in recent years of Shabaka Hutchings. Cast your minds back to 2020 - certainly then it struck us listening to 'Who Sent You?' how rare that you get something truly original entering your ears. We wrote at the time that not since The Epic has something so obviously important come along. And yet this was so different in scale reaching for the philosopher's stone. Grounded in a spiritual Coltranian sense in the undertow - is it any wonder that Impulse became interested? - with spoken word poetry on top, black consciousness, meditational profundity swim here in Afrofurist quantity and the quality of the musical ideas is expressed on one level by the rapport demonstrated by newcomers to an international audience Keir Neuringer on saxophone and Aquiles Navarro on trumpet. On another, poet Camae Ayewa, aka Moor Mother, proved a Gil Scott-Heron for our times, her words have a ringing, compelling doomsday quality to them that make you sit up, then stand up.
Playing original Afrofuturist tunes Irreversible Entanglements are the band for our times. They have the inspiration of the Art Ensemble of Chicago behind them and when the dust settles surely a sea of audiences in front of them. In 2021 Open the Gates upped the ante still further, arty with a street beat defiance when love and revolution are the key sentiments of the whole album chased down by an almost Baptist sense of radical revival, shuddering heavy religion and apocalyptic prophesy all in one primed like a timebomb. 'Six Sounds' proved a mini-masterpiece.
The band return to play London this autumn appearing at the jazz festival at Earth in Dalston on 15 November. Their first album for Impulse Protect Your Light is out before that in September and drawn from the album 'Free Love' is streaming. Protect Your Light was recorded back in January at the Rudy Van Gelder studio in New Jersey where A Love Supreme was recorded. Joining the core band of poet Camae Ayewa, bassist Luke Stewart, trumpeter Aquiles Navarro, saxophonist Keir Neuringer and drummer Tcheser Holmes are pianist Janice A. Lowe, cellist Lester St. Louis and vocalist Sovei.
Irreversible Entanglements, photo: Piper Ferguson