New BPI chair saxophonist YolanDa Brown becomes one of the most powerful figures in the UK record industry

Afrobeat and reggae-loving jazz tenor saxophonist the Cbeebies TV presenter YolanDa Brown pictured is suddenly one of the most powerful players in the UK record industry given that the BPI - British Phonographic Industry - announce Brown as its new …

Published: 14 Jul 2022. Updated: 27 days.

Afrobeat and reggae-loving jazz tenor saxophonist the Cbeebies TV presenter YolanDa Brown pictured is suddenly one of the most powerful players in the UK record industry given that the BPI - British Phonographic Industry - announce Brown as its new chair taking over from Ged Doherty.

London-born YolanDa who is of Jamaican descent is also chair of Youth Music, on the national council of the Arts Council, a trustee of PRS Foundation, an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust and London Music Fund and a champion for the children’s mental health charity Place2Be.

''I am looking forward to working with the entire BPI Council and members, CEO Geoff Taylor and his team, labels of all shapes and sizes, and of course artists and the wider industry bodies as we all continue to fly the flag for British music,” the saxophonist says.

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Jasmine Myra, Horizons, Gondwana ***

Not an album that thinks it is the big ''I am''. And that is massively in its favour. Neither is it an out and out chops fest. In fact tumbling blizzards of notes refuse to litter the place. Tidy, huh? But not music by a wallflower for wallflowers …

Published: 14 Jul 2022. Updated: 27 days.

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Not an album that thinks it is the big ''I am''. And that is massively in its favour. Neither is it an out and out chops fest. In fact tumbling blizzards of notes refuse to litter the place. Tidy, huh? But not music by a wallflower for wallflowers either. And yet it is highly introspective, a characteristic that is sometimes unfairly maligned given its innate thoughtfulness that some seem to fear as they hide behind preposterous bravado and give in to peer pressure instead to strut about.

What the record (listen to the title track for instance first up) from relative newcomer saxophonist Jasmine Myra, an alumna of Leeds Conservatoire, is about - means a considerable refreshment. And yet not everything works beyond the welcome quenching. There are three or four good tracks gathered around the first half of the album. And there's a no-nonsense side to her compositions. The way the music is arranged, in a dreamy spiritual jazz space, means that there is a lot of air and serenity as an abiding factor but it isn't generic. Strong on the compositional pervasively, mindless gone-rogue stunt solo posturing is banished.

The melancholia in the chamber arrangements whether conjuring a sense of bereftness following a loved-one's passing or not is resolutely human. Horizons has guitarist Ben Haskins, drummer George Hall, pianist Jasper Green and harpist Alice Roberts on the record among the personnel. It is a solid debut that sets its own limits and doesn't lose a grip of itself. This plucky new ''voice'' of the north of England lingers longer than one far more strident and full-of-itself can only dream of.

Out tomorrow

Jasmine Myra photo: Emily Dennison

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