Shabaka, Afrikan Culture, Impulse! *****

There are so many playing potentials on record or indeed live with Shabaka Hutchings - considered and often moving chamber-jazz and intellectual anti-slavery statement back in the day with Zed-U, playing free with Louis Moholo-Moholo's Five Blokes…

Published: 22 May 2022. Updated: 54 days.

There are so many playing potentials on record or indeed live with Shabaka Hutchings - considered and often moving chamber-jazz and intellectual anti-slavery statement back in the day with Zed-U, playing free with Louis Moholo-Moholo's Five Blokes, in two drum/tuba combination with his own Sons of Kemet, hipster futurist with another of his bands The Comet is Coming, his film score appearance side as a session player on Paul Thomas Anderson's classic scientologist satire The Master - and now with this new solo record when he drops his surname Afrikan Culture a diaspora record that runs in parallel with Shabaka's South African Ancestors explorations: the project of the reedist and flautist's that we like best. This goes even deeper, is more Malian in a certain sense and is probably one of his best works compositionally and overall in a recording career going back to 2009's Night Time on the Middle Passage as part of Zed-U. Afrikan Culture features various types of Shakuhachi flutes and layers flutes with kora and mbira also part of the overtly global soundworld. Hutchings once again delivers a staggering new phase on a recording. Pick of the EP for marlbank is the vivid dreaming of 'The Dimension of Subtle Awareness'. A case of Shabaka walking and talking with the spirits, key to the overarching mythology at play.

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Dream Band in Manchester tomorrow

North by northwest the Manchester Jazz Festival is currently happening and tomorrow tenorist Alex Hitchcock's Dream Band, in The Yard, are an eye-catching element within Steve Mead's long-running festival. Dream Band released by Catalan label Fresh …

Published: 22 May 2022. Updated: 6 months.

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North by northwest the Manchester Jazz Festival is currently happening and tomorrow tenorist Alex Hitchcock's Dream Band, in The Yard, are an eye-catching element within Steve Mead's long-running festival. Dream Band released by Catalan label Fresh Sound New Talent towards the tail end of last year was startlingly vivid and mature while essentially hugging the middle ground in the company of several line-ups.

The band (Cary Grant has been unavailable since 1986) that Hitchcock, above, another master of suspense in the making, though has with him is revealed by the organisers as: top-notch altoist Rachael Cohen; gifted pianist Deschanel Gordon heard compellingly last year on Brick Lane with Mark Kavuma during his 91 Living Room residency; stirring bassist Joe Downard and Empirical great, drummer Shaney Forbes. Hitchcock's own tunes are outstanding and his very fine technique certainly catnip for tenor sax lovers. Click for tickets