Yussef Dayes, Black Classical Music, Brownswood ****

Quite the tour de force here from one of the most understandably hyped new generation drummers on the UK scene. But there is much more than maximalist groove which there is in plenty given the subtle melodic lines that interweave also indicated by …

Published: 8 Sep 2023. Updated: 8 months.

Quite the tour de force here from one of the most understandably hyped new generation drummers on the UK scene. But there is much more than maximalist groove which there is in plenty given the subtle melodic lines that interweave also indicated by what to us up to this point was Dayes' best release, The Yussef Dayes Experience Live at Joshua Tree. Tracks in this much fuller exposure to his ideas are often brief and often rely on sheer power but it's not just Dayes in the forcefield because bassist Rocco Palladino is formidable on the hazily unpeeling 'Tioga Pass,' one of the album's big highlights. Guests include Shabaka Hutchings, Theon Cross and Tom Misch. Yussef Dayes photo: via Bandcamp

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First ever jazz win of the Mercury - as Ezra Collective win this year's prize

For many it would never happen - but this year it did when a jazz act won the Mercury for the first time in the history of the prize with Ezra Collective winning for Where I'm Meant To Be at a ceremony in London earlier this evening. Ezra …

Published: 7 Sep 2023. Updated: 8 months.

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For many it would never happen - but this year it did when a jazz act won the Mercury for the first time in the history of the prize with Ezra Collective winning for Where I'm Meant To Be at a ceremony in London earlier this evening. Ezra Collective once again 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, included Emeli Sandé on 'Siesta' the track begun by the expectant din of people's voices and Sandé sounding soulful with Armon-Jones on keys busy and circling in with percussion to keep the pace up. Rapper Sampa the Great, Kojey Radical in conversation a little with the late Tony Allen 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 band take home a prize of £25,000 Koleoso picking up the prize pondering ''if a jazz band winning the Mercury Prize doesn't make you believe in God, I don't know what will.''