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12,393 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 112 of them this year alone and, so far, 112 this month (Jan. 23).

Friday, October 30, 2020

Album review: Joshua Jaswon Octet - Silent Sea

Anna Serierse (vocals); Joshua Jaswon (alto/soprano sax); Marc Doffey (tenor/soprano sax); Miguel Gorodi (trumpet/flugel); Jan Landowski (trombone); Johannes Mann (elec. guitar); Sidney Werner (bass); Aaron Castrillo (drums).

I viewed the notes with a degree of skepticism. "Each composition is based on the text of a contemporary British poem by writers Jackie Kay, Maura Dooley and Rachael Boast and deals with the issues surrounding climate change and Brexit."

Kay, who is Scotland's Makar (Poet Laureate) said that the jazz music fitted her poem (Extinction) like a hand to a glove, and that the rhythms and tempos capture the heightened sense of time running out, of seizing the moment.

So, I seized the moment before time ran out and I'm rather pleased I did.

Unlike so many instrumental theme projects the spine-tingling vocals of Serierse give the music meaning and understanding. At times I was emotionally moved by what we're doing to our people, our country, our planet.

The solos, whilst quite capable of standing on their own merit become all the more powerful when related to the words that bookend them.

Jaswon, who graduated from Guildhall with a first class honours degree in Jazz Performance became so disenchanted with the result of the 2016 Brexit referendum vote that he upped sticks and left London for Berlin where he set about establishing himself in Europe's creative hub. That he succeeded is apparent in this album where, surrounded by seven of Europe's finest, he composed and arranged this beautiful, provocative, album.

Not something to listen to as you drive down the M6 or the Autobahn polluting all and sundry but rather something to listen to as you reflect that Covid-19 isn't the only hitman out there.

Lance

Available from today (Oct. 30) on Ubuntu Music UBU0065.

Listen.

1 comment :

Russell said...

Jackie Kay is Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University. Her novel Trumpet is recommended reading.

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