Nerija: Blume (Domino/digital outlets)

 |   |  <1 min read

Nerija: Blume (Domino/digital outlets)

While attention of the contemporary jazz scene hasn't completely shifted to London, there is no doubt that the new music coming out of there – which sometimes mixes everything from Ellington and Coltrane to elements of African and Indian musics, hip-hop and grime – is commanding . . . and commanding serious consideration.

In many ways it is a reflection of multi-culti London in the 21stcentury.

Nerija is yet another large ensemble/collective (all women, other than bassist Rio Kai, on this album) with some tight playing but plenty of room for solo flourishes from the likes of guitarist Shirley Tetteh who is outstanding (check Riverfest where she seems to channel classic jazz players of the Fifties through a notion of juju and hi-life) and tenor player Nubya Garcia.

And this is all held in place by the fine rhythm section of bassist Kai (who can get very funky) and drummer Lizy Exell.

There's tickling Afro-jazz crossed with the four horns (Last Straw) and even when this starts to seem conservative (the smooth sound of Partner Girlfriend Lover written by Tetteh) it comes with some subtle disruptions.

An impressive and enjoyable debut album from an implosion of individual talents who – to these ears anyway – offer something more ambitious on album than the much vaunted Sons of Kemet and Ezra Collective, and is right up there with, perhaps surpassing, the energetic The Comet is Coming.

Highly recommended to open-minded jazz listeners of whatever persuasion.

You can hear this album on Spotify here.


Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz at Elsewhere articles index

Jasmine Lovell-Smith's Towering Poppies: Yellow Red Blue (Paint Box)

Jasmine Lovell-Smith's Towering Poppies: Yellow Red Blue (Paint Box)

It has been almost five years since we last heard from this New Zealand saxophonist who moved to Connecticut (where studied with the great Anthony Braxton and appeared in one of his ensembles),... > Read more

SONNY ROLLINS INTERVIEWED (2011): The old lion still prowling

SONNY ROLLINS INTERVIEWED (2011): The old lion still prowling

Gary Giddins, the authoritative US jazz critic, said of tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins that he was “one of the last immort­als, the most powerful presence in jazz today. He is its most... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Mendocino, California: Life in the mellow lane

Mendocino, California: Life in the mellow lane

The Sir Douglas Quintet out of Texas didn't have too many hits in the 60s but they cracked one successful and catchy single as the decade drew to a close. The band sprung the biggest hit of their... > Read more

Denniston, West Coast, New Zealand: Damned and damp

Denniston, West Coast, New Zealand: Damned and damp

The weather was perfect: fiercely cold, low mist and a chilling drizzle. This is ideal when you are at Denniston, because only in such miserable conditions can you get some small appreciation of... > Read more