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 articles index

The Comet is Coming: The Afterlife (Impulse!/digital outlets)

The Comet is Coming: The Afterlife (Impulse!/digital outlets)

Billed as “a companion piece to the group's breakout album Trust in the Lifeforce of the Deep Mystery”, (an Elsewhere favourite from earlier this year) this six track, 30 minute... > Read more

PIANIST JAY McSHANN: From Charlie Parker to Keith Richards . . .

PIANIST JAY McSHANN: From Charlie Parker to Keith Richards . . .

About 20 years ago I interviewed the legendary Kansas City pianist, Jay McShann, in an Auckland bar. He’d flown in late the previous afternoon, had a “talk-rehearsal” with the... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST ARTIST HANNA ISAAC opens her personal sketchbook

GUEST ARTIST HANNA ISAAC opens her personal sketchbook

[Editor's note: When Elsewhere reviewed the album Fight from the Inside by Into the East (here), we noted the delicate cover art and that lead to this invitation to the artist Hanna Isaac... > Read more

MORE PROVOCATIONS OF RATTLES (2018): Elsewhere, classical, jazz and further elsewhere

MORE PROVOCATIONS OF RATTLES (2018): Elsewhere, classical, jazz and further elsewhere

As recently as April – just three months ago – Elsewhere acknowledged not just the quality of recordings on Auckland's contemporary music label Rattle, but the sheer number of albums it... > Read more