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

MILES DAVIS, ON THE CORNER RECONSIDERED (2008): The man with the bellbottoms

MILES DAVIS, ON THE CORNER RECONSIDERED (2008): The man with the bellbottoms

The cliche has become so embedded that hardly anyone questions it: “indie label good, major label bad”.   As with most generalisations it doesn’t support much scrutiny:... > Read more

Nik Bartsch's Ronin: Live (ECM/Ode)

Nik Bartsch's Ronin: Live (ECM/Ode)

A previous album by this often melodically minimalist, rhythmically propulsive and effervescent group around keyboard player Bartsch -- Llyria -- was singled out as one the Best of Elsewhere in... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

LANEWAY 2019, AN UNREQUIRED CONSIDERATION: I can't get no . . .

LANEWAY 2019, AN UNREQUIRED CONSIDERATION: I can't get no . . .

Many decades ago when the Rolling Stones came to Auckland and I was editing the entertainment pages of the New Zealand Herald I had what I thought was an inspired and amusing idea. Rather than... > Read more

Betty James: I'm a Little Mixed Up (1961)

Betty James: I'm a Little Mixed Up (1961)

Careers can been pretty short sometimes, witness the case of Betty James out of Baltimore who played the club circuit with her husband on guitar and son on bass. She was heard by a couple of... > Read more