Soweto Kinch - The New Emancipation (3 stars)

Soweto Kinch - The New Emancipation

(Soweto Kinch Recordings)

Saxophonist Soweto Kinch was widely touted as ‘the next big thing’ in British jazz last decade. Four years on from the ambitious but flawed A Life In The Day of B-19, Kinch returns with another fusion of hard-hitting contemporary jazz instrumentals and rather less satisfactory rap/vocal tracks, including what can only be described as a couple of satirical comic vignettes on contemporary life.

The mix of jazz with hip-hop and rap never gels as a unity, and I very much doubt that the spoken word sketches will stand up to repeated listening. Kinch has a very serious purpose here – the title serves to illustrate his conviction that social and racial problems have changed rather than disappeared – but still hasn’t found a wholly convincing medium for his message. Nonetheless, there is some very fine jazz along the way.

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