Sons of Kemet - Burn (4 stars)

Sons of Kemet - Burn

Album of Afro-Caribbean melodic sensibility from contemporary British jazzers

(Naim Jazz)

Contemporary British jazzers Sons of Kemet eschew extended solos and complex structures for bold tunes and taut grooves. The band's Afro-Caribbean melodic sensibility is warmer than that of their punky brethren Acoustic Ladyland, but Oren Marshall's surprisingly agile tuba and the powerful polyrhythms from Tom Skinner and Seb Rochford give even the quieter pieces real heft.

'All Will Surely Burn' kicks off the album in suitably apocalyptic fashion. Marshall's tuba spits lava and gusts of methane, while the drummers dive into a heavy floor-tom rhythm that's part-Buddy Rich, part-Tony Allen. Composer and saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings rises above it all with a strident Ethiopian melody, breaking into a controlled burst of free-jazz multiphonics as the band gather momentum.

'The Godfather' pays tribute to Mulatu Astatke, but it's no straight homage, featuring a modal clarinet melody that wanders from the Horn of Africa to the Middle East, and an unlikely, but exciting, grime coda.

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