Sons of Kemet set for date at 2014 Glasgow Jazz Festival
MOBO Award-winning contemporary jazz group mixing Caribbean, African and London sounds
This article is from 2014.
'We're in an exciting period in the development of British jazz music,' says saxophonist and clarinettist Shabaka Hutchings. 'People are rejecting the genre-based parameters set by the establishment.' Burn, the 2013 debut by his MOBO Award-winning band Sons of Kemet, smashes through those barriers in the most thrilling manner, mixing up Caribbean and African influences with free improvisation to create a contemporary sound he describes as 'distinctly London, with its melting pot of cultures, its hectic energy, and moments of hazy reflection’.
'Musically, my main concern was and always will be vibe,' he says. 'I wanted to get the atmosphere of the nyabinghi chanting of Mystic Revelation of Rastafari, the raise-the-roof bombasticness of a Jamaican dancehall MC like Sizzla or Capleton, and the conversational drumming styles of West African drumming ensembles.'
The band also features both Seb Rochford of Polar Bear and Tom Skinner of Hello Skinny on drums, and the wildcard of Oren Marshall on tuba. Having two drummers brings 'a very different energy to the music', explains Hutchings. 'They're constantly having a dialogue within the rhythm and this changes the function of the drums from one of accompaniment to one of dual soloists. Similarly, Oren is never tied down to the prescribed role of simply playing bass lines'.
'Live we give as much intensity as we can. All concepts and intellectual musings take the back seat once we're on stage and we surrender to the spirit of the music, which demands our blood and sweat.’