Soweto Kinch - album review (3 stars)

Soweto Kinch

A Life in the Day of B19 (Dune Records)


Saxophonist Soweto Kinch has already picked up several awards and a lot of attention in his brief career. The Birmingham-born saxman-cum-rapper has never seemed short on ambition, and this latest project is no exception. Subtitled Tales of the Tower Block, it is the first of two CDs (as the cliff-hanger ending demonstrates) in which he attempts to weave three fictional narratives around a mix of jazz and hip hop, with Kinch featured on both saxophone and rapping.

Set in his native Birmingham, it features newsreader Moira Stuart as narrator and a shifting cast of musicians, DJs and rappers employed to realise his eclectic mix of jazz and urban musics in the service of a tell-it-like-it-is narrative of contemporary city life. It is creative and often powerful, but a little uneven in execution, and the mix of genres may divide potential listeners. The second disc, Basement Tales, is due in March.

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