The U.K.'s jazz scene is flourishing these days thanks, in part, to the young artists pumping it with new life. We Out Here, the latest compilation project from DJ and producer Gilles Peterson's indie label Brownswood Recordings, is a fitting proclamation of ownership from the contemporaries who are adding color to the landscape.
The project's nine tracks were recorded in August 2017 over a three day period. Smooth and concise, this compilation is spearheaded by saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings, who is credited as musical director, and features sounds from Hutchings, Maisha, Ezra Collective, Moses Boyd, Theon Cross, Nubya Garcia, and more. Each song has a story of its own, but they all manage to flow together as if one surmounting jam session. "Pure Shade" by Ezra Collective seems to finds its foundation in Afrobeat, and there are accents of bossa nova in "Abusey Junction" by Kokoroko. Shabaka Hutchings' "Black Skin, Black Mask" rides a rhythm defined only by an untamable clarinet.
We Out Here is a window into a world of London's ripe jazz renaissance, one that will only spread to new shores as the year goes on.
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