Ezra Collective are true ambassadors for the thriving jazz scene in London. Ever since the release of Chapter 7, their first EP which came out last year, they have been my favourite jazz collective.
And like the end of every live jazz performance, I need to introduce the talents individually. On bass : TJ Koleoso – an incredibly gifted bass makes your ears rumble with deep grooves. On drums: Femi Koleoso – with grooves and rhythms so hypnotic, perfectly timed as well, they genuinely give me chills. On keys: Joe Armon-Jones – the most talented piano player at the moment. His live performances are jaw-droppingly mesmerising in every single way. I raved about him on my review of Idiom EP, a collaboration between Joe and producer extraordinaire Maxwell Owin. I’ve got to say, he might have stepped his game up on this one here. On trumpet: Dylan Jones – setting the fun and upbeat tone energy of the music alongside the person on tenor saxophone: James Mollison. The brilliant thing about both Dylan and James is that they are given the platform to truly experiment with different rhythms, and provide emotive moments throughout the project. A clear example is ‘Dylan’s Dilemma’ and the lead into ‘People in Trouble,’ which is an emphatically stunning moment on the EP. A quick shoutout to the queen Nubya Garcia on tenor saxophone and Theon Cross on Tuba.
This album is filled with magic – from the bossa-nova grooves on ‘Juan Pablo,’ to the pulsating beat and mad experimentation on ‘People in Trouble.’ The project ends on an interpretation of a Sun Ra classic, ‘Space is the Place,’ which is a grand closing on all accounts. I often find it difficult to find the words to describe how music like this makes me feel, so I will let it up to you guys to find out for yourselves.
Listen to Ezra Collective’s Juan Pablo: The Philosopher below via Bandcamp. Make sure you support them in any way possible as well.