Since the release of their 2017 EP Juan Pablo: The Philosopher, the talented London-based band have done the following: They won ‘Best Jazz Album’ at Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Awards and the band picked up ‘Best UK Jazz Act’ and ‘Live Experience Of The Year’ at the 2018 Jazz FM Awards. They played Quincy Jones’ birthday party and recently completed a mosh-pit-filled and completely sold out UK tour before headlining Winter JazzFest in New York… And breathe! Now, they are back with their official debut album titled You Can’t Steal My Joy, an equally, if not more impressive record showcasing exactly why they are one of the biggest and most well-respected jazz groups today.
Femi Koleoso (drums), TJ Koleoso (bass), James Mollison (tenor saxophone),
Joe Armon-Jones (keys) and Dylan Jones (trumpet) have all seen tremendous success individually, but collectively have been able to craft a sound that is so unique to the group on their debut album. With Femi’s incredible drumming to Joe Armon-Jones’ hypnotic keys, the group meander through soundscapes that sound energetic, moody and always interesting. From the slow pace of “Space is the Place,” which for a second made me think I was listening to a D’Angelo record, to “What Am I to Do?” with a fantastic, introspective Loyle Carner verse, to the crazy energy on the KOKOROKO-assisted “Shakara,” the group have been able to craft a unique sound that blends smooth jazz to hypnotic afrobeat grooves and rhythms. The arrangements on tracks like “People Saved” and “You Can’t Steal My Joy” are all incredible and I can’t express how delighted I am for these young guys making music for the soul. This is a tremendous project and I can’t wait to hear more from them. I need to catch them live some day as well.
Listen to Ezra Collective’s excellent debut You Can’t Steal My Joy below via Spotify and don’t forget to support! Released via Enter The Jungle.