Tom Skinner’s first project under his own name comes in the form of a 6-track EP titled Voices of Bishara, displaying a meditative, meandering jazzy sound, perfectly captured by his own drumming and the members of his band. Speaking of which, recognition needs to be given to Kareem Dayes on cello, Nubya Garcia on tenor saxophone and flute, Tom Herbert on acoustic bass, and of course, Shabaka Hutchings on tenor saxophone and bass clarinet.
Together, they create a densely produced, animated body of work that includes somber and reflective moments as well. The opener “Bishara” sets the tone perfectly, with a moody tone, with brass instrumentation wailing and drumming intensifying, it’s such a captivating moment on the album. “The Journey” has a playful, groovy step to it, as it carries that throughout, with meandering cello and saxophone melodies that are pure and entrancing. The haunting “The Day After Tomorrow” lacks that same rhythm but gains in pure hypnotic, ethereal energy. “Quite as It’s Kept” closes the album with another energetic, colourful masterpiece.
It’s Tom Skinner’s versatility as a drummer that makes him such an incredible musician. Voices of Bishara is testament to that. With incredibly hypnotic drum rhythms and haunting yet beautiful melodies throughout, the EP really is exemplary of his talents.
Listen to Tom Skinner’s Voices of Bishara below. Released via Brownswood Recordings / International Anthem.