London’s new jazz/Afrobeat princes
Tomorrow’s Warriors is a longstanding youth ensemble that has over many years acted as an incubator to young British jazz talent. Among its most celebrated alumni are Ezra Collective, a five-piece who can currently be found in the hottest part of London’s sizzling jazz firmament. Undeniably a jazz outfit, they add shades of West Africa and Jamaica to their palette, with scuttling Afrobeat drums, agile bass and twinkly electric piano providing the foundation over which smooth-cornering horns hit the heights. But there remains a discernible edge to their sound, making it a true soundtrack of the contemporary capital. Aside from their own compositions, they also perform a loaded version of Sun Ra’s Space Is The Place, turning the highly chaotic, 45-year-old original into something that would please every dancefloor in the land. Its zero-gravity horns show that this is a quintet for whom London isn’t enough. Only interplanetary domination will do.
Click here to listen to Ezra Collective on the Discover WOMAD 2018 playlist on Spotify.