Collaboration is one of the founding tenets of jazz. As much as improvisation is jazz’s unique identifier, without collaboration the dialogue of improvisation would be silenced. From the legendary Blue Note sessions of the 1960s which produced albums from the likes of Bobby Hutcherson, Lee Morgan and Miles Davis, to the early 1970s free jazz sessions on Impulse Records, the confluence of talent and place has seemingly created countless periods or zeitgeists, pushing the genre forward and keeping its evolution unpredictable.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that in London now such a zeitgeist is occurring, and it isn’t just the creation of music writers. Centred around venues like The Total Refreshment Centre and Church of Sound, and organisations like Jazz Re:Freshed, a close-knit group of musicians have been making the genre accessible to a new generation, without conservatoire training or its attendant snobbery.
Celebrating this scene, Gilles Peterson has teamed up with Shabaka Hutchings to release a compilation on his Brownswood label. Both historical document and statement of future intent, We Out Here is a formidable introduction to the collaborative talent of artists like Nubya Garcia, Theon Cross, Moses Boyd and Joe Armon-Jones. With Hutchings as musical director, the album was recorded over three days in August 2017, mirroring the collaborative creativity of the aforementioned Blue Note and Impulse sessions.
Read the rest of the review in Clash Magazine.
[This piece was published on 29/01/18]