Jazzwise feature/album review


Check out Zoe’s album feature and 4-star review in the Dec/Jan issue of Jazzwise. The album, “Kindred Spirits”, is released on 23rd Jan 2012:


Manushi Records MANUCD005 Zoe Rahman (p), Idris Rahman (clt; b-clt), Courtney Pine (fl), Oli Hayhurst (b), and Gene Calderazzo (d). Rec. 2011

Quite one of the best albums of the last couple of years. Washed with the Zeitgeist of transculturation, or glocalisation (the localism of a global art form), that is gathering momentum in jazz, despite many fingers being plugged in the dyke, whereby artists incorporate elements of their own culture to express identity within the music, the result is the convincing artistic statement on record that you knew would come sooner, rather than later, from this most absorbing of pianists. Rahman has travelled some distance since The Cynic from 2001, during the last decade exploring her identity within jazz inspired by her Bengali father’s musical culture.

She still loves the intensity and lessons learned from that hugely underrated pianist Joanne Brackeen (‘Down to Earth’), but with maturity seems to come a need to seek a deeper meaning in her work, such as the medley of Rabindranath Tagore pieces (albeit sliced in two halves by a long, not-so-riveting drum solo). Especially interesting is the synergy of musical oneness that is apparent in the four tracks with her brother Idris on clarinet. His unimpeachable – almost classical – tone and centred ideas seem somehow better realised than on 2007’s Live or their album length collaboration Where Rivers Meet. Offering the welcome contrast of tonal variety, he makes an essential contribution to what could well be seen in the future as one of the best British jazz albums of this period. Stuart Nicholson


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