Ezra Collective will delight you with their contagiously groovy jazz

Thanks to their unsustainable melodies, the British consider the music as a succession of hymns to dance to on their irresistible album ”Where I’m Meant to Be”.

“Life goes on” : this expression does not simply give its title to the introduction of Where I’m Meant to Be. It is also a mantra repeated at will by Ezra Collective following the announcement of the first confinement. Weighed down by a pandemic which forced the quintet to “entering a transition phase” after exciting the crowds with You Can’t Steal My Joy (2019), the British had to rethink their project, set aside founding concert dates, sacrifice collaborations.

From this questioning, they say they have found inner peace, have got rid of all falsehood and are now returning to the elementary, considering each of their new composition as a “celebration of life”. Or rather, are they hymns to joy, an eccentric and yet measured mix of jazz, salsa, hip-hop and black African sounds.

An epic cavalcade of instruments

Their music is thus more focused on urgency and interbreeding than on the slow construction of complex atmospheres. Fans of Pharoah Sanders, Fela Kuti, Burna Boy or even Gorillaz, with whom drummer Femi Koleoso rubs shoulders in the studio, they add speed and madness to this already particularly intense music.

This is their main point in common with other researchers on the current London scene. This is also what constitutes their singularity: unlike The Comet Is Coming, Yussef Kamaal or Sons of Kemet, yet not the last when it comes to despising traditions, Ezra Collective never turns into pure experimentation, nor the sharp exploration of unexplored sound currents.

Listening to Welcome to My World Where Never the Same Againthe five companions obviously prefer to embody a certain idea of ​​Anglo-Saxon pop know-how, both endemic and open to the world, cerebral and physical, one foot in the lab (here, a warm room, symbolized by the cover) , the other on the stage.

In this logic of balance, each influence thus brings a rather crazy scale to what could be jazz, but ends up being an epic cavalcade of instruments, enjoyable jam sessions that speak to the hips with a familiarity cheeky. It smells of freedom, hedonism, living together.

Where I’m Meant to Be (Partisan Records/PIAS). Released since November 4.


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