Skip to content

Netil Radio: Ad Hoc Label Spotlight

Advertisements

Netil Radio: Interview with Gregory Porter

A few years back I was lucky enough to interview Gregory Porter for my radio show. Back at Netil Radio I dug out this interview with a load of other glorious music that has inspired and excited me over the years…

hev n greg

Dimensions DJ Directory Mix

Here’s a mix I made as part of the Dimensions DJ Directory, encompassing all from hip hop to to African, and electronic to jazz… Enjoy 🙌🏻

Music To Think To

A mixture of jazz, hip hop, soul etc… With music from the likes Maisha, Anna Wise, Nina Simone, Bobbi Humphrey and loads more….

Mostly Mobo Autumn

Back with some of the best music out there at the moment… Jazz, hip hop, electronic, West African, Danish…. Enjoy ❤

A Love Supreme // Re-envisioned

I was having a tough day yesterday and while making a cup of tea our producer for the programme I work on – Jazz Now – ran over to me and asked me to make a tea and coffee for the guests who’d come in to be interviewed. I happily got to work then asked who the guest was. When she said Nikki Yeoh – NIKKI YEOH – I quickly dropped everything and tried to find her as soon as possible. Nikki Yeoh might be one of the country’s best jazz pianists, but she’s also my Jazz Mum. She taught me in a jazz band for four years and completely influenced and moulded the way I relate to jazz. There’s nothing to brighten up a bad day like being reunited with the woman who taught you not just how to play jazz, but how to feel it.

She recorded a beautiful flowing interview with Emma Smith talking about her new album Solo Gemini which will be coming soon on Jazz Now.

FullSizeRender

I later went on to the Union Chapel in Islington where she was playing a solo set and then in a superband who were getting together to reimagine John Coltrane’s legendary album, A Love Supreme. The solo set was beautiful. She started off with Mutual Serenade and then moved on to Dance of the Two Small Bears which I didn’t realise until last night that she wrote when she was just 19. 19. The track is so intricate so delicate and tells the story of two bears who meet and dance and fall in love together more clearly than if you were watching it. It’s my Dad’s favourite track of hers, and it was mine too until I heard track 3.

IMG_5933

Track 3 was inspired by her great aunt Ivy who had tragically lost her two sons. It was a track filled with mourning and sorrow. It was beautiful, and exactly what I needed to hear as that day I mourned the loss of a wonderful woman in my church family who died that very morning. The piece brought me to tears, and was a beautiful release after a very sad day. Honestly, I can’t remember what she played after that, because I was so moved by the track before, but suffice to say her set was gorgeous.

Her album, Solo Gemini is available here

IMG_5933

Shortly after Nikki’s set the group took to the stage for what was an extended (or at least long) reimagining of John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme. It begun with a gentle introduction from Ansuman Biswas on the santoor. It was very delicate and contemplative After a while it built up and Juwon Ogungbe read out part of Coltrane’s poem, A Love Supreme while Cleveland Watkiss joined him singing. Interestingly they changed Coltrane’s God in his poem from a ‘He’ to a ‘She’ clearly making a statement.

IMG_5940

The performance was continuous for over an hour and included very intense crashing chaotic parts and also very gentle, tender and sensitive sections. It was a beautiful emotional experience, but also slightly uncomfortable for me. As a practicing Christian, that night, it was difficult to separate spirituality from music. While it was beautiful, the spiritual dimension was unsettling for someone who may not have felt that they were comfortable with it. Still, Coltrane’s album really paved the way, in a sense, for spiritual jazz, and it was all too right that the night reflected that. Whether I’d feel comfortable going to a gig that I felt was that spiritual again, I can’t say.

Shabaka Hutchings played the tenor saxophone and was enthralling. His energy, his deep and rich tone made him mesmerising to watch and listen to. Shabaka doesn’t play jazz, he experiences it, he shares it, he feels it, he does it. None of the musicians that night were just playing jazz, they were living it.

IMG_5944

For me, music isn’t about switching off. Music is about being challenged, feeling something new, thinking about something new, reimagining, being unsettled, but also being comforted. Last night was spectacular and although aspects of it made me feel unsettled, I think that’s what it was all about…

Ernest Ranglin & Friends + Nerija

Ernest Ranglin, Cheikh Lo, Tony Allen, Soweto Kinch and London’s Nerija – what’s not to love? Last night I went to the Barbican for Ernest’s ‘goodbye tour’.

Nerija opened the show and completely dominated the stage. It was only that night that I realised how different the band really are. With a tenor sax, alto sax, trumpet and trombone all leading the melody and a fantastic rhythm section, they stand out against the typical band led by one brass or wind instrument. The structure of their pieces was really well thought out, with powerful crescendos and delicate pauses. Their compositions were refreshing and their energy infectious. This is just the beginning for Nerija. Watch out for their EP coming out soon!

IMG_5904

Ernest was born in 1932 in Manchester, Jamaica. He’s played with the likes of Bob Marley the Skatalites and Jimmy Cliff and his style is a gorgeous blend of calypso, reggae and jazz. There was no doubt that he was the leader, but he was constantly encouraging and communicating with the band.

Their set went on for close to two hours and Ernest’s energy was abounding. He played the guitar in a variety of different ways and was in complete control of his instrument. You can listen to more of his story in his interview with Soweto for BBC Radio 3’s Jazz Now.

It was a mad treat to also hear Tony Allen and Cheikh Lo in the flesh. Tony Allen, one of the founders of Afrobeat, is an absolute legend, and he was so unassuming but proper solid on stage.

IMG_5910

You can download Ernest’s music here

And find out about Nerija’s debut EP here

Mammal Hands & Pete Josef

Last night I went with my Dad and friend Cicely to see Mammal Hands, supported by Pete Josef at the newly refurbished Jazz Cafe in Camden.

As soon as we walked in, we were impressed at how the venue had been done up. They’ve made it a lot more open plan and slightly industrial looking – just how it always should have been.

Pete Josef was already playing. He and his band had a mixture of jazz, soul and something beautifully funky. Here’s a teaser of some new work he’s working on, and below is his current single. His lyrics were very simple and left a lot to the imagination, but his harmonies were thick and you could see and feel the depth of feeling that the band had for the music.

Next up were Mammal Hands. They were very different. My dad was mesmerised – he loved the repetitiveness of the music. I really enjoyed it, but would have loved to hear a bit more from the piano. What was most striking was the cohesion of the band – they were so completely locked with each other in a way which was impressive. Here’s a track from their new album, Floa, which is out NOW!

Going Global

On Saturday night I had a wonderful mammoth out.

I started off at the wonderful Cafe Oto with Rachel (off of my London Grammar post) and my Mum. We went to see OGOYA NENGO & THE DODO WOMEN’S GROUP. Ogoya’s talent was recognised from an early age. Born Anastasia Oluoch, she received the name ‘Ogoya Nengo’ which means ‘The Prized One’ at the age of 13. Her musical style is difficult to describe. Her music is a genre of folk that is specific from the region in Kenya where she is from. The set started off with her and another woman singing together acapella. Next on came a young man who played these gorgeous drums which were all beautifully tuned so that they were very melodic and rhythmic at the same time. The older male member of the group then had his slot, which was – no joke – two minutes of hysterical laughter. This was not just a musical show, it was theatrical too, and kept our ears trembling and imaginations whirring for the whole hour and a quarter that they were onstage. Their album On Mande is out NOW

Next Rachel and I left Mum to head down to Brixton to the Prince of Wales for Global Rhythms. I’d never been there at the POW late. It reminded me a bit of our uni festival Pangaea, only smaller and there was no fancy dress (though everyone was dressed as if they were fresh out of the 70s).

I had a tiny room and played a real range of stuff. Here are a few samples, just in case you were there and liked it:

Sarathy Korwar – Day To Day *out on 8th July*

I’ve been excited about Sarathy Korwar’s debut album since last November when I went to the Steve Reid Innovation Award showcase. The showcase was amazing, featuring some of the UK’s best up and coming artists including Moses Boyd and Hector Plimmer.

Sarathy Korwar’s new album features modern legend Shabaka Hutchings on saxophone and the gorgeous Italian acoustic guitarist Giuliano Modarelli among others. Tracks on the album will include Indefinite Leave To Remain, Bismillah, Karam and Mawra (Transcendence), all of which I heard for the first time today. Some of the album is very reminiscent of that jazz with a focus and fascination with the spiritual (I’m thinking Sun Ra, Coltrane and these days, Hutchings). There’s also a hint of Steve Reich’s sequences in Indefinite Leave To Remain in particular. The whole album is a massive fusion of Indian sounds, jazz and electronic. It’s original, boundary pushing and very skilled. Ah, and it sounds great.

I can’t wait for it to drop. Bring on 8th July! PREORDER IT NOW!

Sarathy Korwar (CREDIT: FABRICE BOURGELLE)