Sons of Kemet
Tuatara, Sun Ra
Two drummers, a tuba and a saxophone along with a clarinet are apparently all that is needed to create the jazz sounds of London-based Sons of Kemet. On their debut album Burn, they bring forth a unique blend of traditional and modern jazz with elements of African music that is embedded within the percussion. This album is full of distinctive soundscapes that has an exploratory feel as well some improvisation; so, we are providing you a song by song break-down. Come join us and see whether or not Sons of Kemet is for you.
Track 1: All Will Surely Burn (6:19) – This opening track just kicks into gear right way, the saxophone and tuba take charge, playing off each other very well and all the while the underlying drumming ties all this together. Towards the end they begin to take things toward some spastic outbreak, making the listener feel intrigued and not knowing where this is going, but they know when to pull back and tone things down. A very promising opening that will have you enticed to carry on.
Track 2: The Godfather (5:17) - This one is much lighter than the opening track; there is some infectious clarinet playing at work here. The drums are not as pounding, but provide a welcome rhythm that suites the song perfectly.
Track 3: Inner Babylon (5:20) – Starting with a very smooth beginning that is somewhat hypnotic. At the 2:20 mark, the rhythm shifts a bit, keeping us on our toes than the pace starts to tick up as well. It actually has a trippy feel, we don’t say this too much for jazz albums, but this is no ordinary jazz album.
Track 4: The Book of Disquiet (5:34) – The off-beat somberness of this track is a mood-setter. The drums are distant and are off in their own world while the lonely trumpet provides the subdued mood, yet it all works together.
Track 4: Going Home (3:53) – The lively, whimsical rhythm is very addicting and again the clarinet is used to perfection.
Track 5: Adonia’s Lullaby (4:11) – This airy affair is soft and spacious, great rainy day jazz here.
Track 6: Beware (3:37) – Very entertaining with the dueling drummers, saxophone and trumpet; it’s a melting pot of jazz goodness all around.
Track 9: The Itis (2:29) – Off-beat and snappy, would love to experience this one live.
Track 10: Rivers of Babylon (8:38) - The longest one of the bunch starts off in a saddened manner with a secluded saxophone. Soon, the distant drums will arrive and a low trumpet appears under the sax, it’s very calming, but we can hear them slowly heading towards some exploration. The horns are brilliantly echoed at times as the track seems to keep its mid-tempo pace throughout, bringing us to a very smooth ending.
Sons of Kemet have given us an impressive debut album with Burn. With every listen you will hear something new as it always sounds fresh. If you’re looking to expand you’re collection, this is a must have. And for the jazz enthusiast this album will inject some diversity to your collection as well. - 6/13/2014
Standout Tracks: Going Home, The Godfather