Shabaka Hutchings is a remarkable musician. He is also a restless talent, with a finger in many musical pies – one of which has yielded his first album for Brownswood. It is an instinctive album recorded with a band Hutchings met in South Africa through Mandla Mlangeni, and was recorded in just one day. The spontaneity between the group is really special, and although Hutchings’ saxophone leads the way it is complemented by vocals from Siyabonga Mthembu, which often align with the instrumental line at critical moments. The beauty of Hutchings’ playing can stop the listener dead in their tracks at times, especially at the start of ‘Joyous’, while the group generate an impressive primal energy, drawing on the influence of Sun Ra but ensuring their own personalities come to the fore. Drummer Tumi Mogorosi is at the core of a tightly drilled but highly expressive rhythm section. This is music that will brush away all cobwebs!
5 out of 5
Reviewed by Ben Hogwood