My Music – The British Jazz Explosion

I have a record-buying dilemma which is not untypical of a man of my years.  There is this temptation to plump for old musical treasures I may have missed or not fully explored back in the day. But if I don’t explore new music and new artists and invest in the potential treasures of the future, I fear I will become old (or should I say older). Well, let’s not make it a dilemma at all: Ill do both.  It will cost more but, as a retired man in lockdown, there’s not much else to treat myself to. 

In the past, I have always experimented and tried new stuff.  This is why I have such a eclectic selection of what I think is great music.  Yes, some purchases were a mistake (what was I thinking?) some I grew out of, but that’s the way it goes.

One genre I’ve always go back to is ‘jazz’.  Oh dear I’ve said it.  Mention the ‘jazz’ word and many people will shudder and roll their eyes. I have to admit I do tend to avoid some jazz where the offerings seem to me to be over-indulgent, pretentious, boring or just ‘noise’.  But ‘jazz’ is in the title of this post so you must have an open mind if you are still reading this.  

There are certain types of jazz I am proud to say feature in my record collection: the progressive rock/jazz of 70’s (King Crimson, Steely Dan, Soft Machine), jazz funk (Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Billy Cobham, Idris Mohammed), Acid Jazz (Incognito), Jazz Fusion (Weather Report, Brand X) and Afrobeat jazz (Fela Kuti, Ebo Taylor). 

But, over the last couple of years my acquisitions have featured music from a new British jazz movement led by young British players who are blending jazz with the latest electronic dance music, hip hop, reggae, Afrobeat and other music styles.  You won’t hear much swing or bossa-nova rhythms or even much funk.  Noticeably un-American in sound, the music contains strong African and Caribbean influences, delicate keyboards and wonderful drumming. Everything from moody and relaxing to loud and fast. Guaranteed to induce head nodding or dancing. 

The movement is largely concentrated in London (it is often described as the new London jazz scene or the British Jazz Explosion) but musicians in other UK cities are joining in.  And if you read the music press, these artists appear to have taken the global music stage by storm. 

Will it be your cup of tea?  I’m sure some of it will. As one music reporter said (sorry, I have lost the source) this new sound ‘goes back to the roots of jazz – making people dance and sing as well as listen and think’.

Here is a selection of my current favourite UK jazz artists.  Check them out………..

Artist: Nubiyan Twist / Track: Tell It To Me Slowly

Artist: Kamaal Williams / Track: Dr Wu

Artist: Nubiya Garcia / Track: The Message Continues

Artist: Ambient Jazz Ensemble / Track: Breathe it In

Artist: Alfa Mist / Track: Run Outs

Artist: The Expansions / Track: Ivory Mountain

Artist: Poppy Ajudha & Ezra Collective / Track: Watermelon Man

Artist: Go Go Penguin / Track: Totem

Artist: Matthew Halsall / Track: The Energy of Life

Author: Paul

I am a retired, married bloke, dad and grandad - growing old with attitude.

12 thoughts on “My Music – The British Jazz Explosion”

  1. Hi Paul. Thanks for adding this post to 'Click & Run'. I must admit this type of music is not really for me, although I do like Steely Dan. My preferences lean towards hard rock, classic reggae and blues.

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  2. I like some of the 50s throwback flute stuff. Being in the music biz forever I am almost immune to Fuzak so the LA Sh*t jazz stuff is a walk. Judging by the couple of Rhodes tunes are you by any chance an Eberhard Weber fan? Several of those tunes put me in mind of “No Motion Picture.”

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  3. Not a big fan of Weber. Too ambient for me. It's sometimes difficult to articulate why you like some music. The stuff I chose just went well with a chill mood and a glass of red.

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  4. Yeah, very nice. Can't say I was too keen on the Kamaal Williams but you saved the best to last – the GoGo Penguin and Matthew Halsall tracks are just brilliant. 👍

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  5. Yeah, very nice. Can't say I'm too keen on the Kamaal Williams but you saved the best to last – the GoGo Penguin and Matthew Halsall tracks are just brilliant. 👍

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  6. Thanks. I received 4 lots of your comments😅. Don't ask what's going on. I am trying to set up a WordPress site and transfer over from Blogger. Glad you liked the last ones. Unfortunately some of the better tracks have no video.

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  7. I like the occasional jazz influence in rock bands, like Steely Dan, King Crimson, Jethro Tull etc but as a genre it just leaves me cold. I’ve never found any of it interesting: the only thing I’ve enjoyed about it is the Fast Show’s send up of its pretentiousness. I tried several of these but didn’t manage to get to the end of any of them, sorry.

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  8. I love some jazz, but have never known enough about it to know what sort I like, or remember what I liked! Well done for exploring some new developments.

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  9. Ha Ha. The Fast Show. Nice! Thanks for having ago. It's not everyone's cup of tea. Hopefully I'll chose something more up your street next time

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