All proceeds from this release will be donated to MAP (Medical Aid for Palestinians): https://www.map.org.uk/
Thrilled to be able to share the phenomenal first meeting of this ensemble, consisting of Washington DC's Blacks' Myths - aka Luke Stewart (electric bass) and Warren Crudup (drums) - alongside Pat Thomas and Orphy Robinson's longstanding Black Top project plus incendiary sax and guitar work from Soweto Kinch and Dirar Kalash.
From the first stirrings it's clear that something very special has been captured here, the sextet slowly circling and building with inexorable momentum until the energy fully coalesces and nobody looks back. There's a dexterously symbiotic interplay that would be impressive for a group a couple of decades in; that you can hear this level of chemistry from a first performance together is extraordinary.
There's so much to unpack across the set that it's hard to know where to start, the group covering more ground in just under an hour than most would manage over the course of a week-long residency. The long-honed, multilayered grooves of Blacks' Myths' bass and drums blend seamlessly with Black Top's ecstatic sonic range to weave an utterly immersive sound that drives relentlessly forward to thrillingly propulsive effect. Add the incredible musicianship of Soweto Kinch and Dirar Kalash weaving deftly throughout, and the result is this joyful, galvanising rallying cry of a performance which doesn't so much lift the spirits as cast them into the stratosphere. Here's hoping this meeting is not the last.
Recorded by Billy Steiger
Mixed and mastered by Oli Barrett
Cover design by Dirar Kalash
Available as 320k MP3 or 24bit FLAC
1. 5.9.23 - 53.02
Blacks' Myths is a core duo of Luke Stewart and Warren Crudup III. Using electric bass guitar, electronics, and drums, the group chooses to build walls of sound in dynamic variation. Complex loops and ecstatic melodies outline the pieces, creating a compelling sonic story line. The deeper purpose however are in the intention of the Music, the messages delivered into the vibrations.
The group is concerned with the idea of History, of Memory, of the power of creating a tuned state of being. For through the journey in sound lies the meditation on the history of blackness, the personal memory lens of an increasingly complex world full of alternate facts and rehashed stories. History thus becomes Mythology, in the ways in which we experience its weighty meanings in our lives. Through accessing the power of Sound, the story unfolds in physical frequencies that can re-tune the sub-conscious being otherwise known as the Spirit. The specific historical themes comes from lived experience, stories told.
Orphy Robinson is an award-winning multi- Instrumentalist, One of the few UK musicians to have been signed to the legendary USA Jazz label “Blue Note”.
Robinson has performed on over 100 recordings with numerous internationally acclaimed artists across many genres of music.
These include artists as diverse as Lawrence Butch Morris, Hugh Masekela, Don Cherry, Robert Plant, Thurston Moore, Robert Wyatt, The Jazz Warriors, Cleveland Watkiss, Wadada Leo Smith, Lionel Loueke, Henry Grimes, William Parker, Hamid Drake, Jean-Paul Bourelly, Jean Luc Ponty, Marshall Allen, Sun Ra Arkestra to name a few.
Throughout his 40-year career, he has constantly been nominated or won numerous prestigious industry awards. These include 2022 Paul Hamlyn Award, 2 Jazz Fm awards 2017 Live Experience of the Year” & 2020 Gold Award. Nominated for the 2022 ‘Best Jazz Ensemble’ at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards.
2017 – 2019 Orphy held the position of Artist in residence at the Gibraltar World music Festival.
2018 Artistic director at the Gibraltar World music Festival.
Orphy sits on various industry Boards Such as the Ivor’s Academy where he is both Deputy Chair and the Chair of the Jazz + Genre Committee.
ECSA (European Composers & Songwriters Alliance) Trustee & Chair of the ECF - Art & Contemporary music Committee.
Vice Chair for the UK Promoters organization “Jazz Promotion Network”.
Orphy has also written articles for various industry music magazines such as Wire Magazine, Jazzwise & Online platform JAZZED.
Orphy has also presented Guest radio programmes on:
BBC Radio 3, Jazz Fm, Resonance Fm, Worldwide FM, Solar Radio.
Since 2016 Robinson has presented a weekly show on internet Radio station - Delite Radio. www.deliteradio.com
Pat Thomas studied classical piano from aged 8 and started playing Jazz from the age of 16. He has since gone on to develop an utterly unique style - embracing improvisation, jazz and new music. He has played with Derek Bailey in Company Week (1990/91) and in the trio AND (with Noble) – with Tony Oxley’s Quartet and Celebration Orchestra and in Duo with Lol Coxhill.
"Sartorially shabby as Thomas may be, and on first impression even rather stolid, he has a somewhat imperious charisma that’s immediately amplified when he starts to play. Unlike other pianists whose virtuosity seems to be racing ahead of their thought processes Thomas always seems supremely in command of his gift, and his playing, no matter how free and ready to tangle with abstraction, always carries a charge of authoritative exactitude." - The Jazzmann
dirar kalash (b. 1982) is a musician and sound artist whose work spans a wide range of musical and sonic practices within a variety of instrumental, compositional and improvisational contexts. kalash also extends his practice into inter-disciplinary theoretical research. he has produced several solo and collaborative musical albums and is active as touring musician, in addition to that he also created several sound installations, live audio-visual performances, field recordings and soundscape compositions series under the title of Sonic Front.
Award winning alto-saxophonist and MC Soweto Kinch is one of the most exciting and versatile young musicians in both the British jazz and hip hop scenes. Undoubtedly, one of the few artists in either genre with a degree in Modern History from Oxford University he has amassed an impressive list of accolades and awards on both sides of the Atlantic – including a Mercury Music Prize nomination, two UMA Awards and a MOBO for best Jazz Act in 2003. In October 2007, he won his second MOBO Award, at the O2 Arena, London where he was announced as the winner in the Best Jazz Act category- fending off stiff competition from the likes of Wynton Marsalis.