Event Review: Ezra Collective @ Patterns (Brighton; Wednesday 14th November 2018)


 Every now and then, but not so often as to make you blasé, you can find yourself at a gig that will truly leave you speechless and absolutely quivering with the sheer joy of the experience, such is the level of the musical dynamics on show. This was one such gig.

In fact, dynamic might be a good place to start. Along with the likes of Shabaka Hutchings, Kamaal Williams, Moses Boyd and Nubya Garcia, to name but a few, Ezra Collective are without doubt one of the leading lights in the new wave of UK Jazz. Led by the phenomenal Femi Koleoso on drums, EC combine elements of jazz, funk and afrobeat with an infectious intensity that is simply startling.

With their entire UK tour sold out, one knew to expect the very compact Patterns to be crammed full. Along with Femi’s brother TJ on bass, EC is comprised of Joe Armon-Jones on keys, Dylan Jones on trumpet and James Mollison on sax. From the opening bars of ‘The Philosopher’, there was an instantaneous collective sense of awe. Ezra Collective are also a humble group. Femi remarked on the metal barrier positioned to deter the audience from standing in the space behind him, claiming that they’re not that sort of band; rather, they are much more down to earth. He then ushered audience members into that space. Upon accidentally tossing a stick behind him, gratitude was immediately bestowed upon the young lady who returned it. There was also a mention given to the creative process and its place in this crazy, chaotic world that we currently inhabit. Whatever gives you pleasure, be it music, art, food or another, it is a very key component of our lives. Alongside the humility, the love of music as a whole and the acknowledgement of their heritage came across very keenly.

Mollison’s broad tone introduced us to Sun Ra’s classic ‘Space Is The Place’, before the rest of the band filled the room with this very melodic version. Armon-Jones weaved his magic on the keyboard with a glorious solo, before they returned to the rousing head, a refrain that was repeated later on. Shanks & Bigfoot’s classic 90s garage anthem, ‘Sweet Like Chocolate’, also got the playful Ezra treatment, and there was also a nod to grime legend Dizzee Rascal with a new piece, ‘Sao Paolo’.

Throughout the evening, EC’s informal approach was a constant. Their musicianship is such that they don’t require any extra bells and whistles. There was a constant dialogue on stage, in particular between the brothers, which one can imagine as a duel that has existed in many guises since childhood. Femi and Armon-Jones also locked their stare on a number of occasions, exchanging both exhilarating virtuosity and quirky facial expressions in equal measure.

In the cosy confines of Patterns, we had some thrilling sounds from this scintillating quintet, and all tied up with an earthy reality, a healthy dose of good grace and plenty of humour.

An Ezra Collective gig should be on everybody’s bucket list.

Content Related To This Artist

Event Review: Love Supreme Jazz Festival @ Glynde Place (Glynde, Sussex; Friday 5th to Sunday 7th July 2019)

The glorious Love Supreme returned to the prime Sussex pastures of Glynde for its seventh year, and what a return it was. With such a startling array of talent on offer, it was a mighty challenge to stay in one spot for too long for fear of missing out elsewhere….

Artists: Alicia Olatuja , Allysha Joy , Chip Wickham , Dj Khalab , Ezra Collective , Gladys Knight , Gogo Penguin , Jimmy Cliff , Joe Armon-Jones , Lauryn Hill , Mahalia , Nubya Garcia , Sampa The Great , Snarky Puppy , Tank And The Bangas , Tenesha The Wordsmith , The Teskey Brothers , Theon Cross , Yakul

London Gig Guide (July 2019)

At times, we are the first to lose track of how many exciting music events happen in London each month, so we have decided to offer you some sort of “public musical service”, meant for all the locals and passers-by, with the aim of suggesting where to listen to some…

Artists: Afrikan Boy , Afriquoi , Amadou & Mariam , Amira Kheir , Amy True , Blue Lab Beats , Bumi Thomas , Carthnage , Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Orchestra , Dj Jigüe , Elpeche , Emicida , Ezra Collective , Fatima , Femi And The Inrhythms , Gianni Denitto , Imperio Bamba , Kamaal Williams , Koroleko Moussa Dembele , La-33 , Lua Preta , Marcelo D2 , Mayra Andrade , Merca Bae , Nané , Naphta , Neneh Cherry , Onra , Renegade Brass Band , Sons Of Kemet , Stella Chiweshe , Tássia Reis , The Blind Boy of Alabam , The Bongo Hop , Xylouris White , Zara Mcfarlane

Event Review: Love Supreme Festival @ Glynde Place (Glynde, East Sussex; Friday 29th June to Sunday 1st July 2018)

Set in the heart of the Sussex Downs, Love Supreme Festival returned for its 6th year of spreading the gospel of jazz, blues and soul to some 40,000 music lovers. Unless you were the man who told me, bizarrely, that he “doesn’t like virtuosity in music”, you were going to…

Artists: Beat Replacement , Brand New Heavies , Earth Wind & Fire , Elvis Costello , Ezra Collective , Lalah Hathaway , Level 42 , Mavis Staples , MF Robots , Moses Boyd , Nubya Garcia , Steve Winwood , Tony Allen

Album Review: Various Artists – We Out Here [Brownswood Recordings; February 2018]

Colours rise from dark contours as a London jazz renaissance takes form. Feeling both early and late, We Out Here captures the tones of this evolving shape.  Tenor saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings directs the way, bringing together a collection of his most in-demand friends on the new-jazz scene. Familiar names such…

Artists: Ezra Collective , Joe Armon-Jones , Kokoroko , Moses Boyd , Nubya Garcia , Shabaka Hutchings , Theon Cross , TriForce

Review: Gilles Peterson Worldwide Awards @ Koko (London, 21st January 2017)

Gilles Peterson has become synonymous with the continued revelation of the latest talents that fuse non-traditional jazz with musical influences from across the world.  This explains why his twelfth annual worldwide awards sold out quickly and why many consider him an ambassador for world music, bringing new global concepts back…

Artists: Acid Arab , Ezra Collective , Gilles Peterson , Jameszoo , Jimetta Rose , Matthew Herbert , Michael Kiwanuka , Noname

Review: Family Atlantica @ Battersea Arts Centre (London, 14th September 2016)

It’s always good to go back to the Family. You can constantly feel at home with them and experience that comfortable atmosphere which smoothly makes you at ease. I don’t know if that’s because of the music they play, attitude they have, or good vibes they give out, but every…

Artists: Ezra Collective , Family Atlantica

There are no comments

Add yours