Album Review: Tomorrow comes the harvest – Evolution

The Breakdown

...A blissful Jazz/Techno odyssey that takes you to another level...

Tomorrow Comes The Harvest project started with late Tony Allen, one of the originators of AfroBeat and Jeff Mills to get together to create an improvisational type of performance.  The idea was to not pre-prepare or to preplan anything, but just to play in the moment spontaneously and to reach for the same understanding musically. Jean-Phi Dary had been worked with Tony Allen for a long time, naturally joined the unit.  After an untimely passing of Tony in 2020,  they thought that maybe a good idea to continue with the project and to consider it in a much more broader respect other than just three main musicians that may be, it’s interesting to make it open, to be able to invite other musicians in for certain concerts.  They decided to invite Prabhu Edouard, who already had an experience of working with Jeff for classical concerts in France.

The album was recorded live at Bozar in Brussels, Belgium in 2022.

Check out the previews from the album:

The artists in conversation about the project with Sheree Rashit

Sheree: So, we’re all here. And it is a really exciting project that you are all working on, and as we’ve been discussing with Jeff that we were going to have this sort of informal conversation. So, I have got loads of things that I’ve written down that we won’t refer to very often because the impetus is to come from yourselves and delving into you guys and how it makes you feel to be involved in the project. For me personally, I’ve been to the first performance in Paris last year, previously with Tony Allen which was maybe five years ago or six years ago. And then the Paris one, which was amazing. And the London one.

Jeff: The project started with Tony Allen and myself, the idea to get together to create this type of improvisational type of performance, which was basically the extension of the first time that we had met in the studio. Recording of that album was also an improvisational work. So, the idea was to not pre-prepare or to preplan anything, but just to play in the moment spontaneously and to reach for the same understanding musically. We did quite a few shows with Jean-Phi. He has a long relationship with Tony. So, they knew each other for a long time and they worked together. So, it worked almost automatically. And then from there, we just began to start play. Then, Tony unfortunately passed away a few years ago. I thought that maybe it’s a good idea to continue with the project and to consider it in a much more broader respect other than just three main musicians that may be, it’s interesting to make it open, to be able to invite other musicians in for certain dates. And depending on what region of the world that we’re in or whatever the scenario that to create an invitation to… Or, to ask someone to come and play would give it more flexibility and would be able to remain flexible over a long period of time. So as different styles of music come into fruition, this project can also then adapt the other.

Jean-Phi: It’s amazing because we have this opportunity to create, I mean, together we create in the same time we play. it’s really something for people who are meditate or things like that. We always used to say, you have to feel the present. You have to be in now. And being connected with yourself and with the people around you and the nature and everything.

Prabhu: Yeah, you see, like Jean-Phi was saying, there’s a situation of non-prepared moment. In fact, that’s how we met with Jeff and I liked the first time we met, it was with his creation that he did with an orchestra piece. It was talking about the cosmic vision that he has already put into music in several creations. And he wanted me just to, he said, “I want a narrator, but I don’t want somebody who is going to tell a story in a specific language.” So right from there I was thinking about that element, which is that I’m telling something and people don’t have to know the meaning. My master used to say, it doesn’t matter what people think about my music, as long as it provokes some thought into them.

Jeff: I think what we’re able to achieve together is something that is quite difficult to do by yourself. And it becomes that way because one, we’re trusting each other. We have this understanding that once we step on the stage, once we get behind the instruments, we are going forward no matter what, no matter the mistakes, no matter if you become confused or whatever, our plan, the objective is to reach some point of a higher level of consciousness through the sound of music and rhythm.

Prabhu: When you are a percussionist, you are the chauffeur, you know. You make sure that the bus is going well. And any moment somebody is telling you, “No, no, let’s go right, let’s go left,” you have to be ready and to get your gears ready to operate. And that at some point, and there is always a moment we are searching and suddenly the groove sets. And that is truly exhilarating because that’s when we don’t have to try to groove, we are just transported by the groove.

Sheree: How do you work in that? You are knowing when someone’s, you’re feeling okay, Prabhu is ready to move on, and your collaborative process as such, when you are in that circle? Is it listening, is it eye contact, is it a mixture?

Jeff: You really have to think ahead. You have to, in the performance, think about things that you would, or positions that you would like to be in. It’s like in DJ culture, you know. You play eight records because you actually want to play the ninth or 10th record. So you to snake your way up, you increase the tempo, you play things with more melody because actually what you want to play is this track right here. And then once you play that, then from there you snake your way up to another way.

Jean-Phi: It’s a real spiritual process.

Prabhu: Oh yeah, sure. Because it’s improvised. It’s not about the tradition taught by your ancestor, it’s about your own way of looking at it after having done these voyages. And so, when I play with these people, they give me so much information, I have no time to process that. I just react spontaneously on stage.

Jeff: I think you just have to look at it in a very realist way. I mean, I don’t think this is the type of project that should be expected where one understands everything. And I don’t think it’s that type of performance, or that type of intention, of how the music is coming together., I would imagine listeners, sometimes they get it, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes it comes later, sometimes some people are probably just understanding key things that happen in the performance or the recording

Prabhu: You could start to analyze and go into the cerebral way of listening to it. Probably some people would do that, would find it strange or bewildering. But I’m happy if that happens, because that’s the purpose. You enter a lane where you have no control over anything. And so that’s where, I think, the concept of honesty is very important, because you are honest enough, like Jeff said, to perhaps just fall flat, right? Because that’s not at all what you were expecting, or you are ready to say, “Okay, let’s just trust them and let’s go. And if you do that, something magical happens. And a few times it happens. So just for that very definitive moment of magic, you are ready to search, trust, and go take risks.

Sheree: what does the album title, evolution mean to you?

Jean-Phi: The evolution of understanding. The conscious.

Jeff: It’s the accumulation of all that we’ve learned put into motion.

Prabhu: Evolution is sometimes associated with more. I think this context, this musical context, compels to be there and to stick to that.

Jean-Phi: Music is this magical thing that everybody is okay with. So, it’s very special. When I play, I have this kind of responsibility to be honest with what I’m playing, with what I’m saying with my instruments and how I am connected with my brothers on stage. But we just create something that even us, we didn’t know that. And this is the magic that I like in this process we have together with Jeff and Prabhu.

Prabhu: I think it’s worth saying that it’s the first time a Tabla player, a real improvising DJ master and a Jazz man who’s got real strong African influence actually meet. So the way such characters involved here, I think it’s the first time we get that. And we’ve got lots of things and experiences that have been done with electronic music and Jungle Beat or Bill Laswell and Pharoah Sanders, we know American Indian musicians.

Jeff: The project is designed for that so that it carries on when we can no longer play, this project should be taken over by younger musicians and it should continue on. That was the idea that Tony and I, I think we could both understand that it’s something that should be continued and elaborated on as long as possible over and over and over again.

Sheree: Do you feel that it’s important for you individually to grow as musicians to be doing this type of project? Because there are lots of people that wouldn’t take the risk. They want to stay safe. As Jean-Phi said, they want to play the popular song is known. But for you personally, is it important to challenge yourself in this way?

Jean-Phi: It’s more and more the idea. To be involved in all these electronic hybride music projects I can feel how open it can be and how I can express myself . For that I need to grow up without forgetting where I come from. The first one I bought is Jean Michel Jarre, “Oxygene” [album] I bought, in fact, because I love the electronic music from that time when I couldn’t buy all the synths I have now. And in another hand I always love to improvise and the jazz explorations.

Prabhu: Not because you are doing something by habit that you are doing something in tradition. Because tradition is something dynamic it’s something that evolves. And to be able to challenge yourself and put outside of the box is where you actually are bringing fresh water to the tradition. So, I think the harvest is there. We are just spreading to the wind seeds of what comes with our honesty. And like Jeff said, let’s see what fruit comes out of that and who wants to eat that and carry on the legacy.

Interview: Sheree Rashit

Verdict: A wonder to behold, a live performance that captures the perfect synergy between electronic and acoustic instruments. Each played expertly to perfection in this non prepared/pre-planned performance. To pull this off is a testimony to each musicians dedication to their musical craft and the understanding of each others work method. The result is something that goes way beyond just the proficiency of playing, it is also having the gift to be able to sense where each player is and where they are going. The ability not only to keep connected throughout each performance but also be able to create compositions that hold a narrative shows how three artists can become one through music. A blissful Jazz/Techno odyssey that takes you to another level.

Track List:

01 – Tomorrow Comes The Harvest – Metamorphosis (19:59)
02 – Tomorrow Comes The Harvest – Words Of Wisdom (14:51)
03 – Tomorrow Comes The Harvest – Peace Pipe (10:38)
04 – Tomorrow Comes The Harvest – Rising Water (12:32)
05 – Tomorrow Comes The Harvest – Rising Water (Reprise) (3:03)
06 – Tomorrow Comes The Harvest – No White Snake (12:25)


Keyboards/ Synthesizers: Jean-Phi Dary

Tabla & Voice: Prabhu Edouard / Drums and Percussions

Synthesizers: Jeff Mills

Recorded live during Nuits Sonores at Bozar in Brussels, Belgium on October 12, 2022.

In memoriam Tony Allen.

Available now @ Tomorrow Comes The Harvest – EVOLUTION | Axis Records

WORLD TOUR 2023-24


12 SEP – Auditorium Parco della Musica (Romaeuropa Festival) – Rome, Italy

16 SEP – Philharmonic – Cologne, Germany

17 SEP – Theater des Westens – Berlin, Germany

23 SEP – National Concert Hall (with Rasheeda Ali) – Dublin, Ireland

24 SEP – Royal Theater of Mons – Mons, Belgium


26 JAN – Les Quinconces, Le Mans Festival – Le Mans, France

27 JAN – Auditorium de Bordeaux – Bordeaux, France

03 FEB – Philharmonic – Luxemburg

More to come…

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