Swiss-French jazz quartet KUMA have just released their new EP, Kumadé on Rocafort Records, available on stream or physically with a 12” vinyl release. The group, led by keyboardist Matthieu Llodra and Saxophonist Arthur Donnot, met at the Cully Jazz Festival where they have been officiating every night in residence for years.
The EP opens with Alfama, this slow burner that site somewhere between abstract ECM soundscape and nu-jazz/funk opens with this repeated pattern on the rhythm section, but opens out in this spacious funk filled thing of beauty,, Donnot saxophone nimbly dancing over the top of everything.
Title track Kumadé is much more in your face, the raw funk of the organ grabbing you by the lapels, and much mor3 in keeping with the jazz scene in the UK at the moment, only with their own twist on it. Despite its drive, there’s an earthiness about the music, with guest Zacharie Ksyk rolling his trumpet chops all over it, before Llodras keys splash and spill over the track. In contrast, The Core, with its homogenous chords and introvert melody still manages to sparkle like a little gem.
The EP closer ‘I.G.A.T.F’., see KUMA at their uplifting best, wearing a little bit of this George Duke vibe, but with its uneven time at points it just wraps its way around you, Llodra’s melodic playing taught and deliciously playful.
Check it out, here