WITH all the jazz noise coming out of South London these days it is easy to forget that the pulse continues to beat elsewhere.
Mammal Hands have been steadily developing their individual pursuit of contemporary fusion music on Matthew Halsall’s esteemed Gondwana Records since their 2014 debut, Animalia. Now comes news of their fourth album for the label, Captured Spirits, due for release on September 11th.
Mammal Hands have always been a tight-knit trio, with brothers Nick Smart (piano) and Jordan Smart (saxophone) making music with Jesse Barrett (drums and percussion) for eight years; a longstanding focus on collaboration in their writing and playing as well as a mutual commitment to their collective sound. This means their broad influences, spiritual jazz, Indian, folk and classical, blend together rather than pull apart.
That cohesion powers “Chaser”, the single released ahead of Captured Spirits. It’s a pulsing, three-minute belter of heavy percussion, piano and sax-twinned riffs, plus a swirling middle section reminiscent of Portico Quartet’s tumbling moments.
It’s gloriously straight ahead and direct, a confident shout out for the new album which the band promise will “give the listeners space for imagination and to take their own journey”.
With Captured Spirits, Mammal Hands look set to open up a whole fistful of new possibilities.