Now here is some serious news. When two pace setting labels, Johannesburg’s Mushroom Hour Half Hour and Chicago’s International Anthem combine their intent and purpose to put out a joint release then you know something seismic is brewing. Then add in the news that this first collaborative despatch on 5th May will be the new album ’Turbulence and Pulse’ by jazz rhythmicist/ historian/ political organiser Asher Gamedze and it’s hard to tamp down the growing anticipation.
South African musician Gamedze’s debut, 2020’s ‘Dialectic Soul’ justifiably climbed many of those ‘Album Of The Year’ listings at the time with its stunning and forthright surge of free resistance jazz. This was music of significance which the ‘Turbulence and Pulse’ follow up looks set to build on and stengthen. Featuring from his debut, Thembinkosi Mavimbela on bass, Buddy Wells on tenor, Robbin Fassie on trumpet plus this time around vocalist Julian Otis, a Gamedze partner in Angel Bat Dawid’s band, this centrifugal stability is integral to Gamedze’s music. In his own words “I chose these musicians specifically because I know that they’re open to understanding and interpreting the music from my perspective and my way of working.”
That intuition and shared commitment comes through on ‘Wynter Time’ the powerful and profound first preview from the album dedicated to Sylvia Wynter, the Black Caribbean radical thinker and author. From its tense, scuttling entry to ascendant bluesy head, from the scruff visceral tones of the Wells tenor to Fossie’s flighty trumpet climb, it’s a tune where tradition meets new expression in vibrant conversation. Naturally at the centre is the Gamedze/Mavimbela rhythmic foundation, booming, proud and essentially life giving. Thriving on turbulence and committed to pulse it signposts that Asher Gamedze’s new album will make the forward-thinking connections that we all need.
Pre -order your copy of ‘Turbulence And Pulse’ by Asher Gamedze from BANDCAMP