I remember attending an event, years ago, and seeing three of the dopest motherfuckers, high out of the goddamn minds, playing garbage jazz music to a bunch of rich fucks that kept asking them to play quieter. You couldn’t even hear them. After a while, the band mimed out the notes and there were no more complaints. Common move back then. After the band got their checks, they peaced the fuck out. This is what young jazzers had to do to make a living. There was no other choice. Wanna eat? Sell your soul to the highest bidder. Later that night, the band stripped off their ties and shoes and played at a crowded house party. It was alive. It was jumping. The only people that asked them to play quieter were the cops later that night.
This is the jazz of late-night house parties.
For jazz, 2018 has been the fucking bomb. Part of the blame goes to whatever they’re putting in that water in ol’ London town. Those limey bastards up in the Smoke have been throwing out bands like Kokoroko, Shabaka and the Ancestors, Ezra Collective, Sons of Kemet, Theon Cross, Joe Armon Jones, Yussef Dayes, Phronesis, Yussef Kamaal, Binker & Moses (which our man Moses is obviously part of), and a fuckton more. Now, how the fuck did this happen? Where did it come from? There are articles left and right trying to explain this shit. A big part of the credit goes the “if you build it they will come” mentality backed by Jazz re:freshed. See, back in ’03 they offered a weekly live residency for jazz musicians to be whatever they wanted to be and, unsurprisingly, they were. People played without expectations, without having to sell their shit to a certain age group with certain mentalities about music, and they just had fun. Wanna add electronics? Go the fuck ahead. Want to add some rap? Cool. And with soil that healthy, growth was bound to happen.
Our man Moses was birthed from this. He has jammed with names like Four Tet, Sampha, and Gilles Peterson. He’s won awards the length of your arm and has created his own label. Motherfucker is on fire. With the freedom to make whatever music he wants, in a space that actually gives a fuck, his music is pure. You can scroll through this album and find all kinds of jams. Want some beat heavy fast-moving music? It’s there. Want that jazz that makes you contemplate existence? It’s there. How about … ya, that shit’s there too. It’s all fucking there and it’s gold. You can feel the pure enjoyment that these players have by playing. Life feels better when this record is on.
Jazz used to be a joke. It was old people’s music. It was a music that had its time in the sun sometime in the ’20s, ’30s, ’60s, or whatever-the-fuck. Truth is? Jazz was never lame. It was never old. It was repressed. It was forced to wear penguin suits and play for rich fucks and then eat their leftovers. Now of days, jazz music has come out of the basement. And, believe me, it’s got a lot on its mind with a lot of badass motherfuckers speaking up for it. I suggest you listen.