Album review: Sons of Kemet, Burn (Naim Jazz)


The LondonJazz website recently published an amusing Dutch review that accused British jazz of “flirting with pop music and other genres”, in a way that made it diverge from European trends. Though hardly pop, Sons of Kemet may well be a case in point. A quartet led by reeds player Shabaka Hutchings (born in London but raised in Barbados), with Seb Rochford and Tom Skinner on drums, and tuba-player Oren Marshall pumping out the basslines, they draw on pan-Caribbean influences including Jamaica’s nyabinghi drum cults and reggae horn players such as Cedric Brooks.

At its best, in the opening “All Will Surely Burn” and in a thrilling closing version of “Rivers of Babylon”, this is mesmerising trance music of great power.