Your Queen is a Reptile

Your Queen is a Reptile by Sons of Kemet
Label Page: Impulse Records

Sons of Kemet are young Jazz players from London. The core of the group is Shabaka Hutchings on Sax, Theon Cross on Tuba, Tom Skinner on Drums, and Seb Rochford on Drums. This album also incluedes guest players like drummer Moses Boyd and Saxophonist Nubya Garcia. And, it features poetry/rap on 3 of the 9 songs.

While the title of the album is, “Your Queen is a Reptile”, the individual tracks are variously named after strong, influential women of African heritage. For example, “My Queen is Harriet Tubman”, was the lead single, and “My Queen is Angela Davis”, is another song.

The album functions on a lot of levels. First off, it is a pleasure to listen to. The music is occasionally raucous, but never excessively or uncomfortably. The players, first and foremost create a groove and a feel. Then layer on solos and rhythmic embellishment, and, in the case of some of the tracks on the album, poetry.

An album you can put on and just enjoy without thinking too much, or an album you can dig in to and think about, or an album you can dance to. It’s all of those things. Pretty neat trick.

As an aside, this is Sons of Kemet’s first album for the major Jazz label Impulse! And I hope it isn’t the last of this sort of experimentation for Impulse!

#SonsOfKemet #YourQueenIsAReptile #ShabakaHutchings #PeteWareham #NubyaGarcia #TheonCross #TomSkinner #SebRochford #MosesBoyd #EddieHick #MaxwellHallett #JoshIdehan #CongoNatty #todayscommutesoundtrack #ImpulseRecords

Journey to the Mountain of Forever

(You just never know when you’re going to run across a 15 ft tall Princess Mononoke.) Journey to the Mountain of Forever by Binker and Moses.

A pretty cosmic name. 
Fortunately, however, this album owes almost nothing to the 70s Jazz Fusion band Return to Forever.

A double album is a pretty ballsy move for a Sax and drum duo!

They do include some guests, among them Saxophonist Evan Parker and percussionist Sarathy Korwar, for variety.

The weakest song is probably the Caribbean tinged Fete by the River, which ends up sounding like 70s tv soundtrack music or something the Saturday Night Live band might kick out between sketches.

But, other than that slight mis-step, the album feels largely filler-free, impressive for it’s length.

Nice to hear their playing with a few more performers to bounce off of.

#TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #BinkerAndMoses #MosesBoyd #BinkerGolding #EvanParker #SarathyKorwar #ByronWallen #ToriHandsley