Whether it’s trad, acid, or mainstream, jazz comes in a variety of forms, but it’s rare to find different styles combined in a way that makes sense to the listener. However, the collaborative efforts on the new Brownswood album, We Out Here, manages, through a fusion of classic and experimental sounds, to create a coherent journey through jazz.
Opening with the lush, deep tones of Maisha’s Inside the Acorn, the listener is greeted with a flurry of wind and piano that transports you to a place of wild tranquility.
Staying with the easy listening vibe, the effortless yet motley array of beats from Ezra Collective offers layering and pace, and prepares the listener for the dynamic upbeat work to follow.
Moses Boyd shares his electric spin on jazz, before Theon Cross experiments with inter-instrumental collaborations, creating intricate patterns that both excite and delight.
The album climaxes in the tangle of melodies that is Nubya Garcia’s Once. With heavy bass and drums, and a complex layering unlike anything I’d heard before, this track fully detaches itself from the easy listening vibe of the previous songs.
Triforce bring with them an atmospheric vibe: the deep, full-bodied sound swells before falling and giving way to a calm and mellow tone.
The album ends with Kokoroko’s Abusey Junction and its almost meditative trio of bongos, electric guitar and keyboard. The Bohemian sounds transport the listener to a serene space, and through the use of soft drums and lulling choir, brings the disc full circle.
The compilation manages to embody many of the characteristics we associate with jazz: experimentation, melody and rhythm, but without overwhelming the listener. Whether a seasoned jazz connoisseur or a layman, anyone can enjoy the variety of tones compiled in this collaboration. Each contributor brings their own flair, without straying from the collective narrative of the piece. We Out Here is less of an album and more a sensory experience, to be savored and enjoyed.