London jazz band Ezra Collective release new song, ‘Quest For Coin’ : NPR

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Ezra Collective breathes new life into one of music’s greatest institutions. After making a name for themselves last year with “Pure Shade” and “Reason in Disguise”, the London jazz group is preparing to release its first album, You can’t steal my joy in April. Now, Ezra Collective is sharing their latest single, “Quest for Coin.”

The piece’s expeditious energy buzzes with the elation and ambition of new possibilities. Wandering saxophone, layered with a rapid heartbeat of bass and toms, sums up fast-paced city life in four minutes.

The members of Ezra Collective – Femi Koleoso on drums, TJ Koleoso on bass, Joe Armon-Jones on keyboards, Dylan Jones on trumpet and James Mollison on saxophone – met seven years ago during a program jazz youth called Tomorrow’s Warriors and soon formed the band. after.

The band helped lead a millennial-focused jazz resurgence in the UK due to their ability to test musical boundaries: Ezra Collective frequently experiment with garage, afrobeat and hip-hop. Bandleader Femi Koleoso says these mergers bring together each member’s musical education and work to break down stereotypes surrounding a great but sometimes rigid genre.

“To me, it reflects the energy of the city. In London, things change all the time, and that’s how we feel about the jazz scene right now,” says Koleoso. “I realized at a very young age that I could never be as great as John Coltrane or Max Roach. I could never be another J Dilla. The only thing I could be was the best Femi Koleoso I could be. And it involves referencing whatever I like Whether it’s Fela Kuti or if it’s Burna Boy…I just try to bring that out as naturally as possible, that’s how we have this mix of genres. We don’t let the word ‘jazz’ be something that restricts us, but let it be something that brings freedom.”

The title of the group’s first album suggests defining their own happiness, even as a form of protest against the constraints of society. “As a youngster growing up in this city, I feel like every government move is an attempt to steal our joy,” Koleoso says. “But the joys of this brotherhood, of this music, is something you can’t steal.”

You can’t steal my joy due out April 26 via Enter The Jungle.

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Henry R. Wright