No conversation about the current state of jazz music, particularly in the U.K., would be complete without a mention of Joe Armon-Jones. The keyboard wizard and member of the powerhouse group Ezra Collective has released the first follow up to his debut solo album Starting Today from last year with the single "Icy Roads (Stacked)." The new track is out on Gilles Peterson's label Brownswood Recordings and showcases Armon-Jones' ability to navigate effortlessly between diverse influences with sophisticated musicianship and thumping grooves.
"Icy Roads (Stacked)" features classic piano trio instrumentation with help from drummer Kwake Bass (Kate Tempest, Sampha, Joey Bada$$) and bassist Mutale Chashi (KOKOROKO) but the group produces a sound that far outreaches the bounds of a typical trio. With tasteful, understated production elements, the group cultivates astounding soundscapes while maintaining a core of raw intensity from their expert musicianship. While Armon-Jones' fiery, percussive solo at the heart of the track provides a highlight, the interplay between the musicians throughout is what really makes the song stand out. It's that basis of astounding chops that has made this crop of players gain attention on the international stage and should get audiences excited for the next album from Joe Armon-Jones.
Find tour dates for Joe Armon-Jones here.