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Concord Jazz recently announced London Brew, a new album inspired by Miles Davis' Bitches Brew from a crème de la crème collection of UK jazz luminaries, due for release as a 2LP set, 2CD and digitally on March 31, 2023. Pre-order London Brew here: https://found.ee/LondonBrew
Comprised of a veritable who's who of some of the most important and innovative musicians of the 21st century, London Brew features contributions from Benji B, Theon Cross, Nubya Garcia, Shabaka Hutchings, Dave Okumu, Tom Skinner and more, brought together by Producer and guitarist Martin
Terefe and Executive Producer Bruce Lampcov.
Today, a second single is shared from the project in the guise of 'Raven Flies Low', the album's closer named for violinist Raven Bush who was fundamental to the track's gorgeous textures as he played his violin through electric pedals to stunning effect - seemingly a nod to how Davis ran his trumpet through tape delay on the original album.
Of the London Brew sessions, Bush offers: "Being able to play in a beautiful studio with this amazing group of musicians was an honour. With this type of record-making process, the music is just constantly unfolding in the room, so many brilliant moments are passing you by. I'm always somewhere else during improvisations….It was great to be reminded of this vibe we had going, I'm into it."
"When a recording session like this happens, the amount of ideas that gets generated is considerable," he continues. "I don't know how Martin
[Terefe] and Bruce [Lampcov] managed to choose what made the album, there were so many dope moments!"
Terefe further explains: "When I started mixing the section that became 'Raven Flies Low' I fell into focusing on the continuous flow Raven's violin melodies and electronic pedal orchestrations. His mini compositions moved so brilliantly under the radar and this one blew my mind. I chose the title inspired by the track 'John McLaughlin' on Bitches Brew. Simply a hats off to a maestro at work."
Listen to 'Raven Flies Low' (Single Edit) here: https://found.ee/LondonBrew_RavenYT
'Raven Flies Low' was preceded by the album's lead single 'Miles Chases New Voodoo in the Church' (Single Edit), of which Nubya Garcia explains, "this single is our interpretation of Miles Davis' ode to Jimi Hendrix
('Miles Runs the Voodoo Down'). I've always been very inspired by the creative minds of both Miles and Jimi…. Both were innovators who carved their own lanes, which is something I've aspired to in my own career. For a while now I've been experimenting and using pedals and effects with my instrument, so to be able to do that on this track, while paying tribute to their legacies, was a joy both creatively and personally."
The track has received support from publications as diverse as Pitchfork, Clash, The Line of Best Fit, Jazzwise, The Fader, MOJO, Crack, Stereogum and Uncut.
Revisit 'Miles Chases New Voodoo in the Church' (Single Edit) here:
London Brew reflects an emotional journey through the period in which it was conceived, having been recorded during the pandemic and after many months of isolation and the inability to collaborate in person. Recorded in December 2020 at Paul Epworth's Church Studios in London, Terefe explains how the resulting music is "sometimes uncomfortable, other times it's familiar and joyous and other times it's like deep meditation."
What began as a plan for a live performance at the Barbican in honor of the 50th anniversary of Bitches Brew in early 2020 - an event that was sadly to be scuppered by the pandemic - would eventually blossom into so much more. London Brew is a collection of original recordings rooted in inspiration and celebration - not just a rapturous, moving tribute to one of the most totemic figures in modern music but equally a one-off moment in London's musical history captured forever on four sides of vinyl. As Lampcov writes in the album's liner notes, "London Brew is also inspired by... London. The city, the people, her creativity and her struggles. London Brew is primordial, born out of a year of trying to get to grips with what being human is about. The sounds and melodies cover the gamut of human emotion from delicate and caring to coarse and angry. Nothing is left unsaid."
An intelligent, dexterous assault on the senses from a group of artists united in their freewheeling vision, London Brew's eight tracks are unified by an experimental, improvisatory fire. "In all my years of recording, I'd never been involved in an improvisatory process on this scale," offers The Invisible's Dave Okumu. "It's ease and sense of endlessness is surely a testament to the caliber of each musician and the unique manner in which they've taken on the lessons Miles set before us through his recording and performances."
Theon Cross highlights how "the possibility of playing with a larger group of people [at the end of a year marked by the pandemic] with such an open and free approach was an incredibly powerful and moving experience," while Shabaka Hutchings comments: "For me, that's what Bitches Brew is. It's a bunch of musicians making music because of the love of making music, as a social force and as a social construct. They are creating something that expresses unity and motion. That's what it is to be alive… you know, you have unity, you have motion, and you have vibration. You don't get any more alive than that. That's Bitches Brew." That's London Brew, too, and you won't have ever heard anything quite like it.
London Brew is:
Benji B: Decks, Sonic Re-cycling
Raven Bush: Violin, Electronics
Theon Cross: Tuba
Nubya Garcia: Saxophone, Flute
Tom Herbert: Electric Bass, Double
Shabaka Hutchings: Saxophone, Woodwinds
Nikolaj Torp Larsen: Synthesizers, Melodica
Dave Okumu: Guitar
Nick Ramm: Piano, Synthesizers
Dan See: Drums, Percussion
Tom Skinner: Drums, Percussion
Terefe: Guitar, Electronics
London Brew is available from March 31st, 2023, on 2LP, 2CD and digitally via Concord Jazz. Pre-order here: https://found.ee/LondonBrew