ALBUM REVIEW: Ishmael Ensemble – Visions of Light | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Severn Songs

Released: 06.08.21

 

 

 

 

Another heady milestone for the UK’s flourishing contemporary jazz scene, this stunning second album explores the craft of Ishmael Ensemble leader Peter Cunningham from multiple angles. Initially honed to showcase of the verve and visceral stupor of the Bristolian’s live shows, Visions of Light’s second act sees Cunningham segue into a more studio-centric groove, revelling in the role of producer via a range of captivating collaborations.

Whatever its configuration, the resulting material dazzles throughout; its rich, dextrous fusion of genres, textures and instrumental palettes leaving even contemporaneous benchmarks such as Moses Boyd’s Dark Matter trailing in its wake. Indeed, if Mercury Prize judges were to belatedly acknowledge British jazz’s remarkable current crop, this absorbing opus may yet prove a shrewd bet.

 

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