Wednesday 30 January 2019

'Displaced Diaspora' by Moses Boyd Exodus

Perhaps surprisingly, 'Displaced Diaspora' serves as the debut solo full-length album from one of the most prominent names in UK jazz.  And that's a comment made in no way to dismiss any of the three projects with saxophonist Binker Golding as part of the duo Binker & Moses, or any of Boyd's EPs including 'Absolute Zero', 'Time and Space' and 'Footsteps of Our Fathers'.

Boyd's long list of collaborations rattle off like a who's who of London's finest - you can hear the prodigious Boyd drumming on complete projects from Daniel Casimir's 'Escapee' (jazzre:freshed, 2017), Jasmine Power's 'Stories & Rhymes EP' (2016), Nubya Garcia's 'Nubya's 5ive' (jazzre:freshed, 2017), Zara McFarlane's 'Arise' (Brownswood Recordings, 2017) and Joe Armon-Jones's 'Starting Today' (Brownswood Recordings, 2018).  This brief list alone represents some of the UK's landmark and finest releases in contemporary jazz, all boasting the Moses imprint.

So you can perhaps see why it might be said that 'Displaced Diaspora' has been hugely anticipated.

Released on Boyd's own imprint - Exodus - the nine-track project sees Boyd taking centre-stage backed by a dream team of collaborators, many of which include the aforementioned artists including Armon-Jones, Garcia and Golding; Zara McFarlane guests on the quintessentially late-night jazz lounge number, 'City Nocturne', and Terri Walker trades vocals with rapper Louis VI dishing out a home-grown slice of London nightlife with 'Waiting on the Night Bus'.  In no way to be outdone by his guests, Boyd still knows just how to steal the show as he does with 'Drum Dance', 'Axis Blue' and 'Rye Lane Shuffle' serving as strong album highlights.

It's become almost cliché to continually cite UK jazz as a thriving hot bed of talent and while we'll all continue to embrace new names and projects from artists emerging from the pack, Moses Boyd will be a name we'll be able to count on for years to come.

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