Friday 15 April 2022

'JAS 5IVE' by Jas Kayser

'JAS 5IVE' marks the new project release from the immeasurably talented Jas Kayser available through Jazz Re:freshed.

Based between London and Panama City, the comparatively young drummer and composer has quickly developed an incredible career for herself as a session musician, performer and artist in her own right.  A graduate of the Berklee College of Music, under the mentorship of Terri Lyne Carrington no less, Kayser's passions from such a young age have seen her carve an inspired path to the forefront of the UK's foremost talents.

Serving as another in an ever-growing line of stellar Jazz Re:freshed releases, Jas Kayser's entry as part of the label's revered 5ive catalogue marks a fantastic inclusion into a series that continues to demonstrate the label's intimate foreboding of the next wave of jazz superstar.  With past 5ive releases from current luminaries Kaidi Tatham, Nubya Garcia and Richard Spaven, Kayser's selections more than hold their own and masterfully build upon the groundwork as laid out by this project's predecessor.

Unveiled in 2020, 'Unforced Rhythm of Grace' - an EP as imaginatively executed as it was titled - comprised of three versatile tracks that introduce Kayser's own concepts of spirited jazz fusion as much as her affections to the pioneering work of Fela Kuti.  That same playful and experimental approach to her music transitions into the tracks, not just from the current 5ive release, but into all aspects of her ever-growing catalogue of music...

With collaborative and performance credentials steadily growing which thus far has seen Kayser grace stages and studios alongside Alfa Mist, Jorja Smith and a scene-stealing showcase in Lenny Kravitz's 'Low' video, Kayser finds ways to bring her indelible charm and charisma into each of these collaborations.  

Another notable highlight is Kayser's inclusion amongst the line-up for Alex Hitchcock's 'Dream Band' album on the Spanish Fresh Sound New Talent label.  With artists including Cherise Adams-Burnett, Joe Downard, Will Barry, Luisito Quintero and Chris Cheek amongst a host of others, and recorded in London over the course of three days with the band arrangements mixed up for each session, Hitchcock hand-picks a range of fifteen world class artists whose talents each hold personal significance and navigates a project that is built around discussion, trust and open collaboration - a project that undoubtedly elevates Kayser into the broader conversation of everything she brings to the table as an artist in her own right and everything this 5ive project certifies as well.

Kayser's own assembled line-up for 5ive features Joao Caetano (percussion), Daisy George (bass), Jamie Leeming (guitar), Mark Hurrell and Giacomo Smith (sax) and Christos Stylianides (trumpet) who comprise an awesome ensemble for recording sessions that took place at the famed Durham Sound Studios.  Vocalist Ava Joseph guests on one of the project's highlights, and lead single, 'Darkness in the Light', which is swiftly followed by the sublime 'Dream' which navigates a variety of pensive twists and turns over the course of the track's near-six minutes.  Bliss.

There isn't a wasted moment on 'Jas's 5ive'.  The very nature of these five-track only releases means that every track has to count and this project, despite the multitude of successes that have already come before it, is the declaration of Jas Kayser's ascent to centre stage - a phenomenal artist marching to the beat of her own drum.

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