Release: April 28, 2023
Bonded over the struggles of the pandemic and a mutual love for Motown, Soul and Afrobeat, Denmark’s renowned outlet of improvised music April Records proudly presents ‘Moko Jumbie’, the debut by it’s latest outfit ‘A Plane To Catch’, set to release on April 28th.
The vibrant Danish jazz scene came to a crashing halt along with the rest of the world in early 2020, and a tight-knit community of up-and-coming musicians were thrust into a void, robbed of the largest part of their livelihood and joy, live performance.
Gathering in a graffiti-smudged artist’s space in an old industrial facility in Copenhagen’s outskirts, they created a space for themselves to improvise in a funky, groove-based setting, and soon began writing songs together.
What came out was an expression of longing for all that was lost during the pandemic – a musical antidote to the loss of fun, joy, community, movement, travel and youthful abandon that the pandemic had temporarily put a halt to.
Exploring the rich exchange between West African musical traditions and Western funk and soul, this is music meant for dancing, transporting the listener to dance floors both real and imagined. Featuring warm, raw production the record creates a real sense of energy and intimacy, as if the listener is in a dark club with an electric jam band.
Through the eight compositions the quintet joyfully navigates familiar harmonic clichés from 70’s soul tunes, a variety of infectious toe-tapping grooves, playful improvisations and melodic duo horn arranging. Explorations of darker tonalites popularied be Ethio-Jazz legend Mulatu Astatke provide a welcome departure through harmonic contrast and propulsive polyrhythmic groove.
The title ‘Moko Jumbie’ derives from a mythical character in Afro-Caribbean folklore. During carnival season masked Moko Jumbies can be seen dancing on stilts in colorful garments, towering over the crowds. Part gods, part healers, part ghosts, and most importantly: moving expressions of freedom and the perfect mascot for this celebratory album.
Andreas Toftemark | Saxophone
Rolfe Thofte | Trumpet
Mads Nørgaard | Guitar
Anton Langebæk | Bass
David Besiakov | Drums
Shame Your B
Mass Jazz Digital
Soul and jazz and funk
Marek Romański – Radio RDC
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