The powerful American free jazz ensemble Irreversible Entanglements featuring spoken word artist and composer Camae Ayewa (aka Moor Mother) performs music from its new album “Protect Your Light”, bringing roiling grooves, the feverish incantations of Moor Mother and intimately twined improvisations together.
The ensemble is followed by the trio of drummer Julian Sartorius, keyboardist Dan Nicholls and filmmaker Lou Zon, who share an accretive, highly interactive marriage of manipulated field recordings, electronics and morphing grooves.
Since forming in 2015, the US quintet Irreversible Entanglements have displayed an unstoppable ascent fueled by an uncompromising vision, adapting the fire music of 1960s free jazz for our times. Although the group is known best for its intense vocalist, Philadelphia poet, musician, and activist Camae Ayewa (aka Moor Mother) – who was named the International Artist of the Year by the German Jazz Prize 2023 – the ensemble has always functioned as a collective, with each member involved in the creation of material. Drummer Tcheser Holmes and bassist Luke Stewart churn out roiling grooves that maintain furious propulsion while providing a muscular platform for the feverish incantations of Moor Mother and the intimately twined improvisation sallies of trumpeter Aquiles Navarro and saxophonist Keir Neuringer. The group released three albums for the influential Chicago label International Anthem, but this fall the ensemble accelerated its artistic growth by joining the roster of Impulse Records, the storied imprint that released some of the most galvanic recordings of John Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, Alice Coltrane, Archie Shepp and Albert Ayler. In January of 2023, the group entered the legendary Rudy Van Gelder recording studio to create “Protect Your Light”, its most kaleidoscopic and passionate album yet. Although a few outside collaborators widen the instrumental palette, the biggest changes come from within, whether from the enhanced role of electronic interventions or the expansion of Moor Mother’s attack, including her tuneful chanting on “Free Love”. The band’s instrumental invention continues to match its commitment to social change as a liberation-oriented free jazz collective. They are an ensemble we need for our troubled times.
- Camae Ayewa – vocals
- Keir Neuringer – saxophone
- Aquiles Navarro – trumpet
- Luke Stewart – double bass
- Tcheser Holmes – drums
(CH, UK, NL)
Percussionist Julian Sartorius, Keyboardist and producer Dan Nicholls, and filmmaker Lou Zon (Louise Boer) call this project Clay Kin, in part, to signify their close friendship and how it plays into their accretive creative process. Sartorius is an experienced, imaginative drummer who has not only worked with the likes of Swiss pop singer Sophie Hunger, jazz pianist Stefan Aeby and composer guitarist Rhys Chatham, but also developed a rigorous solo practice, whether creating and documenting work as a literal sound map made during extended hikes, or forging the sounds on his 2014 album “Zatter”, where the full range of his rhythmic conceptions come together. As a keyboardist, Dan Nicholls, who performed at Jazzfest Berlin with Oli Steidle and The killing Popes in 2021, has worked closely with a variety of jazz adjacent ensembles like Y-Otis and Alabaster DePlume, while his 2021 solo album “Mattering and Meaning” conjures an electronically-skewed take on Erik Satie’s piano compositions. Together with filmmaker Lou Zon, they have created a bank of organic sounds, many drawn from field recordings they have made, which become source material in their highly interactive live performances, where sounds flow back and forth and are endlessly mutating.
- Julian Sartorius – drums, percussion
- Dan Nicholls – keyboards, sampler
- Lou Zon – visuals