For some reason, there is a special place in my heart for European jazz music, a breed of its own often misrepresented in North American circles. Even here at Nextbop, only a small minority of the music that reaches our inboxes is European. But here and there if you keep your ear to the ground you can find some real gems coming in from overseas like truffles another European import. Sure the music is less focused on improvisation and chord changes but there is something tantric, meditative and deeply moving with European jazz more focused on patterns and vibes.
Case in point, Mammal Hands’ brand new album ‘Shadow Work’, out now on Gondwana Records, a majestic and cinematic journey through a beautiful and foreign new universe drawing on spiritual jazz, north Indian, folk and classical music.
Mammal Hands, out of Norwich, is the trio of saxophonist Jordan Smart, pianist Nick Smart and drummer and percussionist Jesse Barrett. Their music is somewhat reminiscent of label mates Portico Quartet. You might have seen them touring on the international jazz festival circuit.
All in all, ‘Shadow Work’ is a transcending effort sure to subdue the sternest of listeners. You can stream the album below and if you wish to add ‘Shadow Work’ to your collection you can find it on Amazon or on iTunes.
Sébastien Hélary co-founded Nextbop in 2009 with the objective of introducing modern jazz music to a younger generation of fans. Aside from music, his other main obsession is food, particularly ramen and other Japanese delicacies.