Album: Joe Armon-Jones – Starting Today

Joe Armon-Jones set to release debut album.

Joe Armon-Jones rarely disappoints, as those whose ears have met with his stellar work as part of Ezra Collective or his mesmerising collaborative album with Maxwell Owin will testify.

Having set the standard high, we knew his debut album would be something special, and it’s everything we could hope for and more. It’s experimental, meticulously executed and full of individual flashes of sheer brilliance from the players.

‘Starting Today’ comprises 6 tracks with a lot of different moods kicking off with the title track coming in at a whopping 9.49 minutes of spiritually uplifting music lead by singer Ras Asheber enlightening vocals with Armon-Jones’ free-flowing keys trading with Nubya Garcia’s sax, Dylan Jones’ trumpet, Mutale Chashi deep bass and Moses Boyd and Kwake Bass who both bring commanding performances on the drums.

The dreamy ‘Almost Went too Far’ also brings to mind Thundercat while the standout ‘Mollison Dub’ is an airy, spacious dub-infused cut with a hook to die for that gives plenty of room for the musicians to wander as the track unfolds.

Elsewhere ‘London’s Face’ has a soulful feel with an infectious groove courtesy of Oscar Jerome, who not only dazzles on the guitar but also shines with his vocals, while the beautiful ‘Ragifty’ will slowly but surely work its way into your mind as it ebbs and weaves along giving every musician plenty of room to drop their virtuoso talents especially Big Sharer who closes out with a strong verse.

This is definitely another successful notch under his belt and will surely be a contender for album of the year.

Essential stuff.

 

Starting Today is out now via Brownswood Recordings – buy from Bandcamp

CF Smith

Write for Music Is My Sanctuary & Stereofox.

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