COMPOSERS: Courtney Pine
LABELS: Destin-E Records
PERFORMER: Courtney Pine, Nathaniel Facey (saxophone), Omar Puente (violin), Chris Storr, Byron Wallen, Jay Phelps (trumpet), Harry Brown (trombone), Alex Wilson (piano), Darren Taylor (bass), Samuel Dubois (steel drums)
CATALOGUE NO: 777 25 3 1807
The original Jazz Warriors, formed in 1984 by Courtney Pine, made a huge impact on the UK jazz scene, but dispersed after just one album.
Now, Pine has relaunched his jazz collective with a 15-strong line‑up that is drawn, as before, from both established and upcoming musicians. And with good reason.
Recorded live at the Barbican, Afropeans is Pine’s response to the 2007 bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade, featuring superb tracks such as ‘Abolition Day’ in which the slaves’ guarded joy is suggested by Omar Puente’s violin spirals over restless rhythms.
Listening to ‘Blak Flag’ is like walking through a carnival, as the steel drums of Samuel Dubois give way to a monumental ska display above Harry Brown’s trombone.
The message of Pine’s 1995 ‘Each One (Must) Teach One’ seems pertinent here as the Warriors pass on the lessons of the past. Indeed, they are a force to be reckoned with. Neil McKim