Sons of Kemet: Burn

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Sons of Kemet
LABELS: Naim Jazz
ALBUM TITLE: Sons of Kemet: Burn
PERFORMER: Shabaka Hutchings (sax), Oren Marshall (tuba), Tom Skinner, Seb Rochford (drums)
CATALOGUE NO: naimcd195


There’s been a bit of a jazz buzz about the release of this disc, given the high calibre of players involved. And it doesn’t disappoint; the opening track sounds like an approaching stampede of elephants. It’s exciting, original and challenging, with the thundering double percussion of Seb Rochford and Tom Skinner often making the foundations of the album’s tracks tremble to the core.

We need to look to saxist Shabaka Hutchings for a clue to the band’s name. ‘Kemet’ is a name for an Ancient Egyptian kingdom and ‘Shabaka’ was its last Nubian king. Known for his previous work with Courtney Pine on Caribbean projects, Hutchings has dug deep in his own Barbadian roots, linking in music from New Orleans and West Africa. The result is an often unpredictable edge-of-seat atmosphere, helped by the earthy tones of Oren Marshall on tuba. Sons of Kemet is definitely a band to catch live and this November’s Barbican date should prove a London Jazz Festival hit.


Neil McKim