Of all the bands that have been recently lauded under the banner of bright young things in British jazz, Maisha is arguably the most interesting.
Fahmi Alqhai Koury is a virtuoso of the viola da gama (viol). The Syrian-born musician grew up in Seville from the age of eleven, forming his skills, in part, by playing with Jordi Savall’s Hespèrion XXI. His collaborator, Rocio Marquez is one of the foremost contemporary voices of flamenco.
The latest reissue from the Mr Bongo label, African Dances by the Nigerian artist Shina Williams, is as rare as it is precious.
It is like a breath of fresh air to rediscover this time; when jazz was inventive at the same time as being adopted by mainstream audiences. Theirs was a music that resonated, announcing its own historical moment while refreshing the jazz repertoire as a whole.