Ezra Collective
It's a completely packed out night in North London...

Ezra Collective are virtually impossible to dislike.

On record, the group's fusion of jazz, reggae, afrobeat, and heaven knows what else is an inspiration, with a string of EP and single releases stamping out a formidable aesthetic.

Live, though, Ezra Collective take on a different energy. There's something about the way they respond to an audience, and to each other, that makes each show, each performance an electrifying experience.

Amid a banner year for UK jazz the group have blazed a trail for others to follow, with their ambition punching through the glass ceilings the underground is supposed to inhabit.

Announcing - and subsequently selling out - a show at North London's KOKO venue, Ezra Collective invited friends, family, and about 1400 fans to come down and shake a leg.

Opening with 'The Philosopher' that's exactly what they did, fusing adventurous yet lyrical musicianship with the physical impact live performance can offer.

Flexible, fluid, and kicking hard, Ezra Collective turn KOKO into a seething mesh of sweating limbs, dropping a ferocious version of recent summer single 'Mace Windu Riddim'.

Drummer Femi Koleoso takes the mic to bring the lights up, thanking the crowd, and pointing out that the parents of each musician are in the crowd.

Each member is allowed to shine; Joe Armon-Jones splashes colour with the keys, TJ Koleoso adds the funk on bass, with Dylan Jones and James Mollison as the sparring horns.

Dylan Jones leads a tender 'People In Trouble', with comrade at arms James Mollison powering a scorching version of Sun Ra's 'Space Is The Place', and the sight of this heaving North London venue getting down to the Saturn-born composer's work is genuinely inspiring.

Throwing in everything from afrobeat excursions to Shanks & Bigfoot, Ezra Collective's KOKO stand felt like a statement, as though the band as musicians has reached a new level.

With a show this potent, don't bet against them headlining festivals pretty soon - and with an album still to come, the sky is the limit both for Ezra Collective and London's jazz scene as a whole.

For tickets to the latest Ezra Collective shows click HERE.

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