Working Afrobeat, hip-hop and disco into their take on jazz, this is distinctly (and deliciously) funky...

Melding funk, Afrobeat and contemporary sounds - with nods to hip-hop and disco - PYJÆN’s debut album has to work hard to stand out in an increasingly crowded UK jazz scene.

Luckily, this record does work hard. It’s distinctly (and deliciously) funky, whether that’s the squelching wobbly guitar effects of opener ‘Nah’ or the head-nodding tempo of ‘Free Your Dreams’, while elsewhere there’s surf guitar on ‘Leading The Times’ (before the track spectacularly erupts) and the earthy rhythms and sound of ‘Creation’.

‘Steve’ is s real shift in tempo - a dreamy chill-out track giving Dylan Jones (also a member of Ezra Collective) and his masterful trumpeting the chance to shine, glittering above the band’s percussion.

Closer ‘In Search Of The Sticky Side’ offers up a surprisingly prog-rock guitar solo and harmonious vocal refrain, yet more unexpected elements fusing into the band’s take on jazz.

PYJÆN have delivered something compelling and original, which these days is no small feat.

8/10

Words: Emma Finamore

Dig it? Dig deeper: Ezra Collective, KOKOROKO, Steam Down Collective

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