The venerable label captures a complex, thrilling moment in a fast-expanding musical community
Nestled next to a petrol station in north-east London, a black door leads to Total Refreshment Centre. This recording studio and club space has acted as an incubator for the collaborative sound of new London jazz music since its founding in 2012. A new compilation released by legacy jazz label Blue Note now celebrates a decade of the building’s independent influence with seven tracks from a range of affiliated artists.
Undersung, older players such as trumpeter Byron Wallen are featured, as well as London jazz revivalists including drummer Jake Long of the group Maisha and Chicago trumpeter Resavoir. Matching this diverse lineup is a complex set of sounds. The group Soccer96’s opening track, Visions, rolls through a laid-back, synth-funk groove, while Matters Unknown’s Eloquence plays out an intricate Latin clave rhythm, and Isa by Zeitgeist Freedom Energy Exchange pulses to a four-to-the-floor disco beat.
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