A large degree of emotional flexibility is needed when walking from stage to stage at the Love Supreme Jazz Festival 2017, in order to weather the differing styles and moods of each act. What was immediately obvious about South London drummer Yussef Dayes’ band was just how fresh they sounded. Music for the Millennials brought up on Grime, Jungle, Broken Beat and listening to Pirate radio.
They played music from his jazz-funk debut album Black Focus, which was born out of a collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Kamaal Williams and a love they both had of Herbie Hancock and broken beat The duo have since split and instead, Yussef seems to have got together his own supergroup of impossibly talented young musicians to perform the music.
Kaidi Tatham’s rich chords were an inspiration for Kamaal’s keyboard playing and this can be heard on tracks like ‘Remembrance’. Who better to take up this gauntlet than Montreux Jazz Piano Competition semi-finalist Charlie Stacey whose frantic keys complimented the underlying jungle beats. Classically trained Cuban trumpeter Yelfris Valdèz dazzled with his unique style while Mansur Brown showed off some incredible guitar riffs that reflected the London scene as it is today just as Jimi Hendrix would have done in the 1970’s.
All of this was driven by the frenetic beats and Yussef’s ability to slow down or speed up time in the most creative ways. His use of cow bell also enhanced the electronic music feel as did Charlie Stacey’s interesting computer blip noises which are a constant soundtrack to the gaming generation. This band are front and centre of an exciting new scene, of its time and place, that was influenced by the USA but with a London stamp on it.