Stories » Elsewhere highly recommends Shabaka and the Ancestors: We Are Sent Here By History

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Elsewhere highly recommends Shabaka and the Ancestors: We Are Sent Here By History

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Shabaka Hutchings – of The Comet is Coming, Sons of Kemet and other evolving UK jazz/funk ensembles alongside this one – has advanced a strand of retro-Afrofuturism which links to Sun Ra, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Don Cherry and others. And given those references it is fitting that the group – back after their Wisdom of the Elders in 2016 – should now be on the Impulse! label alongside the Comet and Kemet releases.

Recorded in South Africa and connecting with the urgency of township jive kicked over into post-Coltrane jazz, We Are Sent Here By History owes as much to the gripping energy of Impulse! artists such as Albert Ayler and Archie Shepp, and cutting-edge Sonny Rollins and Pharoah Sanders, as it does to the apocalyptic lyrics of Jo'burg poet/performer Siyabonga Mthembu and a look at black history which has called us to this point.

It's a "meditation on the fact of our coming extinction as a species. It is a reflection from the ruins, from the burning," says Hutchings.

You certainly get that from many pieces (They Who Must Die) which have an innate tension and energy as much as from the reflective pieces (Go My Heart Go to Heaven).

Highly recommended.

READ THE FULL Elsewhere REVIEW