Sons Of Kemet ‎– Your Queen Is A Reptile - 2018 Modern Jazz - Sealed 2LP

In stock

Sons Of Kemet ‎– Your Queen Is A Reptile

Impulse! ‎– B0027970-01
2 × Vinyl, LP, Album
USA & Europe
30 Mar 2018
Afrobeat, Contemporary Jazz, Free Improvisation, Avant-garde Jazz


A1 My Queen is Ada Eastman
Drums – Seb Rochford*Vocals – Joshua Idehen
A2 My Queen is Mamie Phipps Clark
Drums – Seb Rochford*Vocals – Congo Natty


B1 My Queen is Harriet Tubman
Drums – Eddie Hick, Moses Boyd
B2 My Queen is Anna Julia Cooper
Drums – Seb Rochford*Saxophone – Pete Wareham
B3 My Queen is Angela Davis
Drums – Seb Rochford*


C1 My Queen is Nanny of the Maroons
Drums – Seb Rochford*
C2 My Queen is Yaa Asantewaa
Drums – Eddie Hick, Moses BoydSaxophone – Nubya Garcia


D1 My Queen Is Albertina Sisulu
Drums – Eddie Hick, Moses Boyd
D2 My Queen is Doreen Lawrence
Drums – Maxwell Hallett, Seb Rochford*Vocals – Joshua Idehen



Drums – Tom Skinner

Saxophone – Shabaka Hutchings
Tuba – Theon Cross

Written-By – Shabaka Hutchings
Comes in a gatefold sleeve, with generic inner sleeve and without insert.
Includes download code (16/44 WAV)

( PItchfork) "

On “My Queen Is Mamie Phipps Clark,” named for the social psychologist who researched the detrimental effects of segregation on African American schoolchildren, Hutchings melds sprawling dub and nocturne jazz. Led by Congo Natty, an English producer and vocalist who helped popularize jungle in the early ’90s, the track pays respect to dub’s Jamaican origins as well as its rebirth as 2 Tone ska in late-’70s London. Natty’s vocals seep to the song’s periphery on a wave of reverb while Hutchings’ sax paints in broad brushstrokes in the foreground. Theon Cross subs grumbling tuba for dub’s signature bass, letting out wonderfully guttural brass belches, for a fun and accessible fusion of genres that evokes the Specials’ woozy “International Jet Set.”

“My Queen Is Albertina Sisulu,” an homage to a noted South African nurse and anti-apartheid activist, is an Afrobeat shimmy that suggests furious dancing. Cross’ tuba and Hutchings’ tenor tangle phrases, while drummers Sebastian Rochford and Moses Boyd provoke them with anxious raps on rims, hi-hats, and djembe. Hutchings plays in sweetly curving licks before fracturing into staccato blurts. His instrument often reaches manic, searching measures, bringing to mind something saxophonist Evan Parker once told him. “He said: ‘You need to play as if it’s your last chance to play,’” Hutchings recently told The Wire.

Hutchings has said he wrote lead single and album highlight “My Queen Is Harriet Tubman” as an interpretation of Tubman’s initial escape from slavery. The effect is urgent—the drummers mimic the pace and posture of someone running for their life, at times slipping and hitting a cowbell or snare with added force, but never losing speed. Saxophone and tuba reach bumblebee frenzy, sputtering by the end of their turbulent flight. It is an exhilarating and highly original piece of music that showcases Hutchings’ ability to translate politics to melody.

Sons of Kemet are most effective when they transpose concept to instrument this way. But despite the group’s skill for conversing between genres and generations, words are Your Queen’s greatest weakness. Guest vocalist Joshua Idehen delivers his poems with a bravado that at times distracts from Hutchings’ nuanced compositions. On “My Queen Is Ada Eastman,” Idehen’s vocals don’t arrive until minute three, and when they do they dampen the song’s energy. His diction can be a bit goofy, and lines about London winds that “shiver my thin moustache” don’t necessarily help. The poet redeems himself, however, with a simple phrase that seems to speak to the resilient immigrant experience in post-Brexit Britain: “I’m still here,” he repeats.

Your Queen is Sons of Kemet’s first release on Impulse!, the label that was home to Charles Mingus, John Coltrane, and Pharoah Sanders at their peaks. This adds another dimension to Hutchings’ relationship with American jazz, placing him among the players whose work he’s trying so hard to subvert and deconstruct. It is a peculiar achievement for him in some ways, but it is also a testament to his talents as a composer and player. Hutchings may not feel any “ultimate reverence” to the genre, but its tastemakers see a lot of promise in him."

More Information
Condition New
Format 2LP
Color Black