First Thoughts: Moses Boyd – Displaced Diaspora

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Moses Boyd is an artist who has helped paved the way for London’s young vibrant jazz scene. First catching my attention, like many, with the momentous tracks; ‘Rye Lane Shuffle’ and ‘Drum Dance’, which seemingly gave jazz a new spotlight to work on dancefloors. Building on those single releases, Moses a year later brought us ‘Absolute Zero’, An inquisitive 4 – track EP, which brushed on the inspiration from jazz, as well as incorporating some experimentation with the synthesizer.

Having had a relatively busy summer, with festival appearances abroad and in the UK, Moses has just dropped a 9-track album with collaborations from spiritual jazz group Kevin Haynes Grupo Elegua, as well as UK soul singers’ Zara MacFarlane, Terri Walker, and hip-hop artist; Louis VI.

Kevin Haynes’ influence throughout the album is clear, they’re known for their fusion of jazz instruments and West African Yoruba culture which makes use of rich Bata drums. Opening with incredible track ‘Rush Hour/Elegua’, a quiet intro erupts to a layered hard-hitting synthesised bassline, which is also blessed with vocals from the Kevin Haynes’ Grupo Elegua. ‘Elegua’ is described as ‘the force which makes communication possible between a man and the divine’, and those soft spiritual vocals are felt again throughout the last track ‘Ancestors’.

Another stand out track, featuring Brownswood’s jazz/soul singer; Zara Macfarlane, is ‘City Nocturne’, the delicate careful build of each instrument, starting with saxophone, and the electric guitar creates a smooth transition for Zara’s voice to center stage upon. Zara accompaniment, as well as Terri Walker, wonderfully suits the whole spiritual jazz, Afro-Latin infused theme throughout the album.

Have a listen and support the artist via:

Author: Kofi Yeboah

I'm a Music & Culture Journalist, and DJ from London. I worked in radio, events promotions, and content production. .

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