There’s something beautifully enchanting and wistful around Maisha’s music. Channeling the spirit and rhythm of African highlife, Afrobeat, and combining that with the experimental nature of jazz to produce something which is deeply thought-provoking and pensive. Six members make up the spiritual jazz group, with the drummer Jake Long leading the team, along with some familiar members such as Nubuya Garcia on the saxophone, as well as Amané Suganami on the piano who you may recognise from solo projects of their own. In addition, joining them is Shirley Tettah on the guitar, Tim Dylan on the double bass, Tim Doyle and Yahael Carama-Onono on the percussion. Releasing their debut EP in 2016 with jazz: refreshed live recorded at the Royal Albert Hall, in three tracks spanning over 30 minutes the band made a perfect introduction to their sound. Their closing track titled; ‘A Night Trance’ captured my attention as the slow enduring build for each element to blend and fade among st one another created a wonderfully ethereal journey.
Those meditative patient builds are recaptured throughout their second EP release titled; ‘There Is A Place’. The free-flowing, unpredictability of the opening track ‘Osiris’ is jazz at its finest. Pure soul and feeling carries over nicely to the following track ‘Azure’. Side B elevates the mood and tempo, with the track ‘Eaglehurst Place’ finding influence from afrobeat rhythms. The underlying high and low pitched Congo drums build momentously in the following ‘Kaa’ creating an explosion of energy as the instruments begin to take over. Seemingly blending into one track is there transition to the closing track ‘’, which has Amane Suganami on the piano at the center of the whole composition, with his dynamic change of pace of keys allows for a contemplative closing track.
Have a listen to the full EP below and support the musicians: