Not for the first time in reviewing a CD have I scratched my head when trying to categorise the music I am listening to. When CDs are sent for review to Jazz Journal I half expect (naively perhaps) some association with jazz. But that isn’t always the case.
They Say Humans Exists comes closest to jazz in the way David Rothenberg plays clarinet in an uninhibited and lyrical style. The tracks – Supernatural Roadtrip and Soundtrack Lost – are good examples of this. But then the numerous percussion instruments of Sidiki Camara and the playing of the guitalele (a cross between the guitar and ukulele) by Jacob Young transport me to another genre and even another world.
There is, without doubt, more world music about this album than jazz and there is no doubt that the dominant musical influence is West African. Yet, however I struggle to categorise this album there is no escaping the fact that the music is quite magical. It has a delicate, ethereal and cinematic quality to it whilst at the same time always sounding playful and optimistic. The musicianship is impeccable, and the end result provides a rich and rewarding listening experience.
Highly recommended if musical boundaries do not inhibit you.
Find out more about Jacob Young, David Rothenberg, Sidiki Camara: They Say Humans Exist at oslosessionrecordings.com
Supernatural Roadtrip; Thank You My People (Kaou Barikada); Tactile Memory; Calling People To The Music (Ayou Wele); The North (Koron Fe); Out of Dream; Soundtrack Lost; Blood Horizon (33.06)
Young (g); Rothenberg (cl, bcl, f); Camara (pc, v). Blueberry Fields Studio, Oslo 17-18 June 2019.
Oslo Sessions Recordings OSR007