This blazing quintet breath fire when in full flow and for very good reason, forming in 2015 to protest the murderous thuggery of New York City’s police department at an event organized by Musicians Against Police Brutality following the death of citizen Akai Gurley at the hands of the uniformed. A few months later and with a slightly expanded line-up, they spent their first day recording together and one incendiary day in the studio saw their whole eponymous debut album captured.
Camae Ayewa aka Moor Mother is the perfect mouthpiece for this quintet, such an impassioned purveyor of vitriolic lament – and she’s surrounded by a band that quite literally sound like they are on fire. Free jazz at its most driven – relentlessly urgent, paranoid, hounded but punching back. Ornette Coleman comparisons have abounded and Ayewa always finds the right verbal stabs for the darkest of stories. As The Quietus said of the album, “It’s a harrowing listen, and one of the most powerful and relevant works of art you’ll encounter this year.”