– THE MILITARY COUP –
According to his website, London pianist Ashley Henry was born in 1991 “…when the last Kuwait oil fires extinguished, Miles Davis passed away, Gang Star released ‘Step in the Arena’, South Africa held its first cricket international in 20 years, PC World opened in the UK, Wynton Marsalis released ‘Blue Interlude’, Freddie Mercury departed, Branford Marsalis finished ‘The Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born’ and the first performance of Alan Bennett’s The Madness of George III took place.”
Which sorta shits all over my birth year (1984); one which is famous for having a book written about it (in 1948), Band Aid and the fact that ‘Twirly Curls Barbie’ was one of the most popular Christmas presents.
In the years since said birth, Henry has graduated from Royal Academy of Music, performed with Jason Marsalis and collaborated with legends Terence Blanchard and Jean Toussaint. He’s also become the youngest musician to perform at the International Piano Trio Festival alongside Robert Glasper.
I, on the other hand, got pretty good GCSEs.
Now, Henry’s upstaging me (and most other people, it has to be said) yet again with the release of his debut record Beautiful Vinyl Hunter the second single from which is Between the Lines.
Though the majority of Henry’s album has a more traditional jazz vibe, Between The Lines pushes the boundaries into more commercial territory.
That’s thanks, in large part, to the inclusion of Manchester-based MC Sparkz, whose bars over the early part of the track add charm and charisma as well as a fair amount of street-cred (one imagines).
However, its towards the end that the track really hits another level as Grammy-winning trumpeter Keyon Harrold takes over. His excellent extended outro plays out over a slick grooving Eddie Hick back beat.
It’s cool, it’s compelling and utterly, utterly effortless for all involved. I guess some guys just have all the luck.
Beautiful Vinyl Hunter is out now through Sony Records.
MORE FROM THIS WEEK’S MIX
RACHAEL DADD: CUT MY ROOTS
YAATRI: WAITING ON THE SUN
TAWIAH: DON’T HOLD YOUR BREATH
P.S. You can find all of the tracks reviewed above in the 45 Revolutions per Minute playlist below or click to access the 45 RPM Playlist on Spotify itself.
If you like what you hear (or even if you don’t), please engage in dialogue with me @45rpm_Reviews on Twitter. And, if you’d like to receive updates weekly, please subscribe to the email list to get these recommendations sent to your inbox weekly.
– SV –