Live Review: Ezra Collective at Concorde 2
Concorde 2, Brighton
Wednesday 27th November, 2019
Ezra Collective were at Concorde 2 as part of their UK tour and they were there to party and celebrate their connection to the South Coast. Having performed at New Generation Jazz, Love Supreme and Brainchild festivals it’s no surprise that their biggest listenership on Spotify outside of London is Brighton.
They began with tunes from their previous album Juan Pablo: The Philosopher, followed by the title track from their latest album You Can’t Steal My Joy, which segued nicely into Sweet Like Chocolate. The first single from their album, Quest for Coin was followed by the roots-infused Red Whine. Bassist TJ Koleoso said, “This is what we’re all about: positive vibes, energy and joy”.
A medley of two Sun Ra tunes, Love in Outer Space and Space Is The Place showcased the improvisatory skills of young trumpeter Ife Ogunjobi, saxophonist James Mollison and keys player Joe Armon Jones.
After giving a special thanks to The Verdict and New Generation Jazz for putting on one of their first gigs outside of London and booking them to perform at Love Supreme, drummer Femi Koleoso asked ‘Is it alright if we turn this place into a jazz club?’. The lighting technician duly obliged and they performed Charlie Chaplin’s Smile, which concluded with Femi saying “We’ve been here so many times it feels like a family vibration”.
They ended their set with two of their most upbeat tunes of recent years, São Paulo, a celebratory carnival number from their latest album and the Ezra Collective classic Juan Pablo, which begins with a high ostinato line on the bass before the energetic drum groove drops, ending with tight staccato horn lines.
Ezra Collective brought a lively party atmosphere with upbeat, positive music, mixing their own influences of DJ culture and spiritual jazz, before setting off to tour the United States.
(Photo by Lisa Wormsley)