Home » Jazz » KONJUR COLLECTIVE ‘Blood In The Eye (A Soul Insurgent Guide)’

KONJUR COLLECTIVE ‘Blood In The Eye (A Soul Insurgent Guide)’

Oct 14, 2022 | Jazz, Reviews

Breathing new life into free jazz & black radicalism

Musical genres sitting on the peripheries have often been associated with differing forms of protest, and free jazz has its share of significant recordings in that direction. In fact, many would claim jazz, and more specifically free jazz, is the purest form of musical protest being the absolute antithesis of oppression, and Konjur Collective of Baltimore, certainly know how to harness its power of expression.

Taking the title from George Jackson’s final writings, Blood In My Eye (A Soul Insurgent Guide) is a fascinating collision of sax, trombone, and electronics (Jamal Moore), synth (Show Azar), and percussion (Bashi Rose), all breathing new fire into black radicalism.

George Jackson, and his killing at the hands of the San Quentin correctional officers, has been immortalised in the arts before, but this group of avant musicians take their tribute to another dimension: opting for a twenty minute plus opener, the trio rip into multiple grooves and peaks. It’s a free blowing torrid offering with the same hallmarks being applied to Jonathan Jackson – George’s brother who was killed during a separate incident.

There’s a parity of input as each instrument explores the spontaneous compositions, a definite trip into the unknown. You’ll be scanning the skies for UFOs, and wondering if that’s a sample of Don Cherry’s pocket cornet, as Ancestral Dialectic rolls in on a hypnotic beat. And, one can’t help but succumb as the tracks morph into one long spiritual balm.

The collective’s rhythmic and melodic complexities work in symbiotic union, and leave no doubt outpourings of this magnitude will continue to inspire civil protest whilst giving context to its history.

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