Emma Rawicz - Chroma

2023 CD release

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Emma Rawicz was 19 when she made her self-produced breakout album Incantation; just two years later, she is still a final-year conservatoire student in London, albeit one releasing on Germany’s star-packed and creatively open ACT label. The formidable jazz-horns virtuoso made her name by merging the smoky soulfulness of old-school sax troubadours into the rugged drive of post-bop tenorists from Joe Henderson to Chris Potter and Donny McCaslin. That would be impressive enough, but her new album confirms how inventively risk-embracing a bandleader Rawicz is becoming. On Chroma, she lets classy playing partners stretch out within her expanding compositional world of vocalised Latin-dance hooks, global-jazz rhythmic figures, and edgy, horn-led contemporary instrumentals.

Each of the nine original tracks is named after colours (Rawicz has synaesthesia). Opener Phlox prefaces a high-energy horns-and-guitar hook with drummer Asaf Sirkis’s percussion-mimicking vocals (much like those of Zakir Hussain) before Rawicz’s spiralling tenor solo erupts. Three short anchoring interludes (Xanadu 1-3) share the same spacey six-note motif recast in contrasting moods, while the vocally vivacious Rangwali quickly mixes airy voices, multi-reeds counterpoint and flying improv conversation from pianist Ivo Neame, bassist Conor Chaplin and drummer Sirkis.

Rawicz’s close rapport with freewheeling guitarist Ant Law is evident everywhere, in the darting melody swaps with vocals, piano and sax on the smooth, lilting but improv-fuelled Viridian, and the fast-passing ensemble patterns of the punchy closer Falu. Rawicz has reportedly already written all the music for her next chapter: she hit the ground running when Incantation dropped in 2022, and the warp speed of her evolution is showing no sign of slowing.




SKU 614427997326
Barcode # 614427997326
Brand ACT Music

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