World Fusion / African Fusion / Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop / Eclectic Fusion • Trinidad And Tobago
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Trinidad-born, London-based poet, novelist, and urban griot explores spoken word through Caribbean, African, jazz, funk, and blues musics.

Anthony Joseph is a poet, novelist, musician, vocalist, and frontman for the Spasm Band. His music combines Caribbean and African rhythms with jazz, funk, and spoken word.

Joseph was born in Trinidad and raised by his grandparents. His earliest musical influences were his grandfather's calypso records, particularly those of Mighty Sparrow and Lord Kitchener. He was initially moved by the use of poetry and patois in their recordings. As a result, he began to write. During his teens he also started collecting the newest reggae sounds, which arrived by boat weekly from Jamaica. His writing ability allowed him to emigrate to the United Kingdom in 1989. He attended Goldsmiths College at the University of London where he obtained a Master's degree in literature. Joseph discovered the music and writings of Gil Scott-Heron as
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ANTHONY JOSEPH albums / top albums

ANTHONY JOSEPH Anthony Joseph & The Spasm Band ‎: Leggo De Lion album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Anthony Joseph & The Spasm Band ‎: Leggo De Lion
World Fusion 2007
ANTHONY JOSEPH Bird Head Son album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Bird Head Son
World Fusion 2009
ANTHONY JOSEPH Anthony Joseph & The Spasm Band : Rubber Orchestras album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Anthony Joseph & The Spasm Band : Rubber Orchestras
World Fusion 2011
ANTHONY JOSEPH Time album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
African Fusion 2013
ANTHONY JOSEPH Caribbean Roots album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Caribbean Roots
Eclectic Fusion 2016
ANTHONY JOSEPH People of the Sun album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
People of the Sun
World Fusion 2018
ANTHONY JOSEPH The Rich Are Only Defeated When Running for Their Lives album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
The Rich Are Only Defeated When Running for Their Lives
African Fusion 2021


ANTHONY JOSEPH Sans Souci (Totem) - David Walters Remix album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Sans Souci (Totem) - David Walters Remix
Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop 2020

ANTHONY JOSEPH live albums

ANTHONY JOSEPH Anthony Joseph & The Spasm Band : Live In Bremen album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Anthony Joseph & The Spasm Band : Live In Bremen
World Fusion 2013

ANTHONY JOSEPH demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

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ANTHONY JOSEPH The Rich Are Only Defeated When Running for Their Lives

Album · 2021 · African Fusion
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Caribbean-born, London-based poet, university professor and singer/musician Anthony Joseph is often tagged in adverts as "leader of the black underground" in London, but leaving the marketing tricks aside I would call him Caribbean immigrant's poetic soul.

His song lyrics split right by half between bitter-sweet melancholic rememberings dedicated to his native Trinidad and Tobago, and more dark, but still very artistic and beautiful in their own way, themes from Caribbean immigrants life in England.

Differently from cult figure Shabaka Hutchings, the true leader of younger wave of enormously popular new London street-wise Afrojazz, Joseph is too wise, too philosophical and not enough confrontational for being the leader of any underground.

It took three long years for me waiting for his new release after I've been so highly impressed by Joseph's previous one, "People Of The Sun"(2018) both recorded and live. All Joseph's albums work for me by the same way - after very first listening I feel ... slightly disappointed. Music sounds too simple, too predictable. Then after repeated listening it slowly grows on me in a progression. And quite soon it occupies my player for months, as it happened with "People Of The Sun", (it became my most often listened album during the last two years).

Oppositely to the above mentioned work, which happened to be massive double-vinyl longer than an hour long release, "The Rich Are Only Defeated When Running For Their Lives" is of classic single vinyl size, and I love this format more and more. At early days of digital technologies, 80+ minutes of regular CD album looked as huge advantage against thirty-something minutes of vinyl. But quite soon we all realized that increased space worked against the artists themselves. Trying to fill technically available free space of commercial recordings, labels and artists started adding a lot of not-so-mandatory material in their albums. As a result, really well edited containing no fillers album is a real rarity for a few decades, even speaking about the best artists' music.

So, we have here just six songs, each between four and ten minutes long. Characteristic soulful Caribbean jazz with simple but memorable melodies, knotted rhythms and not so simple arrangements. Less Latin, than previous work. Same working band with Jason Yarde on sax, percussionist Roger Raspail and Thibaut Remy on guitar among others. Shabaka Hutchings on sax as guest (Shabaka just released his own new album with his band "Sons Of Kemet" - similar Caribbean jazz with surprising amount of vocals, which is still more musical and less poetic work, compared to Joseph's newest release).

Same themes about Caribbean and immigrants' life in London. "Calling England Home" is an absolute peak, everything about Joseph's creation is concentrated there. Same bitter-sweet and melancholic atmosphere, balancing well between love, frustration and hope. Not really a new step - its just like watching another movie from a director you like and with actors you love.

ANTHONY JOSEPH People of the Sun

Album · 2018 · World Fusion
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
I really like having the opportunity to hear your beloved album at a live concert, it doesn't happen as often as I would like unfortunately. In case with Anthony Joseph "People Of The Sun" I was lucky enough to experience that.

Released on the tiny French label Heavenly Sweetness, "People Of The Sun" demonstrates fashionable new London jazz with its Caribbean influences. Trinidad-born band's front man Anthony Joseph (who is a professor of creative literature at London University) prefers to call himself a poet, and is obviously rooted in the free jazz and spoken word traditions of the late 60s and Gil Scott-Heron legacy. Joseph is more Caribbean Leonard Cohen than Amiri Baraka.

Album music is full of calypso, salsa, reggae, steel pans sound and Latin accent. Anthony combines his homeland rhythms with funk and spiritual jazz adding slightly melancholic lyrics without avoiding sharper themes such as slavery or problems of more current life in the Caribbean. All of this is offered with philosophical elegance and doesn't quite sound similar to an "angry men" street manifesto at all.

With fifteen musicians participating, the musical part is well-arranged with a percussive relaxed sound, accessible and very dance-able. Short instrumental solos are presented here and there as spices in a brew, it adds to the music's very livable and even hip feel, being in reality not all that simple, the album is very accessible and vibrant.

Returning back to their show, there was a smaller band of slightly different line-up playing live. They sounded much heavier, less refined and recalled more funk-rock garage band than relaxed Caribbean orchestra as heard on album. The compositions played were mostly all more extended with burning long soloing (partially Jason Yarde sax, wah wah guitar or percussion) and very charismatic dynamic Joseph on the front. It perfectly demonstrated band's live energy - opposite side of generally quite relaxed studio material.

One great example of today's London jazz scene great both for your legs, your heart and your head.


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