NÉRIJA

African Fusion • United Kingdom
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Recently nominated for Jazz FM Breakthrough Act of the Year 2016, Nérija are a collective of up and coming, London-based musicians playing exciting and original music inspired by Jazz, Hip Hop, Afrobeat and South African Township. Together they have toured across Europe and the UK in addition to performing alongside top UK jazz musicians such as Nathaniel Facey of Empirical, pianist Zoe Rahman, and supporting Jazz Jamaica at the renowned Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club.

Nérija's most recent performances include UK festivals A Love Supreme, Latitude, Brainchild, Manchester Jazz Festival, Jazz Re:Fest and EFG London Jazz Festival. At the end of 2015, they also had the incredible opportunity to support Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, their Manchester Jazz Festival set being featured on BBC Radio 3. 2016 has seen them release their self-titled debut EP, perform at the Barbican Centre and Cadogan Hall, as well as sell out their headline performance the EFG London
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NÉRIJA Blume album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Blume
African Fusion 2019

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NÉRIJA Nérija album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Nérija
African Fusion 2016

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NÉRIJA Blume

Album · 2019 · African Fusion
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
Big expectations are not always a great thing. Young London-based septet with unusual(at least for English scene) name Nérija are playing around London for a half of decade and already has one release in a market - self released EP coming from 2016. All-female band with interesting guitarist of Ghanaian roots Shirley Tetteh and rising British scene star reedist Nubya Garcia on board among others sounded at their best as new growing scene leaders.

Just released "Blume" is band's first full size album so no strange lot of ears waited for the day it be released. After repeated listening I still have a mixed feeling about their debut.

With minimal line-up changes (they got a new bassist and first male member Rio Kai instead of Inga Eichler) their music sounds a bit different. Massive brass coming from four-piece reeds section on the front gives solid orchestral feel, they still play same successful mix of Caribbean/African rhythms and big band orchestrations with some nice trumpet and sax solos.

The main problem is probably they went too safe on their debut. Sound is pretty rounded and soft, really comfortable and quite ... teeth-less. London's young jazz scene doesn't offer lot of inventions, best artists there re-vitalize some best jazz and related music from the past but do it with youngish enthusiasm and often in non-compromise way. Jazz fans from allover the world follow new music coming from there mostly because of that. Nérija with their debut album made a safe step often sounding more like Cape jazz from 60s than today's Londoners.

Their signature guitar sound over reeds is less groovy and mixed more on the back, that's a pity. Nubya Garcia's tenor sax is under-exploited, on her own works as well as on her other collaborations Nubya's sax very often pumping the blood in musical texture, here her sound is presented only in minimalist way.

Still really a pleasant music, just probably oriented a bit more towards ageing fans of 70s jazz orchestras than to young generation of today's jazz fans.

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