Collaborations: Volume One


After the success of their critically-acclaimed third album Sharpener (HCB 001CD/002LP, 2016), which reached #3 in the jazz charts and #14 in the independent music charts, London's brass juggernauts Hackney Colliery Band blaze back onto the scene with their first collaborative album, ushering in a whole new era for the band. Featuring collaborations with a host of key names in jazz and world music including amongst others the father of Ethio-jazz Mulatu Astatke, British jazz funk legend James Taylor, trombonist Dennis Rollins, UK saxophonist Pete Wareham, and Beninese singer-songwriter and Grammy Award-winner Angélique Kidjo, Hackney Colliery Band have effortlessly transformed their explosive live energy into 11 original recordings that push the groove and form in an accomplished manner. On Collaborations: Volume One, writers Steve Pretty, Olly Blackman, and Luke Christie have between them penned the outfit's most dynamic material to date. "Mm Mm'" (featuring Angélique Kidjo and Roundhouse Choir) merges Beninese grooves with wah pedal trumpet textures, and the rousing call-and-response between Kidjo's soaring vocal and the exhilarating choir adds a richness and depth to the composition. On "Snowfire", innovative Norwegian pianist Bugge Wesseltoft brings a Euro/nu-jazz feel, while Dennis "Funkybone" Rollins adds his trademark virtuoso trombone to the carnival-flavored "Ricochet". There's an energy, respect for tradition, and the exuberance of London in Hackney Colliery Band's work, best exemplified in the downright thrilling James Taylor collaboration "Hypothetical". "Netsanet" featuring Mulatu Astatke is a deep exploration of Mulatu's trademark Ethio-jazz, while "Crushing Lactic", composed by Tom Rogerson (fresh from a recent Brian Eno collaboration) has a frenzied flow, with big horns and driving rhythm section. Elsewhere, Pete Wareham (stalwart of the London jazz revival) lends his free-flowing sax to "What's Gone Before", leading you into a powerful communion of jazz and brass as Mulatu Astatke's "Derashe" takes the listener down a vibrating rhythmic path while accompanied by blasts of horns and Mulatu's trademark vibraphone. Two spoken word compositions ("Why Yellow" and "Climbing Up My Own Life Until I Die") featuring York-born writer and comedian Rob Auton lend an introspective voice.