Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1089

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Review

Ashley Henry & The RE:ensemble

Ashley Henry & The RE:ensemble

8

6.2

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UK release date 19.01.2018

British pianist Ashley Henry makes a significant splash on the newly revived british jazz scene with this, his first offering for his major label, Sony Music.It's a glorious affair kicking off with some stirring latin inspired strides in the shape of the opening track 'Easter' where new horizons come about and none more so for this stylish player who gives it a spiritual jazz vibe with his fine playing and fervent spoken word.Jean Toussaint adds his heavy weight experience too, on some imperious sax teeing up the jazz hip hop headiness of following track, Nas's 'The World Is Yours'.Crisp in the pocket grooves make it a fresh sounding experience setting up the moody sounding next tune featuring singer Cherise Adams -Burnett whose velvet tones suit this (same key but reharmonised) version of indie rock band The Enemy's anthemic sounding 'Pressure'- an interesting lesson in deconstruction!

If nothing else Ashley is a natural mood enhancer as the joyful sounds of 'Bunny' will waft over you like a soothing spring breeze with touches of Blue Note brilliance and Chick Corea; now doubt it will do this new and exciting artist no harm at all as his sepertine solo has all the dreamy ethereal qualities that the likes of Corea and Hancock have in spades .The acoustic trio works exceptionally well and the hip hop sensibilities when played live sit organically with the general concept though the remix feels oddly out of place and stilted ....The air is cleared with the soca carribean feel of 'Moving Forward' highlighting what a stonking rhythm section is all about, thus rounding off an edifying and satiating platter.All in all this is a highly musical introduction to an artist who is slowly fulfilling his potential so kick back watch it all unfold.This guy has bags of taste and talent to unleash.
Words Emrys Baird

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