Vels Trio “Yellow Ochre” (Total Refreshment Records)
For years now it’s been evident that the most exciting jazz music around has been coming out of the UK.
With acts such as Yusef Kamaal, The Cinematic Orchestra, Greg Foat or Nostalgia 77, it’s somewhat outrageous that the impact of the British jazz scene is not applauded more and at times shrugged aside even, in favour of their North American colleagues.
Here to try and remedy this is the Brighton-based Vels Trio, consisting of Jack Stephenson Oliver on keys, Cameron Dawson on bass & Douglas Taylor on drums. Although formed back in 2014, due to the members’ side projects it’s only now that we get the first official taste of the trio’s 3-year collaboration.
The perfect introduction into the musical universe of Vels Trio is the opener, the title track off the debut EP “Yellow Ochre”, with its rich tapestry of sounds, dreamy fusion melodies drifting in all directions, but never lacking focus.
The only feature on the EP is (another) talented young British jazz cat, the saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings (of Shabaka & The Ancestors/Sons of Kemet fame) who pops up on ’40 Point’ with an exquisite solo. ‘Tenderness’ provides another texture to the overall vibe, with its face melting, head nodding beat, while the hazy and soulful ‘Godzilla’ almost feels like the other side of the coin.
The EP finishes off with the second part of the title track with each member jamming away as if to their own beat, but still perfectly in sync. A powerful first release, as much for Vels Trio, as for the newly formed Total Refreshement Records.
The “Yellow Ochre” EP is out on 12″ June 9th, 2017 on Total Refreshment Records