It's somehow baffling to see how many incredibly talented musicians out there do not get the attention that they deserve, for not only their artistic merits, but also for the original and deliciously quorky ideas that they put through hard work and dedication, into the development of contemporary music.
On that note, our website has been absolutely thrilled to write about the new live album of a truly accomplished British collective called Native Dancer, a band that marries genres like Jazz, Soul, Hip-Hop and R&B in their music formula with such gusto and inspiring musical creativity.
Native Dancer's live album is called At PizzaExpress Live - In London and it is a rather breathtaking sonic tale of a recording that took place on 24th February 2022 at the Pizza Express Jazz Club, in the British capital.
It is most certainly worth to provide a little background about Native Dancer, a collective that has been working together for about 8 years, now and formed by Frida Mariama Touray on vocal duties, Sam Crowe on keys, Josh Arcoleo on saxophone, Jonathan Harvey on bass and Dan See on drums, the latter being their latest recruitment to the band. After a series of EP released between 2015 and 2019, it was in 2020 that the British collective captured the attention of the music press for their highly rated full debut album called Tides, a record that incorporated within its core sound an interesting, enthralling and unusual blend of Jazz, Hip-Hop and R&B.
If it is true that for any music artist a live performance is the real baptism of fire, well, in that case, for Native Dancer and their At PizzaExpress Live - In London record, it is very fair to say that they struck gold from beginning to the end, in this rather excellent and highly captivating live recording.
The choice of the album's setlist, for a start, it's rather fascinating, with Native Dancer including some of the band's own material, like the soothing opening tune Seven Of Swords or Love and Big Blue, among others, with a carefully selected bunch of songs from very renowned artists like Paul Simon (Bridge Over Troubled Water), Stevie Wonder (Where Were You When I Needed You) and Joni Mitchell (Hejira), just to mention a few, often transforming completely the aforementioned cover songs with inspired arrangements and sonic improvisations, something that, in our personal opinion, gave to those all-time classics a new sonic face lift of impressive quality.
The band sounds smoking hot at any given point of the show. Frida Touray has got an amazing vocal range and can easily catwalk into different genres, thanks to her amazing talent. Sam Crowe on keys draws some rather imaginative and inspired sonic soundscapes, through his keyboard playing. Josh Arcoleo's saxophone sound is so atmospheric and, at times, very hypnotic too, while the Rhythm Section made by Jonathan Harvey on bass and Dan See on drums provides such a thunderous comfort blanket of precision and versatility at the same time.
The At PizzaExpress Live - In London album from Native Dancer feels like a gentle sonic vortex, where every listener cannot wait to be sucked in. Their vision, talent, creativity and musicianship is highly mesmerising and this live recording is the material proof of a band that, through this album and in years to come, will undoubtedly soar higher and higher in the skies of worldwide music.