Combining in equal parts the airy spiritualism of Alice Coltrane and the kind of virtuosic displays now typical of the UK’s prolific jazz scene, Maisha’s music is littered with references to their musical forebears. . Their debut album There is A Place wastes no time in making listeners aware of its origins — the opening track Osiris explicitly channels Isis and Osiris, the final song of Alice Coltrane’s Journey in Satchidananda. Sun-ra and Pharaoh Sanders are also clear influences, but Maisha’s range is by no means constrained by comparative material.
And how could they be, when their line-up comprises some of the most in-demand contemporary jazz instrumentalists? The star-studded septet includes some notable heavy hitters: Nubya Garcia (saxophone and flute) was crowned best UK Jazz act by public vote in JazzFM’s annual awards; Shirley Tetteh (guitar) forms part of female supergroup Nerija, and though t
For all the excitement of the recorded album, Maisha promises to be even more gripping as a live act. Moses Boyd’s recent Radio1 Xtra residency saw a rare tribute to drummers as composers, and Maisha is a sterling contemporary example. In addition to bandleader and drummer Jake Long, Maisha also features Tim Doyle and Yahael Camara-Onono on percussion, and we cannot wait to see what experimental embellishments they will bring to Patterns. Maisha also brings with them a string quartet and a harpist, adding both weight at range to their work. Following Nubya Garcia’s performance at Komedia in February and Joe Armon Jones’ October show at Patterns, Maisha’s arrival is another welcome occasion for Brightonians to see the exemplary artists of London’s vibrant jazz scene, but without endless queues and pricey tickets. Opening for Maisha is Yadasofi, a shockingly young Brighton jazz outfit including percussion phenom Nadav Schneerson.