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EPISODE #286
SUN MORNING, 12 NOV 2017

Yazz Ahmed

Humans behind this episode #286 👩👨

Curator: Sanjay Mistry
Writer: Sanjay Mistry
Illustrator: Pierre-Julien Fieux

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MailTape is a nonprofit art collective run by volunteers united by their love for music. We are committed to offering an experience that respects you: ethical design, 100% human curation, no ads, no external trackers.

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This morning we are delighted to collaborate with trumpeter and composer Yazz Ahmed and get a glimpse into her Sunday morning jukebox with MailTape.

As well as leading her own quartet and septet, Yazz has also recorded and performed with Radiohead, Max Romeo, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, ABC, Swing Out Sister, Joan as Police Woman and Amel Zen.

For our friends in Paris and London, Yazz will be performing with the Hafla Band at the Blue Note Festival on 16th November and at King’s Place in London on the 17th.

Yazz Ahmed’s selection

Sarathy Korwar – Bismillah

Yazz Ahmed: I love Sarathy’s playing and compositions and his choice of musicians. This track, to me, feels like an invitation to enter a beautiful spiritual place. The opening is like a simple morning prayer which develops and intensifies into a celebration. We are waking, moving and dancing into the new day.

Samuel Hällkvist – Variety Of Rhythm Part 4: “The Necker Cube”

Yazz Ahmed: I’ve been a fan of Samuel and his music ever since we met, back in 2012. This angular, precisely metric and intriguing piece is very typical of Samuel’s compositions: mysterious, menacing and fun. I like the contrasting elements, the broken drum beats, floating on a bed of sonorous guitar, decorated with vibraphone and violin interjections. It reminds me of an impressionist painting. Then, in the middle of the piece, the sun rises and the pace starts to quicken. The rhythmic constraints are broken with an overwhelming surge of expressive freedom.

Ruth Wall – Snow Clamp

Yazz Ahmed: A collaboration between harpist, Ruth Wall, and composer Graham Fitkin—both musicians and composers I greatly admire. This piece beautifully integrates electronic effects with the elegant sounds of the harp. It starts very gently, with a thoughtful mediation, then progresses with increasing momentum by the addition of reversed loops and clouds of processed drums. It makes me feel that I’m falling, tumbling, running, in a dream, then with a sudden stop… awake!

MailTape’s selection

Yazz Ahmed — La Saboteuse

Sanjay: It’s hard for me to pick just one track from Yazz’s latest album, ‘La Saboteuse’. This piece begins with Shabaka Hutchings’s solo bass clarinet which evokes a beautiful sadness, like a craggy autumnal landscape. Yazz’s trumpet melody is magisterial, composed of Arabic scales, which are counterpointed with a quiet and foreboding percussion.

Fran & Flora – The Hollow Tree

Sanjay: Stark and eerie…like a hollow tree, this track consists of cello and violin beautifully played by Fran and Flora, respectively. They fuse traditional motifs of Eastern European music with their own experimental compositions and improvisation. I’m looking forward to their upcoming debut album. Such a cool duo!

Zoe Rahman — Shiraz

Sanjay: An oldie but a goodie from pianist Zoe Rahman. I’ve seen her perform a couple of times in London and Leicester and I love the rhythmic ruminations with repeating low themes emerging in the gaps between treble trills in this track. If you’re in London, Zoe will be performing solo at lunchtime on 13th November as part of this year’s jazz festival.

Vijay Iyer Trio — Break Stuff

Sanjay: In this title track from the Vijay Iyer Trio, the unbridled energy of Vijay Iyer’s piano is grounded by Marcus Gilmore’s drums and Stephan Crump’s bass. They create a mesmeric tension, as the track builds towards and dissolves into a contrastingly meditative break in which earlier motifs are deconstructed. Here, also, the drums quietly emerge for the first time before ceding the melody to the piano, which gradually regains its earlier intensity. If you haven’t done so already, I’d recommend hearing Vijay—alongside his many ensembles—live!

That’s all for today. Thanks for listening and much gratitude to Yazz Ahmed for being our guest, and to Pierre-Julien Fieux for this episode’s illustration!

Sanjay Mistry.

Humans behind this episode #286 🤗

Curator: Sanjay Mistry
Writer: Sanjay Mistry
Illustrator: Pierre-Julien Fieux

Dedicated to help your discover new music, since 2011 💎

MailTape is a nonprofit art collective run by volunteers united by their love for music. We are committed to offering an experience that respects you: ethical design, 100% human curation, no ads, no external trackers.

We are volunteers ✊

Your donation helps keeping Mailtape alive and improving it.

Become a patron 🙌

I ❤️ MailTape