JK Group – Nutha One [La Sape]

josh kelly - nutha one - la sape

One of Australia’s most promising jazz-centric labels is offering a tasting plate of its 2020 artists and we’re pretty excited to share with you a quality premiere track to spread the good word. Melbourne label La Sape has compiled seven original tracks from seven Aussie acts for its seventh release, downundaground. Throughout 2020, releases from each act will hit the internet via La Sape.

This is an eclectic mix. Musical director and label mainstay Horatio Luna (whose music we’ve premiered before) and label boss Kurt Paradise have pulled together sounds from the periphery of that which lies under the wide musical umbrella of ‘jazz’. From the slow and dreamy opener by Astral Flex to Proto Moro’s driving, psychedelic, 4×4-rhythms, the variety is broad and musicality deep. Live instrumentation, improvisation and jazz are the only rules here.

Our premiere comes from one of the three bands of renowned Melburnian saxophonist, Josh Kelly. JK Group’s Nutha One begins with Kamaal-Williams-esque synth stabs and Josh’s effects- drenched saxophone ringing in the background over snappily syncopated drums. The sax backs off only to coax out a keys solo and strings that, combined, could fittingly soundtrack a summer night stroll down a lively street. The smooth sonic walk turns sharply but purposely left, however, into something more like a run, as a house beat and sax take us to the track’s sudden and dramatic end.

It’s a fun listen, and one worth bookmarking for its December 13 release. Other artists to feature on the record are On-Ly, Antiphon, Foshe and Big Chief.

La Sape’s bandcamp.