Joe Armon-Jones and Maxwell Owin at Ghost Notes, February 1st
Writers in jazz have created a false narrative that jazz should cater to older folk, and the younger generation will never get to hear the ‘greats’. However, you learn after seeing the wonderful work of musicians like Joe Armon-Jones and Maxwell Owin that right now we’re in the presence of today’s greats.
Jones on the keyboard moves his fingers like some sort of sorcerer, where you can’t follow the movement even when you’re in the front row. It left me with my jaw dropped in disbelief that someone could be this talented, right in front of me, in the same city I lived. I believe, truly, that music coming from young London artists are crafting the new generation of jazz.
The enigmatic duo performed their latest album Idiom in full, and it blew everyone’s mind. The album is a result of multiple collaborations between artists across the South London music scene. It is jazz, but it wasn’t bebop nor swing. Rather, it is a product of electronic music, the style in which multi-instrumentalist Owin excels.
The performance also featured stellar turns from Nubya Garcia on sax and Jake Long on drums. The music moved freely with a variety of ranges and dynamics, each song having a different style of rhythm. There were also incredible solos, with most songs featuring a different lead instrument so each musician got to give a longer performance.
Ghost Notes itself is one of the best up-and-coming venues in London. It is situated inside the renovated car park now known as Peckham Levels, an incredible 7-storey hub for food, drink, culture and independent businesses. It boasts an amazing sound system, and views of the Overground trains passing by South London’s skyline.
Ghost Notes is located at Peckham Levels 95A Rye Lane, London SE15 4ST