Fresh sounds: Jelly Cleaver – Forever Presence: Pt. 1
South London guitarist, activist, producer, and singer-songwriter Jelly Cleaver has released her debut EP with her group The Forever Presence (which features members of Levitation Orchestra and Steam Down).
The EP Forever Presence is released by taste-maker independent label Gearbox Records (Binker & Moses, Levitation Orchestra, Abdullah Ibrahim, Thiago Nassif), and follows the recent release of her singles: Forever Presence: Pt. 2, which saw Cleaver introduce her unique and progressive style of ballad; and the environmentally-charged Black Line, which saw Cleaver merge expansive jazz, psych, lofi soul, and blues rock, as well as including an impassioned, blistering guitar solo.
In the excitement and movement of the London jazz scene, the EP takes the neglected elements of ballads and beauty, allowing other emotions to enter the music. The ballad is a timeless form in jazz history explored by all the greats, but it’s added to with subtle modern techniques to reflect our timeless but modern problems. It pays tribute to artists like Pharaoh Sanders, Alice Coltrane and Dhafer Youssef, as well as taking inspiration from her contemporaries such as Moor Mother and Angel Bat Dawid. These are songs about loss, love, and the universe
Listen to Jelly Cleavernew single Forever Presence: Pt. 1, from her debut album Forever Presence:
Jelly Cleaver has had an incendiary rise over the last year; She has received the Steve Reid Award, is a Serious Take Five artist, was nominated for an Ivors Composer Award. Uniquely embraced by both London’s jazz and DIY indie scenes, Cleaver has appeared on line-ups curated by the likes of jazz heavy-weights Gilles Peterson and Shabaka Hutchings, as well as playing alongside the likes of Goat Girl and Porridge Radio. She has also appeared on compilation albums with the likes of Squid and Black Midi, and has performed across numerous UK venues on DIY tours, as well as appearing at festivals such as EFG London Jazz Festival and We Out Here. As an anti-racist and climate justice activist, Cleaver performs at activist events and organises workshops and music to celebrate freedom of movement and migrant rights. She is also responsible for the monthly Jelly’s Jams night at Brixton’s The Windmill and hosts a radio show on internet radio station Why Now World.
Watch below Jelly Cleavernew single Forever Presence: Pt. 1, from her debut album Forever Presence:
Other wicked songs and projects worth checking this week:
Elusive - Delicate Beauty
Scrimshire, Miryam Solomon - Heron - Radio Edit
FKAjazz - No Lonely Nights
Makaya McCraven - Ecaroh
Myele Manzanza - Peaks & Ferns
Jimi Tenor, UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra - Jyrkänteellä