Nérija – London’s jazz all-star collective – release debut album ‘Blume’
Nerija features some of the top players in London’s rising jazz scene. Every member of the band has its own side project: Nubya Garcia (Nubiya’s 5ive, Maisha), Sheila Maurice-Grey (Kokoroko), Cassie Kinoshi (SEED Ensemble, Kokoroko), Rosie Turton (Rosie’s 5ive), Shirley Tetteh (Maisha), Lizy Exell (drums) and Rio Kai (SEED Ensemble).
Nerija is based on friendship and there is enough room within the band for each musician to demonstrate their skills and musical ideas Some of the tracks have been written collectively, but each member of Nerija brings one own song showing different influences from afrobeat, hip hop to even gospel.
Nérija is a collective whose breakneck shifts in tempo and style rely on a deep understanding of mood, temperament, and expression, a solid show of trust that extends beyond the usual bonds between musicians.
Nérija follows up their breakthrough self-titled EP, which was re-released earlier this year, with their debut full-length album on Domino.
‘Blume’ is a truly breath-taking collection of compositions that perfectly encapsulates everything Nérija; vibrant, engaging, infectious and truly current. For just over an hour, they take us on a sprawling wonderful journey, arriving at what is a majestic body of work; their personal and collective experiences and inspirations over the last half-decade or so.
Formed out of Tomorrow’s Warriors Development program and originally featuring an all-female cast (Inga Eichler was original bassist), Nérija was consciously created to help address the imbalance of women instrumentalist in jazz.
Central to Tomorrow’s Warriors’ educational approach is the idea of comradely unity, the prioritization of co-operation over competition, and the philosophy is part of Nérija’s creative process. Recorded in London’s legendary Soup Studios, Blume was produced by Kwes ( Loyle Carner, Micachu, Solange, Tirzah). One of the recording aims was to channel the feel of Teo Macero and Stanley Tonkel’s records with Miles Davis during his Columbia years, thinking “forward” as they did but for this band, capturing the controlled chaos and frame it with timeless elegance.