UK new-jazz star Tenderlonious rips up the rulebook with the 22archestra
© Greg Barnes
Straight out of London's adventurous new jazz scene, Tenderlonious performs the tracks Yussef's Groove and Expansions with the 22archestra band.
He may make it all sound supremely easy, but Ed Cawthorne is one of the busiest men in jazz. Recent record The Shakedown, his debut album under the Tenderlonious moniker and the first with his 22archestra, is the 22nd release on his 22a label – a key component in today’s hip-hop-infused, beat-centric South London jazz scene.
If you’ve watched Cawthorne’s Red Bull session with his other outfit, Ruby Rushton, you’ll be familiar with his live style: restless, unpredictable, exhilarating. A flautist, saxophonist, producer and DJ, Cawthorne also has a talent for surrounding himself with musicians who can spark endless freeform ideas or sling a stoned groove. The 22archestra, which he calls “the dream team”, includes keyboardist Hamish Balfour, bassist Fergus Ireland and drummer Yussef Dayes (formerly of Yussef Kamaal), and also brings African and Latin sounds into the mix.
Having taught himself to play sax after hearing Yusef Lateef and John Coltrane, Cawthorne describes himself as a vibesman, rather than a jazz academic. He conceives of music in terms of emotion, character and plot, as if it were a film – the album’s title track, for instance, is the story of a greedy London promoter holding back show money from his label.
In this exclusive session, you can watch Tenderlonious and the 22archestra play two album tracks – lush opener Expansions, and the driving Yussef’s Groove, named after the guy on the stool. Their talent for nailing it live should come as no surprise: in response to an invitation to record at Abbey Road Studios, the album was made in one single eight-hour session.
Watch Tenderlonious and 22archestra perform Yussef's Groove in the player above and Expansions in the player below.