The River Doesn’t Like Strangers Chelsea Carmichael

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  • 1There Is A Place (It's Not Here)03:31
  • 2All We Know07:26
  • 3Bone And Soil05:08
  • 4Myriad05:45
  • 5There Is You And You06:58
  • 6The Healer09:48
  • 7Noor06:08
  • 8The River Doesn't Like Strangers10:52
  • 9Hiaro/Hadali04:44
  • Total Runtime01:00:20

Info zu The River Doesn’t Like Strangers

You’d better get used to hearing the name CHELSEA CARMICHAEL because it’s going to be on the lips of every hardcore jazz fan up and down the country after her maiden album ‘The River Doesn’t Like Strangers’ is released next month.

A saxophonist by trade, 28-year-old Chelsea was born in Manchester and raised in Warrington but moved to London where she became immersed in the capital’s exciting new jazz scene and tasted success as a member of SEED Ensemble, a Mercury-nominated 10-piece band led by fellow saxophonist Cassie Kinoshi. Now, though, Chelsea is branching out and embarking on a career of her own, thanks to Sons Of Kemet’s reed maestro and producer Shabaka Hutchings, who had the foresight to make the young saxophonist the first signing of his new label, Native Rebel Recordings.

‘The River Doesn’t Like Strangers’ comes in the wake of two well-received singles Chelsea recorded for the label; a swirling maelstrom of melody and groove called ‘Myriad’ and the more recent ‘There Is You And You,’ a compelling example of the saxophonist’s energetic style and exciting improv skills. Both tracks are included in the album, which consists of ten songs and offers a broad showcase of Chelsea’s talents in the company of guitarist David Okumo, bassist Tom Herbert and Sons Of Kemet drummer, Ed Wakili Hick.

"One thing you don't get on The River Doesn't Like Strangers is chorus after chorus of playing the changes 1950s or 60s style although Chelsea Carmichael can certainly do this on demand. Nor is there yards of minute improvisation around routines and familiar jazz licks that you might hear on a hundred records when players like to pretend they are their heroes and forget to be themselves. What you do however obtain is pithy statement, a lot of power and direct melodies that are grounded in an organic rhythmic development. Accessible, they have a catchy lilt to them but aren't so simple that you tire of them either. The Warrington London-based player heard back in the summer live playing baritone saxophone with the Nu Civilisation Orchestra, is the first artist on Shabaka Hutchings' label Native Rebel. Players joining the saxist choosing tenor on the record include Dave Okumu on guitar, Tom Herbert formerly of Polar Bear on bass, and Eddie Hick from Sons of Kemet with Shabaka producing. Choice Okumu-Herbert underpinning is significant in the fabric of the infrastructure of the sound in quite a few places and enhances the rawness that Carmichael especially cultivates on 'Noor' when the saxist escapes the strictness of some of the settings on the record. 'Fractals' right at the end is for me the best trip of all. Okumu is very atmospheric on it and Herbert's insistent riffing is delicious. Carmichael finds a new angle on a melody that twists and turns highly melodically and morphs instead into an unlikely 21st century jazz lullaby. A very impressive album and one of the UK's best jazz releases of the year."

Chelsea Carmichael, saxophone
David Okumo, guitar
Tom Herbert, bass
Ed Wakili Hick, drums

Chelsea Carmichael
is a Saxophonist, Arranger and Composer based in South East London. She is part of the Mercury Prize nominated SEED Ensemble, and is best known for her touring with Theon Cross, Joe Armon-Jones, Outlook Orchestra, and Neue Grafik Ensemble to name a few. She also has her own projects – her quartet under her own name, performing her own original compositions, and also a project celebrating the 60th anniversary of John Coltrane’s legendary album ‘Giant steps’, which made it’s sold out debut at London’s Jazz Café.

Born in Manchester UK, Chelsea moved to London to study at Trinity Conservatoire, where she was welcomed into the thriving London Jazz scene. Since finishing her studies in 2016, she has been making a name for herself performing, collaborating on projects, and educating.

As well as smaller contemporary jazz ensembles, she also regularly appears in big bands, and has performed with Clare Teal, Jools Hollands Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, and Nu Civilisation Orchestra. She was also chosen to be a participant in the Brighter Sounds Jazz Directors Series, in which she toured the UK with both Terence Blanchard and Courtney Pine.

As an educator, she has taught 1 to 1 lessons privately, in groups, in schools both primary and secondary, and her current educational focus is on workshops. She was a tutor on the LJF ‘She is Jazz’ project in 2019, and has led workshops at all levels, ranging from Primary schools to Goldsmiths University. She was also the Musical Director of the NYJO Jazz Messengers for 3 years.

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