‘an unhurried debut’ The London saxophonist hints at a very big future with her first album'
Jane Cornwall, The Evening Standard ★★★★
“A remarkably assured and mature début. George impresses with her purity of tone, melodic sense and improvisational fluency.”
Ian Mann, The Jazz Mann ★★★★
“Camilla George Quartet: Isang review- engaging jazz you want to dance to."
John Fordham, The Guardian
“Auspicious debut from a notable emerging figure in British Jazz.”
Kevin leGendre, Jazzwise
Camilla George released Isang on Ubuntu Music early this year. It’s hard to believe that this is her debut album - the MOBO nominated saxophonist, composer and teacher is already an established musician on the jazz circuit with an impressive CV to prove it. A graduate from Trinity College of Music, having won the Archer scholarship for outstanding performance, George has studied with many jazz greats including Jean Toussaint, Tony Kofi, Julian Siegel and Martin Speake. Since 2004 she has been working with both Tomorrow’s Warriors and the Nu Civilisation Orchestra and, from 2009, the award winning band, Jazz Jamaica.
“It wasn’t until I joined Courtney Pine’s Venus Warriors and we played our debut gig at The Hideaway that I felt ready to lead my own band. That project inspired me and gave me the confidence I needed to branch out on my own,” George says. The Camilla George Quartet (CGQ) was formed in 2014 with rising stars Sarah Tandy (piano), Daniel Casimir (bass) and Femi Koleoso (drums). The CGQ’s EP Lunacity was well received by fans and musicians alike.
George’s love of fusing African and Western Music to make her own unique sound is elegantly demonstrated in Isang – a collection of tunes that pays homage to the jazz tradition with a modern edge. Pronounced I-S-A-NG (NG as in song), ‘Isang’ is an old Efik/Ibibio* word that means voyage and symbolises the CGQ’s musical journey. The driving blues of the opening track, written to celebrate the West African spirit Mami Wata; ‘Lunacity’ based on one of George’s favourite standards ‘It’s Only A Paper Moon’ with a calypso twist; the delicate ballad dedicated to her father in ‘Song For Reds’, the Kenny Garrett composition ‘Ms Baja’ that features her long time friend and collaborator Zara McFarlane and the silky groove of ‘Mami Wata Returns/Usoro’ all illustrate that George is an accomplished composer/arranger as well as saxophonist.
"Isang is an album about a journey of self discovery from my African and Caribbean roots through to jazz in its modern day forms. I was keen to explore different stylistic elements such as highlife, afrobeat, calypso and hip-hop. It's a project which wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for my amazing band whose musicianship is of the highest degree." Camilla George.
19:30 - 22:30