Freelance journalist/broadcaster Paul Stokes on Emma-Jean Thackray’s Ley Lines
I first heard about Emma-Jean Thackray while interviewing Gilles Peterson at BBC Radio 6 Music earlier this year.
Summing-up the resurgent British jazz scene, he singled out Emma-Jean as one of his picks of the moment, intriguingly describing her as “playing trumpets and electronics, often at the same time!”
Gilles added that although this new scene has been percolating through club nights – he’d DJ-ed out tracks himself – its jazz chops were impressive and authentic.
He’s not wrong, and while Thackray is happy to utilise technology, her own playing has a warm, soulful personality.
Ley Lines is the Yorkshire-based musician’s just released, eight-track second EP and though created without a band it truly broadens her horizons.
Self-produced, the record is full of enveloping moods, ebbing and flowing grooves, clever rhythms and beautiful trumpets.
Most impressively, while Ley Lines pays its dues to the Coltranes and the Monks of the jazz world, it is also a vividly contemporary collection making the most of subtle electronics and, in places, passionate vocals.
Perfect for the club… jazz or otherwise.